Stalemate in Fife – report and interviews

Jan 30, 2022

East Fife              0

Peterhead          0

Peterhead secured a point on the road in a goalless draw at East Fife in a game that was hampered by the effects of Storm Malik. It might have been better for the Blue Toon had Russell McLean converted a first half penalty however it also could have been more disappointing had goalkeeper Brett Long not made some very important stops late in the game.

Balmoor manager Jim McInally brought in Grant Savoury for Hamish Ritchie who was not fully fit after picking up a knock with Jason Brown taking on the captaincy in place of Scott Brown who was ruled out.

New recruits Rico Quitongo and Owen Cairns were on the bench with both players introduced to life as a Peterhead player in the second half.

East Fife had to make a late change to their starting eleven with 17-year-old goalkeeper Liam Campbell starting between the sticks after Scott Gallacher picked up a problem in the warm-up and the youngster was to go on to have a memorable day.

The Fifers started quicker than their visitors with Ryan Blair and Aaron Steele having attempts on goal however the Blue Toon played their way into the game and carved out an opening on 13 minutes.

Savoury worked his way to the edge of the hosts’ box and tried his luck however his effort flew past Campbell’s goal.

David Wilson was harshly booked on 15 minutes before Long was called into action to deal with a shot from Ryan Wallace.

Peterhead were given the chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot midway through the opening half when McLean was hauled back by Chris Higgins.

The striker, who scored the winning spot-kick against East Kilbride in the Scottish Cup last weekend, took responsibility for the penalty however teenager Campbell got down to his left to push away his effort.

The visitors looked to bounce back from that disappointment and Andrew McCarthy and Ryan Duncan sent in shots towards Campbell’s goal however they were just off-target.

In first half injury time Andy McDonald, who scored a cracking free-kick at East Fife last season, looked to do the same again however this time his powerful strike fizzed wide.

The wind, if it could be called an advantage, was now in the home side’s favour and five minutes into the restart Kevin Smith was inches away from reaching a Wallace cross in a dangerous position.

Peterhead responded with a Duncan cross that picked out McDonald however the big defender headed over.

McCarthy saw another pop at goal flash wide before Brett Long reminded home fans what he was all about as he denied Kevin Smith in a one-on-one situation and maintained his composure to keep out the follow up from Darren Watson.

As the play swung to the other end Savoury tried his luck again however this time his shot was blocked.

The hosts started throwing bodies forward to secure the win and it looked like the tactic had worked when Watson went clear through however again Long was equal to his effort with the goalkeeper excelling again in injury time as he kept out a header from Scott Mercer.

Long, McDonald, Jason Brown, Wilson, Duffy (Quitongo 57), McCarthy, Ferry (Cairns 69), Payne (Lyle 70), Duncan, McLean, Savoury

Unused substitutes – Ritchie, Jordon Brown, Cullen (G/k)

Manager Jim McInally after-match –

Jason Brown after match –