Cove Rangers 5 Peterhead 2 – losing poor goals at bad times hits Blue Toon

Mar 6, 2022

Peterhead went down 5-2 at the Balmoral Stadium home of League 1 leaders Cove Rangers and everyone associated with the display knows that losing poor goals at key moments of the game were behind the score-line.

Former Balmoor striker Rory McAllister opened the scoring and his goal was quickly added to by Mitch Megginson before the visitors got a route back into the game through a goal from Hamish Ritchie who was their best player on the day.

Unfortunately, that route was quickly hampered when the fourth goal of the game was scored on 21 minutes by Megginson with Harry Milne, who was a constant source of danger to Peterhead, grabbing two goals early into the restart.

As opposed to just seeing the game out Jim McInally’s side stuck to their attacking principles and pulled a goal back late on through Russell McLean.

Owen Cairns replaced Flynn Duffy and Jack Brown was handed a starting jersey in place of the injured Niah Payne in the only changes from Tuesday night’s game with Queen’s Park.

The Blue Toon started brightly and won a corner after just three minutes however they did not threaten McKenzie’s goal from it.

Five minutes later, and the first of the disappointments in terms of poor goals at bad times, was felt when skipper Scott Brown was judged to have tripped Milne in the box.

It was a soft award however that did not trouble McAllister who found the net from 12 yards.

Peterhead were looking to ensure that the confidence that was now flowing through the Cove team did not result in a quick fire second however on 10 minutes Paul Hartley’s side doubled their lead.

Fraser Fyvie pierced the visiting defence with a through ball to Megginson who ran clear before slipping his way past Brett Long and rolling the ball into an unguarded net.

The Blue Toon, to their credit, rolled their sleeves and up and Ritchie almost brought them back into the game quickly with a shot from the edge of the box however his effort just cleared the bar.

Ritchie, who had a short spell at Cove on-loan last season, fared better on 15 minutes when he secured the ball at the edge of the Cove box and sent a shot into the home goal that beat Stuart McKenzie all ends up.

Having got a foothold in the game it was important for Peterhead to settle for the task of going after an equaliser however they found themselves two goals behind again before the half-way mark of the first 45 minutes.

Megginson was again the scorer when he thumped home a cut back from Milne who had surged forward to accept a Connor Scully pass.

Megginson was denied a hat-trick on 28 minutes when Long made a save with Andy McDonald seeing an effort on the home goal flash wide and Grant Savoury having a shot blocked by McKenzie.

As the first half drew to a close McAllister fired wide and as the teams trooped off at 3-1 to the hosts it felt that the next goal in the game was going to be crucial.

Unfortunately for McInally’s men the fifth strike of the game went to Cove and it came just two minutes into the restart when Milne slotted past Long from six yards after being set-up by Blair Yule.

Peterhead had a mountain to climb now and that mountain almost grew taller when Mark Reynolds let fly from 18 yards however his shot cleared Long’s bar.

Scully lobbed against the top of the bar before McDonald reminded everyone of Peterhead’s intent with a stinging 20-yard effort that McKenzie did well to clasp.

Milne grabbed his second goal of the afternoon 14 minutes from time when he found a corner of the net after Megginson returned an earlier favour by rolling the ball into his path.

That goal prompted a hat-trick of substitutions from manager McInally which included the welcome sight of Gary Fraser returning after nearly 15 months out of action with a knee problem.

The visitors continued to try and play football as opposed to hiding and they pulled a goal back seven minutes from time when McLean charged down a clearance from McKenzie before lashing the ball into an empty net from close range.

Peterhead – Long, Cairns, Quitongo (Cook 89), McDonald, Want, McCarthy (Duffy 87), Ritchie, S Brown (Fraser 75), McLean, Savoury (Conroy 75), Jack Brown (Jordon Brown 75).

Unused substitutes – Cullen (G/k)