With all to play for at Ochilview Park, a win for Stenhousemuir would see them level on points at the top with leaders Peterhead, whilst a Blue Toon victory would have seen Peterhead go 5 points clear of 2nd place Dumbarton.
STARTING XI: McKenzie, Ross, R. Strachan, Jas. Brown (C), Goldie, McKee, Jack Brown, Jo. Brown, O’Keefe, Shanks, McAllister.
With the rain making for a slippery artificial surface, Joe McKee takes centre stage and gets the match underway. The opening minutes saw end-to-end football however little goalscoring opportunities presented for either side. The first attempt of the match came after 16 minutes from Peterhead through Jordon Brown whose shot caused minimal trouble for Stenhousemuir goalkeeper Jamieson. After an opening spell with plenty of possession turnovers, the hosts came into the game and were enjoying positive spells of possession. It was not long before they found the back of the net however; as through a fluid counter attack, it was midfielder Anderson who tapped the ball past McKenzie to break the deadlock. It seemed the hosts were not satisfied with a 1 goal lead and were keen to keep Peterhead on the defensive. 5 minutes after the first, Stenhousemuir doubled their lead through Adam Brown when his incredible strike from 25 yards out found the top corner. With Peterhead visibly frustrated, early yellow cards for Goldie and Jordon Brown meant they were the first two entries into the referee’s book. As The Blue Toon looked to grab a goal before the interval, McKee’s free kick effort from similar territory to his winner on Saturday was calmly collected by Jamieson. Jason Brown was the next Peterhead player to test Jamieson, however his headed effort from a McKee delivery was denied by the Stenhousemuir shot-stopper.
HT: Stenhousemuir 2 – 0 Peterhead.
With the hosts enjoying a 2 goal advantage at Ochilview Park, it was their turn to kick off after half-time. With Stenhousemuir restarting in similar fashion to the way they played during the first half, it was forward Yates who had the first shot on goal however his effort from distance bendt narrowly wide of the far post. After a narrow escape from enduring a 3-0 deficit, Peterhead come into their own and turned the game on its head. For the first time in the match, Stenhousemuir had to defend for an extended period of time as The Blue Toon enjoyed more of the ball and attempts from O’Keefe and Jack Brown were fired off target. One Strachan made way for another after 66 minutes when Danny replaced Ryan in Peterhead’s first tactical change of the evening. Desperate to cling onto their precious lead, Aitken and Bilham both saw yellow for the hosts followed by a double tactical change of O’Rielly and Lynch off, Meechan and Berry on. With 15 minutes of the 90 remaining, Peterhead responded with an attacking double change as Jordon Brown and Conor O’Keefe made way for Robert Ward and Aaron Reid. McKenzie did brilliantly and in similar fashion to Saturday as through a well worked counter attack, Aitken found himself through 1-on-1 with The Blue Toon goalkeeper however McKenzie defended his goal well and avoided Stenhousemuir adding a 3rd to their tally. A final attack-minded change of the evening came from the hosts as they looked to get that all important 3rd goal that would see them clinch the top spot of League 2 as Taylor replaced Yates. With the young substitute eager to help his side after being sidelined for a period of time due to injury, Ross Taylor terrorised The Blue Toon defence during the dying minutes at Ochilview Park however The Blue Toon defended well in order to remain at the top of League 2.
FT: Stenhousemuir 2 – 0 Peterhead.
A miserable evening in Falkirk ended in defeat for Peterhead, Stenhousemuir drew level on points with Peterhead at the top of the League 2 table however The Blue Toon remain marginally ahead by a +1 goal difference.
We thank everyone who made the long midweek trip down to Falkirk, your unwavering support is always appreciated. We now turn to Saturday where Peterhead’s next test is another away fixture at Ainslie Park to face Spartans.