Peterhead made the long trip South to play Annan Athletic in the SPFL Trust Trophy and in extremely humid conditions carved out a convincing 2-0 win which sees them through into the third round.
It had been an early start for the players and fans alike making the 500+ mile round trip but co-managers Jordon Brown and Ryan Strachan were keen to extinguish the disappointment of the last 2 games where both ended in defeats. Changes were abound with Jordan Armstrong, Kieran Shanks, Jordon Brown, Joe McKee and Conor O’Keefe all making starts from the previous loss last week at Stranraer.
It was evident from the opening period of play that The Blue Toon were in no mind to give their hosts an easy afternoon with Rory McAllister and Kieran Shanks giving their defence cause for worry. McAllister watched his early effort narrowly trundle past the upright.
Although Annan were quick to break and produced a number of good chances they failed to capitalise and extort any real authority in the final third and Peterhead began to boss the game with constant forays forward into dangerous positions.
The first goal came on 15 minutes following good work on the right from McAllister. He weaved his way through the home defence and managed to thread a pass through to McCarthy. The midfielder, not known for his scoring, was running into the six yard box and connected perfectly with the pass and flicked the ball over Fleming from short range in a rather congested penalty area.
Chances were produced by both teams throughout the half but no further scoring was witnessed and Peterhead went in a goal to the good at the break.
McAllister picked up a yellow card at the start of the second period but despite this he continued to be a physical presence up front and a good team move on 56 minutes resulted in goal number two for the visitors. Kieran Shanks, back from suspension, managed to break away, defeat the offside flag and with only Fleming to beat he curled a powerful well hit shot into the back of the net. It was thing of beauty from any angle and a fitting way to mark his return to action.
Annan tried to get back into the game and Goss missed two excellent headers in the space of minutes which may have made a difference to the ending but Peterhead showed great game management in seeing out the final part of the game and thoroughly deserved their win.
From Annan Manager Manager Peter Murphy post match: “Peterhead came down here and were very physical.We didn’t match up to that at all. McAllister came down here with Montrose, we knew what he was about but he did the exact same thing today so we need to do better. Disappointed we’ve lost the game.”
Peterhead Co-manager Jordon Brown: “We’ve had the two defeats in the league which have been disappointing, especially last weekend’s one at Stranraer, so we’re delighted to get back to winning ways. It’s especially pleasing given it was against a team in the league above and the boys did everything we asked of them. We know how important it is to get back to winning ways in the league. We’re not happy to have lost two on the bounce and now we have to get off the mark with our home form. We freshened the squad up and there is real competition for places. I’m sure once we get that first win at home we can really kick on. Getting Shanks back involved gave everyone a big lift and to have him and Rory up there together is hopefully the beginning of something special for them. Rory set-up both goals and could have had one himself and you can see the relationship they have already and I think they will be a handful for any defence. Rory did well down the right for the first goal and managed to cut the ball back for Andy. He made a good forward run which we’ve asked him to do more of which is great. Danny did really well for the second one, intercepting the ball and playing it through to Rory who teed up Shanks for a tremendous finish from the edge of the box. The two goals were terrific but we held our shape and defended really well. We looked back to the more familiar shape we’ve been playing.”