Peterhead welcomed Stranraer to Balmoor on Saturday in The Blue Toon’s 11th fixture of League 2. Stranraer came out on top of the reverse fixture earlier in the season with a 2-1 victory however since then have endured a 5 match losing streak in the league; winning only once since they welcomed Peterhead to Stair Park.
STARTING XI: McKenzie, R. Strachan, Jas. Brown (C), Ross, Goldie, McKee, Jack Brown, O’Keefe, Ward, Shanks, McAllister.
After a morning of showers in Peterhead, the sun shone down on Balmoor in time for a two minute silence which was impeccably held. Joe McKee got the match underway with league leaders Peterhead having a point to prove. With neither side enjoying comfortable spells of possession, the first few early chances fell in favour of Peterhead as O’Keefe’s effort soared over the crossbar and a Shanks header from a McKee delivery was claimed by Budinauckas in the the Stranraer goal. With the Stranraer defence pinned back by The Blue Toon attack, Shanks drove into an area of space through the centre of the pitch where Stranraer attempted to stop the counter attack. Their defending efforts only fell to Rory McAllister who did what he does best and found the back of the net with his curling shot into the far bottom corner. With The Blue Toon in front and in control, Stranraer looked to hit Peterhead on the counter attack in the form of forward Ben Armour who found himself 1-on-1 with Stuart McKenzie. With a huge stop, McKenzie made himself big in the Peterhead goal to deny Armour’s effort and keep Stranraer at bay. After McKenzie’s heroics, Stranraer equalised through former Peterhead forward Ben Armour who after a cross into the Peterhead penalty area, tapped home from close range. With the scoreline level, Peterhead immediately looked to regain control of the match through Ward after another McKee delivery, Ward’s attempt was blocked by the face of Budinauckas. With McKee providing yet again another inch perfect delivery from the corner, the head of Scott Ross aimed towards goal and after some controversy, Kieran Shanks claims he got a touch on it and claimed Peterhead’s 2nd of the afternoon. With Stranraer enjoying a spell of possession before half time in an attempt to level the scoreline once again, Matthew Grant’s effort was denied by McKenzie to keep The Blue Toon in front going into the interval.
HT: Peterhead 2 – 1 Stranraer.
The visitors resumed play after half time and after enjoyable spells of possession from both sides and a yellow card apiece, McAllister took aim from range to grab his 2nd of the afternoon. After catching Budinauckas off his line and chipping the ball in from 25 yards, McAllister’s goal was chalked off having been adjudged to have been offside in the build up prior. His next effort would be a set piece in the form of a free kick from around 25 yards out; however his attempt flew high. With Peterhead pushing to put the game to bed, Shanks’ effort from the edge of the visitors’ penalty area was wide after Ward did well to find the forward in space. Against the run of play, a quick attack from Stranraer resulted in a corner and after failing to properly clear their lines, it was Caleb Goldie who turned the ball into his own net. Subsequently, Ward made way for Jordon Brown in Peterhead’s first replacement of the afternoon. With neither team looking like scoring, Peterhead were enjoying more possession as Jack Brown drove forward however his effort was narrowly wide. The Blue Toon made their 2nd substitute of the match as Aaron Reid was introduced to the match to replace Conor O’Keefe. As the final whistle drew nearer, the fixture looked as though both sides would share points at Balmoor; until Joe McKee stepped up. Awarded a free kick in similar territory as McAllister’s set piece effort earlier, McKee managed to loop his shot over the Stranraer wall and into the bottom corner; leaving Budinauckas with no chance. With Peterhead in front in injury time, a final tactical change saw Ryan Strachan make way for David Wilson to keep things tight for the dying minutes.
FT: Peterhead 3 – 2 Stranraer.
MOTM: Rory McAllister.
After the long trip up north, Stranraer may have felt aggrieved to leave Balmoor empty handed after a 5 goal thriller in Peterhead. The Blue Toon got their much anticipated revenge on Stranraer after the reverse fixture resulted in defeat earlier in the season. With now 6 league wins on the bounce for Jordon and Ryan, eyes immediately look to an away match against in-form Stenhousemuir on Tuesday evening.