Two GOALS from Peterhead striker Rory McAllister helped his side to a narrow victory over Montrose at Balmoor Stadium on Saturday.
It was barely what his team deserved after being outplayed by the Gable Endies over 90 minutes. The visitors passed the ball around well but couldn’t find the goals their play deserved.
Montrose go into the final four matches (three at Links Park) of another disappointing season looking for the points to stay above both Clyde and East Stirlingshire.
Manager Ray Farningham made two changes. Out went the suspended Alan Campbell and Steven McPhee and in came Sean Crighton and Terry Masson.
Peterhead created the first opening in the third minute when Martin Bavidge got free of the Montrose defence but he fired in a shot which Andrews saved before Lunan cleared the rebound.
Seconds later Crawford picked up the first booking of the match for what referee David Somers signalled to be a studs up challenge on McDonald.
The home side thought they had taken the lead in the fifth minute when a cross from McBain was headed on by Bavidge for full back Donald to net at the far post but the flag was raised for offside.
Montrose won a free kick when Johnston was fouled on the edge of the area but from 25 yards out Winter’s low shot went into the arms of ‘keeper Jellema.
The Gable Endies won another free kick as they kept up the pressure when Boyle was tripped. Cameron took the free from a wide area and this time he could only shoot into the arms of Jellema.
Peterhead opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Donald was allowed loads of space down the right and fired over the perfect cross for McALLISTER who powered home a header from six yards.
Montrose had a good chance to equalise in the 13th minute. Boyle turned his man and found Johnston inside the box. His low cross-cum-shot was just missed by the inrushing Boyle who had continued his run.
Montrose continued to put Peterhead under pressure and forced two corners, taken by Winter. From the second Sean Crighton rose at the near post but headed over.
Peterhead were forced to a change when Strachan was injured and he was replaced by on loan Dundee midfielder Webster.
In the 24th minute a pass from Jamie Winter found the gap and put Martin Boyle through on goal but he was taken out of play by Scott Ross who was lucky only to see yellow from referee Somers. Douglas Cameron took the free kick, but wasted the opportunity and blasted over the crossbar.
A corner from Jamie Winter caused problems for Jellema but he managed to hold the ball under the crossbar under pressure.
With five minutes of an entertaining first half left, Montrose were awarded another free kick after Peterhead captain Callum McDonald fouled Johnston. Winter played the ball into the box but again Sean Crighton headed over.
Half-time: Peterhead 1, Montrose 0.
Cameron played a great ball over the top of the Peterhead defence and Boyle was on it in a flash. He twisted at the edge of the box before firing over.
Montrose equalised when Peterhead failed to clear and this allowed Johnston into the area. He did well to reach the byeline before cutting back for the inrushing CRAWFORD who blasted home.
Three minutes later Winter thought he had put Boyle through with a killer pass but the youngster was given offside.
In the 62nd minute as Montrose continued to out-pass and out-think the home side they went so close to taking the lead. A long throw in from McNally found Winter some 20 yards out. He sent a low effort inches wide of the far post with Jellema beaten.
Peterhead made a strange substitution, taking off Webster who had only come on in the first half, and replacing him with Robertson.
The visitors were hit by a sucker punch in the 64th minute when Peterhead regained the lead against the run of play. Donald won the ball off Cameron on the touchline and found on-loan ex-Aberdeen player Russell Duncan who fired in a shot from 20 yards out. Andrews saved but couldn’t hold and McALLISTER was on it in a flash and chipped the ball into the empty net.
Sean Crighton became the second Montrose player to be booked, for a trip on McAllister.
Play was held up in the 74th minute when Lloyd Young picked up what seemed a nasty facial injury. He continued after treatment.
McAllister was sniffing about for a hat trick and in 77 minutes raced up the left wing and into the box before firing across goal. Crighton was on hand to cut out the cross and put the ball out for a corner.
Mr Farningham went for broke in the 85th minute, sending on all three substitutes McGowan, Dimilta and McPhee for Masson, Young and Cameron.
Dimilta won a free kick on the edge of the area after he was tripped. Winter took the kick and the ball broke to Johnston but he could only hook the ball over the crossbar from a few yards out at a difficult angle. In the first minute of stoppage time Peterhead made their final change, bringing on Lewis Davidson for McAllister.
In the final seconds Montrose won a corner and sent everybody forward bar Andrews and McNally; unfortunately McPhee’s corner bounced around the penalty area and was cleared by the home defence; with it went the Gable Endies chance of a fully deserved point.
Montrose – Andrews, McNally, Cameron (McPhee), Lunan, Crighton, Crawford, Masson (McGowan), Winter, Boyle, Johnston and Young (Dimilta). Substitute: S. Wood.