City achieved their first-ever win over Peterhead in a tough match at Balmoor Stadium on Saturday, when a second-half goal from Blair Henderson was the only difference between the two sides.
The afternoon was sunny but there was a strong breeze down the pitch which caused problems for both teams. James McDonaugh was able to field the same eleven which performed so well against Clyde the previous week. City kicked off with the wind in their favour, but the early chances went to the home team, and it took a stupendous double save by Antell in 6 minutes, from Lyle and then Leitch, to keep the scoreline blank.
Having weathered the storm, City went on the attack. In 18 minutes Handling headed just wide from a Black free-kick, Blair Henderson came close on a couple of occasions and Thomson shot just wide from a direct free-kick near the touchline. The last fifteen minutes of the first half was a grim midfield tussle, punctuated with several fouls by both sides and yellow cards for Andy Black and Keiran Stewart.
With the wind at their backs Peterhead went all out for the opening goal, with Antell saving from McAllister and Lyle in quick succession while Stevenson’s long-range shot was blocked. The action then switched to the other end, and in 52 minutes McIntyre threaded a ball through to Shepherd, whose point-blank shot was palmed away by Fleming. Taylor was first to react, looping the ball to the back post where Blair Henderson, brushing off a challenge from Jason Brown, swept forward to head home from a couple of yards out.
Peterhead’s attempts to equalise were intense, and the home club had four players booked during the second half. City were under pressure as McLean and Eadie each headed wide from setpieces, but in general the Peterhead strikeforce were stifled and City were always looking to hit on the break – but the closest they were to come was in 74 minutes when substitute Allan Smith broke free to get on the end of a Handling cross but mis-kicked from a few yards out. At the other end, Calum Antell confidently held a couple of speculative high balls into the box.
The home side piled on the pressure as full-time approached, Lyle shooting wide in the final minute as City for once failed to clear their lines, but the visitors managed to hang on through three agonising minutes of time added on to get that precious victory and a place at the top of the table.
Supporters’ Club Man of the Match: Blair Henderson