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The Press and Journal (North-East) - - THESCORE -

It was far from a clas­sic on a flat, life­less Clifton­hill pitch but sec­ond-half goals from Ryan Dow and sub­sti­tute Rus­sell McLean were enough to main­tain Peter­head’s ti­tle chal­lenge.

The Blue Toon were forced to play sec­ond fid­dle to a Rovers side bat­tling to get off bot­tom spot dur­ing a turgid first half but a much-im­proved per­for­mance af­ter the break saw Jim McI­nally’s team pre­vail.

Peter­head de­fender Mick Dun­lop agreed that it was sim­ply a case of job done.

He said: “The pitch was not great, and they put us un­der a lot of pres­sure in the first half with the wind be­hind them.

“How­ever, we de­fended well and Greg Flem­ing was not re­ally trou­bled in our goal.

“In the sec­ond half we were a lot bet­ter and over­all we de­served the win.”

The game started brightly with a Derek Lyle back-heel set­ting up Rory McAl­lis­ter who drilled wide from 20 yards.

McAl­lis­ter limped off to be re­placed by Wil­lie Gib­son on 26 min­utes and lit­tle else hap­pened in the first half apart from Cameron Eadie head­ing a cor­ner over and a half-hearted ap­peal for a penalty when Dow went down with home goal­keeper Peter Mor­ri­son in close at­ten­dance.

Bal­moor man­ager McI­nally earned his corn at half-time as Dun­lop re­vealed: “The man­ager told us that we had to do bet­ter. Al­bion Rovers had been bet­ter than us and we were told that we had to match their en­thu­si­asm and en­deav­our. If we did that the man­ager said our qual­ity would come through and it did.”

Boosted by McI­nally’s en­cour­age­ment, the sec­ond half started brightly with Lyle al­most be­ing re­leased by a Gib­son through ball.

How­ever, the Blue Toon only had to wait three min­utes into the restart for a goal.

Jamie Steven­son lofted a high cross into the home box and Mor­ri­son flapped un­der pres­sure from Dow who main­tained his com­po­sure to nod the loose ball home.

Dun­lop said: “Ryan had not played at Clifton­hill be­fore but he just got on with it.

“He showed his value with his goal and it is good to have him signed per­ma­nently.”

A Lyle lob from 30 yards was caught by Mor­ri­son be­fore Peter­head added their sec­ond with 19 min­utes left.

Scott Brown won the ball at the edge of the home box and slipped in McLean who picked his spot be­fore slot­ting home.

Dun­lop added: “Af­ter los­ing last week­end to Clyde it was im­por­tant to come to a dif­fi­cult venue and get a re­sult.

“We lost our main striker as well, so it was not easy but we got the points.”

JU­BI­LA­TION: Peter­head’s Rus­sell McLean cel­e­brates his sec­ond-half goal with team-mates Cameron Eadie and Scott Brown at Clifton­hill

Jim McI­nally: Found pitch dif­fi­cult

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