BLUE TOON HOME SET­BACK

De­fender Steven­son’s dis­ap­point­ment as Peter­head tum­ble to another bad re­sult at Bal­moor

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - THE SCORE -

“The match was still dead­locked af­ter an in­cred­i­ble miss by Peter­head”

PETER­HEAD 0 BERWICKRANGERS 2

Peter­head full back Jamie Steven­son has ad­mit­ted the Blue Toon must quickly re­dis­cover their home form af­ter Ber­wick’s League 2 win at Bal­moor on Satur­day.

Af­ter back-to-back away vic­to­ries against Cow­den­beath and Ed­in­burgh, Jim McI­nally’s men con­ceded two goals in the lat­ter stages on Satur­day in a match low on qual­ity.

Oliver Flem­ing made the break­through in the 74th minute and then Michael McKenna made sure of the points with seven min­utes re­main­ing as the hosts’ win­less run on their own patch stretched to three games.

Steven­son said: “It is dis­ap­point­ing be­cause we had a bit of mo­men­tum af­ter a cou­ple of good away wins. It was the same against Mon­trose on our last game at Bal­moor. We should al­ways be look­ing to take three points at home.

“That is two home games on the trot we have dropped five points but the only sav­ing grace is that we have plenty of time to make up for it.

“We just need to be more pen­e­tra­tive up front and cre­ate more op­por­tu­ni­ties, although the two goals we lost were the re­sult of some school­boy stuff. If we are go­ing to con­cede as cheaply as that, we will strug­gle to win.”

Greg Flem­ing pulled off a fine dou­ble save to stop Ber­wick from tak­ing a 29th-minute lead. Flem­ing de­nied Aaron Mur­rell, who got his shot away af­ter peel­ing off to the back post, and then the home goal­keeper got up quickly to keep out the for­ward’s fol­low-up ef­fort.

The wood­work de­nied the Blue Toon from mak­ing the break­through three min­utes be­fore the in­ter­val. Wil­lie Gib­son stood up a cross, which was met by Ma­son Robert­son but his tow­er­ing eight-yard header bounced back off the cross­bar.

The match was still dead­locked af­ter an in­cred­i­ble miss from Peter­head mid­fielder Jack Leitch on the hour mark. Jamie Steven­son played in Ai­den McIl­duff, who rolled the ball across goal for Leitch but, from just two yards out, the for­mer Air­drie player some­how spooned the ball over the cross­bar.

Ber­wick went in front from a set-piece. Chris McDon­ald clipped in a free kick to the back post and Oliver Flem­ing beat Scott Brown to the ball to prod in from close range. The Border­ers put the seal on the vic­tory as the hosts, push­ing for a lev­eller, were caught on the break and McKenna rounded Greg Flem­ing be­fore steer­ing his shot in off the cross­bar.

Goalscorer McKenna said: “In the first half, there was not much qual­ity but af­ter half­time Peter­head, be­ing the home team, went chas­ing a bit more.

“That suited us be­cause we have good legs in the team and we were able to open them up.” Peter­head man­ager Jim McI­nally has warned his play­ers to tighten up af­ter two softly con­ceded goals proved cru­cial in their League 2 de­feat by Ber­wick.

With the game still goal­less go­ing into the last quar­ter, the Blue Toon looked like­li­est to go on and win. But fail­ure to deal with a free kick saw them trail and then they lost a killer sec­ond from their own cor­ner kick.

McI­nally said: “I could not see us con­ced­ing but we lost a goal from a set-piece for the sec­ond home game in a row.

“In this league, that is the one thing that is go­ing to hurt us and it has hurt us here in the last cou­ple of games with peo­ple not do­ing their jobs.

“Scott Brown said he was not sure whether to kick or leave the ball but, from my point of view, he had to deal with it.

“That cost us dearly and the sec­ond goal came off our cor­ner kick, which is ridicu­lous, re­ally. “That should not hap­pen.” The Bal­moor man­ager con­tin­ued: “We got to half-time com­fort­ably enough in the windy con­di­tions and then we were camped in the Ber­wick half for at least 20 min­utes in the sec­ond half.

“But the qual­ity we have in the fi­nal third did not shine through and we did not have a bit of magic from any­one and the stan­dard of the cross­ing for the play­ers we have was poor.”

It was cer­tainly a frus­trat­ing af­ter­noon for Peter­head, who be­gan the day in sec­ond spot in League 2 and with lead­ers Stir­ling Al­bion throw­ing away a two-goal lead against El­gin, it was a chance missed to cut the gap.

McI­nally added: “That is five points we have shipped here in the last cou­ple of home games and then we find out that Stir­ling have drawn 2-2.

“The play­ers just need to dust them­selves down and move on and try and make sure that when we do have that dom­i­nance in games, that we cre­ate a bit more es­pe­cially with the qual­ity we have got.”

Ber­wick’s win was es­pe­cially sweet for their man­ager Rob­bie Horn, who played in a heavy de­feat at Bal­moor in 2008.

Horn said: “I have no idea when last Ber­wick won here but I was on the end of a 9-2 ham­mer­ing.

“I re­mem­ber I came on as a sub­sti­tute when we were 7-1 down, so this re­sult wipes away a bit of that mem­ory.

“This is fan­tas­tic re­sult for us.”

“The sec­ond goal came off our cor­ner kick, which is ridicu­lous, re­ally

HIGH AND MIGHTY: Peter­head’s David McCracken clears from Ber­wick’s Kevin Thom­son

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