Montrose 3 Peterhead 0

Nov 6, 2022

Just in case anyone thought that the Gods of Football had thrown everything adverse they could at Peterhead this season up popped two own goals as the Blue Toon went down 3-0 at Montrose. Both sides cancelled each other out in the first half however unfortunate interventions from Ryan Strachan and David Wilson had the three points staying at Links Park before Matthew Wright tapped in a last minute third.
Julien Carre dropped out of manager Jim McInally’s starting XI due to suspension and Connor O’Keefe came in as a replacement as the Balmoor men looked to build on a solid display against Edinburgh City last time out. The visitors made a promising start with Matty Allan forced to concede a corner after two minutes however no danger threatened. Both teams were finding it hard to establish any attacking rhythm in the opening 15 minutes however former Peterhead favourite Rory McAllister brought out a save from Tom Ritchie after darting into the visitors’ box. McInally’s men took the game to the other end and O’Keefe forced Ross Sinclair into a save with a shot from the left-hand side of the box. On 19 minutes another former Peterhead player, Paul Watson, tried to catch Ritchie out with a long-range effort however his effort cleared the bar. McAllister had a shot blocked by team-mate Cammy Ballantyne before Jason Brown was booked on 25 minutes for what appeared to be time-wasting. Just before the half hour mark Montrose thought they had opened up the visiting defence when Graham Webster broke free only for an offside flag to halt his progress. Peterhead took the resultant free-kick quickly and worked their way to the edge of the home box where O’Keefe teed up Danny Strachan with Sinclair in a good position to save the wing-back’s driven effort. Ritchie made a smart stop from a Michael Gardyne shot before Peterhead broke rapidly to the other end on 38 minutes where Florent Hoti slipped a pass to O’Keefe and his cross looked perfect for Ryan Dow but Andrew Steeves intercepted to turn the ball behind. Five minutes from the break McAllister volleyed over with Michael Hewitt denied by Sinclair just before the whistle to signal the end of the first 45 minutes.
Montrose started the second half as the better side and after Watson had two attempts at the Peterhead goal Gardyne and Steeves combined on 54 minutes to create a chance for Ballantyne which the midfielder fired wide. Two minutes later the Gable Endies made the breakthrough when another cross from Steeves flicked off the head of Ryan Strachan and rolled past Ritchie. Andrew McCarthy was introduced for O’Keefe shortly afterwards and after Gardyne had fired an opening over Wilson came on for the booked Brown on 64 minutes. With 17 minutes left manager McInally looked to pep things up in attack by bringing on Jordon Brown for Jack Brown with the Blue Toon surviving a scare when McAllister found the net only to be judged offside. A second Peterhead player scored at the wrong end as Wilson just managed to beat Allan to a corner on 78 minutes only to see his header slip past Ritchie. That goal allowed Montrose to consolidate in defence and there was no way through for the visitors with a final goal coming just before the end when Craig Brown ran clear and unselfishly passed to fellow substitute Wright to tap in.
Peterhead – Ritchie, Walusimbi, Ryan Strachan, Jason Brown (Wilson 66), Danny Strachan, Hewitt, Hoti, Jack Brown (Jordon Brown 74), Wilkie, Dow, Dow O’Keefe (McCarthy 58) Unused substitutes – McDonald, Asare, Scullion, McGale, Murray, Wood (G/k).
Manager Jim McInally post-match –