East Fife 2 Peterhead 2

Jan 23, 2024

Peterhead were on the road again on Saturday as The Blue Toon faced East Fife at the Bayview Stadium.

Saturday’s clash was the third time the two teams have met this season and Peterhead’s second trip to the Bayview Stadium; the first being the opening match of the 2023/2024 League 2 campaign. It is Peterhead who have had the success in this fixture in recent meetings; with Peterhead unbeaten in their last five outings and East Fife failing to score against The Blue Toon in their last four.

Starting XI: McKenzie, Goldie, Ross (C), R. Strachan, D. Strachan, Duffy, Jo. Brown, Pawlett, Jack Brown, Ritchie, Shanks.

As The Blue Toon looked to continue their good form in this fixture, new signing Flynn Duffy came straight into the starting lineup whilst Alfie Stewart made the bench. It was Peterhead’s Jordon Brown who kicked things off at Bayview Stadium as The Blue Toon were quick off the mark and had two long range attempts in the opening minutes soar over the East Fife crossbar. It wasn’t long however before the hosts posed a threat to the Peterhead goal as a long ball over The Blue Toon defence fell to East Fife striker Nathan Austin. Austin did well to make space in the Peterhead box and managed to turn  and curl his effort into the far side of the net and past Stuart McKenzie. With East Fife on the front foot, Caleb Goldie did well to prevent the scoreline doubling as he cleared Austin’s effort off the line; once again courtesy of a through ball behind the Peterhead defence. From the corner conceded by Goldie, many premature celebrations echoed around Bayview Stadium from The Fifers as midfielder McManus connected with the cross on the edge of the box; however his low driven shot was narrowly wide of goal. East Fife defender Jonathan Page was the first player to enter the referees book as Shanks was hauled down during a Peterhead attack. As The Blue Toon fought off the East Fife pressure from a sequence of corners, it was Page who rose highest to win the header and beat McKenzie at the near post to double The Fifers’ lead. With Peterhead playing most of their football in their own half, Hamish Ritchie managed to break through however Peterhead’s first real chance of the match was off target. As Peterhead began to come into the game, Jordon Brown latched on the end of a ball over the top and was subsequently brought down by Page and The Blue Toon were awarded a penalty. Shanks stepped up and guideed his attempt to the bottom right corner; East Fife goalkeeper Allan Fleming dived the same way and after tipping the ball onto the post, then rolling and hitting the opposite post, the hosts clear all danger as Peterhead continued their search for a breakthrough.

HT: East Fife 2 – 0 Peterhead.

After a dominant first half from East Fife, Peterhead came out after the interval and looked to turn the game around and pin back the hosts. One change at half time introduced Conor O’Keefe who replaced Caleb Goldie. It was Hamish Ritchie who had the first opportunity after the re-start; this time in the form of a free kick from 25 yards, however his effort was blocked by the East Fife wall. With the match looking more of a contest, Jordon Brown found space with the ball on the edge of the East Fife penalty area and managed to bend a shot into the far side of the net and beat Fleming. As the deadlock for Peterhead was broken, a second Blue Toon change of the afternoon welcomed Rory McAllister to the pitch as Hamish Ritchie was replaced. With 67 minutes played, East Fife made their first change as Ryan Schiavone replaced Brogan Walls; closely followed by Peterhead making their final substitutes of the day. Goalscorer Jordon Brown and Peter Pawlett made way for Robert Ward and Alfie Stewart. As both sides searched for a goal for different reasons, the hosts had a free kick on the edge of the Peterhead box however Nathan Austin’s chances of a brace diminished as his effort was off target. With 15 minutes of regular time to play, Scott Shepherd made way for Sean Docherty as East Fife made their final change of the afternoon. As the match progressed, chances opened up at both ends of the pitch for both teams, however neither side were able to capitalise as McKenzie and Fleming defended their goals well. In the dying moments, McKenzie sent a long ball forward, met by the head of McAllister and flicked on to Shanks. Shanks ran at Fleming and played a square pass to Scott Ross who fired the ball into the open goal to rescue a point for Peterhead.

FT: East Fife 2 – 2 Peterhead.

With the last kick of the game, Scott Ross scored his 6th goal of the season and arguably his most vital as The Blue Toon came from behind to rescue a point at Bayview Park.