Peebles Rovers 1 Ormiston 0
Rovers were far from their best in this East of Scotland league encounter but still managed to leave Whitestone Park with the three points as a solitary Alan McMath strike separated the two sides.
Ormiston were first to show their attacking intensions but two quick fire long range efforts were comfortably dealt with by Ben McGinley. After this early spell, Ger Rossi’s side began to exert some influence on the game with Michael McDermott in particular moving the ball around well in midfield. Last week’s hero Frankie Arthur tried his luck again from just outside the box but his shot was blocked and Scott Sutherland’s follow up came back off the bar and was cleared to safety by the Ormiston back line. Peebles kept the pressure on though and a nicely weighted through ball from Lee Zavaroni picked out the on rushing McMath who drove the ball low past the advancing ‘keeper on 16 minutes to put Rovers in front. Unfortunately, this early promise faded and there was little fluency to Rovers’ play as they increasingly failed to get to grips with a heavy, bobbly pitch.
Ormiston’s efforts were mostly confined to long range efforts from Dylan Clark and Declan Heron before a mix up in the Peebles midfield gifted them a chance to break for an equaliser but the excellent Ben Brown was on hand to snuff out the danger. McMath had a chance to double his tally as he latched onto a loose ball in the middle of the box but Reece Small was quick off his line to smother Speedy’s effort. As half time approached, Ormiston were beginning to look more menacing going forward. Some slack defending allowed a break on the right side but the striker’s header from the resultant cross went narrowly wide, letting Rovers off the hook.
Into the second half, Ormiston started by far the sharper side and twice in quick succession McGinley had to save low at the post with his feet to keep Peebles lead intact. He produces an even more spectacular diving save shortly afterwards, turning a powerful effort from the edge of the box away for a corner.
However, Ormiston’s revival was to be dealt a blow on the hour mark with captain Clark being given a straight red card for his involvement in an incident following an ugly challenge on McMath. Rovers then had another spell of dominance as they tried to take advantage of their numerical advantage, Arthur shooting into the side netting after a cut back from Sutherland. A smart through ball from Jack Smith to substitute Michael McEwan gave the home side a great chance to double their lead as he was brought down by the onrushing Small but Zavaroni’s penalty was a perfect height for Small to make amends.
This seemed to boost the away side’s confidence that they could salvage something from the match and they finished by far the stronger of the two sides. A looping header from Sutherland from a McMath cross came off the bar but this was to be Rovers’ last real opportunity. Ross Glass had to be alert to clear a header off the line from a corner then a dangerous free kick went over McGinley’s attempted punched clearance, leaving a guilt edged opportunity for Ormiston to equalise but a magnificent block on the line from Brown saved the day. Into injury time, a final throw of the dice from Ormiston almost saw them on level terms again but a close range back post header was straight at McGinley.
Ben Brown was the pick of the bunch for a below-par Rovers, Ben McGinley once again provided a safe pair of hands, Alan McMath was industrious as ever while Michael McDermott looked dangerous any time he had the ball on his left foot. It was far from a vintage performance though and Ger Rossi will be hoping for better in two weeks’ time when his side travel to face an improving Burntisland Shipyard.