In what will arguably go down as one of the finest results of the season, Peebles Rovers kicked off 2017 with a bang as they comfortably secured all three points in a peerless performance at Home Park. The goals, courtesy of Jason Newell, Saul Schulz-Keith, and James Runciman, see the boys in red and white announce their intentions for the rest of the season in the finest of fashions.
The score-line postulates that Peebles won, but fails to reflect upon the healthy domination that allowed them to clinch the three points with apocalyptic gusto.
The match kicked-off in typical Rovers style: all action! Saul Schulz-Keith was an irrepressible force on the left, asking all the questions and causing a great deal of unease amongst the Streamer’s back-line.
But, his attacking diatribe was to yield little success until 25 minutes in, when the former Tynecastle man saw his scuffed shot land perfectly at the feet of Newell, who, and on his return from injury to boot, tucked away the chance with gleeful aplomb.
An explosive start, brought about by the certifiable footballing magic that the Rovers have conjured frequently, should have heralded an explosive end to the first half, but this wasn’t to be the case.
Coldstream pounced on a sloppy phase of play just before half-time, as they recovered the ball on the right-hand side. Rovers moved to repair the damage, but a flawless cross caught the Peebles back-line off guard as John Crawford pounced and headed the ball home with thunderous power to equalise.
Such a set-back barely registered on the ruthless Rover’s radar, as McMath led the resistance in his trademark manner, and came very close to firing Rovers back into the lead.
The striker sped off at a ferocious pace, and very nearly prodded the ball past Mark Walters in goal, but the experienced stopper rushed out with a last-minute block to deny Speedy a goal,
The Rovers just kept on going, and once again went agonisingly close to taking the lead as Rossi attempted a breath-taking 30-yard volley, which surprised just about everyone at Home Park, but was forced to watch it just whistle past the post.
Peebles came out the traps all guns blazing in the second 45, and once again got right in the faces of Grant Murray’s outfit.
However, Coldstream were more than willing to match fire with fire, and it took a solid display from a much-lauded Peebles defence to nullify most of the home’s sides attacks.
Colin Smith was the mastermind behind a masterful defensive showing, and was one of several outstanding performers.
His colleagues at the other end of the park were also enjoying a memorable shift, as the attacking quartet of McMath, Newell, Schulz-Keith and Renwick tormented the Coldstream defence with surgical precision.
Lindsay went close to firing the team into the lead after some delightful link-up play between himself and Speedy ended in his effort from outside the box narrowly missing the post.
The inevitable second goal came… for Peebles! Schulz-Keith was the man who turned the tables as he scored the crucial second by sneaking in at the back-post to cutely tuck the ball away, thereby sending a nervy support into frenzied celebrations.
The Rovers just needed to find that killer blow to put the competition to bed, and it was new singing Renwick who set up the guillotine.
He darted down the left-hand side, his pace and directness sowing havoc amongst the Coldstream back-line. Eventually, in the midst of the defensive madness, Renwick was recklessly chopped down, thereby sealing their own fate.
The referee pointed straight to the spot, and James Runciman was the man to swing the axe; and swing he did as he expertly converted the penalty to ensure all three points came back to Peebles!