BLUE TOON HOME SETBACK
Defender Stevenson’s disappointment as Peterhead tumble to another bad result at Balmoor
“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
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