By Neil Hobson
Five goals, two red cards and a penalty. Needless to say, Rovers’ final league match until the end of October was a hectic one.
In an almost fitting metaphor for how the game was going to go, Gregor Lamb opened the scoring after just 17 seconds – one of the quickest goals ever scored in Rovers history.
And what a goal it was as well, a peach of the highest order. Picking up the ball from 25-yards out, the midfielder moved forward before unleashing a clean thunderbolt that whistled past a stranded Jamie Shiel.
It was a thrilling opening to the match, but it didn’t quite lead to the dominance that Rovers perhaps expected after such a quick opener.
Wasting no time in hitting back, the Streamers surged forward like a co-ordinated team of fighter jets.
Shane Bonnington flew down the left, with James Dodds running after him in hot pursuit as Coldstream hurtled towards the Rovers goal.
Dodds gave a good chase, but pulled his man down in the box – leading to Referee Jonathan Gall pointing to the spot.
Kris Dixon stepped up, sending McGinley the wrong way to hand Grant Davidson’s men a lifeline on nine minutes.
Coldstream, riding forward on a wave of renewed optimism, began to throttle the life out of the Peebles defence – with Ben Brown and Ross Forrest standing firm against a blue tide.
Ben McGinley was on hand to keep the dream alive, pulling two sensational saves out of his hat to keep the home side at bay.
Rossi’s team knew they had to retaliate if they were to escape Home Park with all three points – with Alan McMath stepping forward once more to save the day.
On the back of a superb ball from Ross Lamb, McMath evaded the central defensive pairing of Ben Jackson and Cameron Beasley.
Taking a moment to spin away from the danger, the hitman needed no invitation in tucking a sweet effort past Shiel. Rovers were back in control at 2-1 after 27 minutes.
Ross Lamb set up McMath for that second goal, with Speedy obviously keen to re-pay his supplier.
McMath hit a magnificent pass towards Lamb with the former Gala man racing off, before hitting a powerful effort that flew past the ‘keeper.
Again, this still didn’t lead to Rovers dominance – with the away side soon made to pay after Dixon pulled one back soon after.
Breaking clear of a dazed defence, the big forward rampaged off before smashing the ball into the back of the net.
Whilst the second half didn’t quite have the entertainment value of the first, there was still plenty to discuss for fans on the sidelines.
Shane Bonnington was involved in a running feud with several Rovers players after going toe-to-toe with a solid Jamie Mackay.
Bonnington evidently grew more frustrated as the game wore on, with the red card flashed at him by Gall on 62 minutes coming as surprise to no one.
With a first yellow picked up in the first-half: a late challenge on Colin Smith paved the way for an early shower for Bonnington.
Alas, Rovers couldn’t quite hold the moral high-ground in terms of discipline – with a card happy ref booking numerous Peebles players.
Indeed, Ross Forrest’s sending-off on 74 minutes, after picking up a second yellow, saw the odds evened.
Ger Rossi’s men held out however, seeing the game to it’s end to secure all three points ahead of next wee’s big clash against Gretna.
Peebles: McGinley, Dodds, Forrest, Brown, Mackay, Rossi, R Lamb, G Lamb, McMath, Smith, McEwan
Subs: Sterricks, Schulz-Keith, Cockburn, Newell, Renwick, Zavaroni
Man of the Match: Ben McGinley