Peterhead reach play-off final with fine win against Stirling

Rory McAllister.
Picture by Darrell Benns
Rory McAllister. Picture by Darrell Benns

Peterhead saw off Stirling Albion 3-0 at Balmoor to take them into the League One play-off final.

After a nervy start it turned into a fine display from the Blye Toon who will face Stenhousemuir in the final with the first leg at Ochilview on Wednesday night and the return next Saturday at Balmoor.

The Binos started better in the early stages with a strong wind behind them.

Darren Smith should have headed in Ross McGeachie’s cross on four minutes, but his effort from close range was straight at Greg Fleming.

McGeachie sent in some dangerous crosses and also fired over from the edge of the box.

But the Blue Toon grew into the game with Willie Gibson setting up Rory McAllister but Albion keeper Cameron Binnie blocked the shot with his feet.

On 35 minutes the keeper made a great stop to thwart Scott Brown. McAllister cut the ball back from the right and Brown’s strike from 10 yards looked destined for the net, but Binnie pushed it over.

Six minutes from half-time Peterhead were ahead when Gibson’s corner from the right was powerfully headed home by Mason Robertson from 12 yards.

That makes it two goals in two games for Robertson who netted the only goal in the first leg at Forthbank.

The Blue Toon started the second half well and 12 minutes after the interval they made the tie safe.

Russell McLean’s cross from the right was headed away by George Stanger, Scott Brown gathered possession and picked out McAllister who finished from 14 yards.

Peterhead added a third on 65 minutes when Scott Brown slipped Aidan McIlduff in on the right of the area and Jason Brown turned home his cross.

Jim McInally’s men could have added more to the scoreline, but three was enough to take them to the play-off final.

Peterhead: Greg Fleming, Jamie Stevenson, Jason Brown, Mason Robertson, Aidan McIlduff; Scott Brown, Simon Ferry, Willie Gibson, Jack Leitch (Allan Smith 59), Rory McAllister (Karim Belmokhtar 72), Russell McLean (Jordon Brown 66).

Teams not used: Fraser Hobday, Aaron Norris, Chris Johnston, Scott Adams.

Stirling Albion: Cameron Binnie, Ross McGeachie, Ewan McNeil (Neil McLaughlin 61), George Stanger, Darren Barr, Andrew Black (Sean Dickson 68), Liam Caddis, Daniel Jardine, Peter MacDonald, Darren Smith (Steven Noble 78), Ross Kavanagh.

Subs not used: Craig Wight, Ross Smith, Kyle Banner.