By Neil Hobson
It’s still relatively early days in our campaign, but Peebles Rovers will be delighted at the emphatic way they responded to the last three matches.
Off the back of three straight seven-nil defeats, Rovers enjoyed a goal-glut of their own – battering sorry Tweedmouth into submission.
It’s a compliment to the Peebles that they still strolled this match whilst losing both Ross Forrest and Jamie Mackay to injury – the former pulling his hamstring, whilst the latter picked up a heavy knock.
It was little surprise to see Rovers win by so much, given Tweedmouth’s sorry form in the league: winless in all ten matches played so far.
Rovers wired into Rangers from the off, their passion fulled by the heavy defeats of the past few weeks.
It quickly became apparent that Tweedmouth lacked the guile and creativity to do any real damage in front of goal – which ruthless Rovers took full advantage of.
Alan McMath, so often the talisman this season, was the first to draw blood – smashing the ball past Bevridge to open the scoring after just 11 minutes.
Tweedmouth scarcely had the time to think before Peebles followed up with the second, as Ross Lamb skillfully cut inside on the right-hand side to blast the ball home.
Saul Schulz-Keith and Gregor Lamb added two more to make it 4-0 at half-time, gone was the lack of confidence that hindered Peebles in their past three games.
The scariest thing for Tweedmouth was the wastefulness of Rovers in terms of chances, with Schulz-Keith missing a grand opportunity early in the second-half after the ball was served up on a platter. In fairness, the former Tynecastle man would add another goal to his tally whilst also assisting a further four.
Still, 4-0 going into the break isn’t to be sniffed at – even if Rangers gave more of a helping hand to their own demise with their slack defending in open play and set-pieces.
An open back-line and a toothless attack was always going to hurt Tweedmouth, exemplified beautifully in the second-half when Rovers defender Ben Brown outfought and outshone every Tweedmouth attacker.
With every passing week, Alan McMath is returning to the sparkling form that made him the scourge of Border Amateur football – evidenced in a terrific second-half showing which saw him notch twice to secure the match ball; his third hat-trick of the season.
Saul Schulz-Keith then bagged a second strike for himself on 90 minutes – calmly tucking the ball home from close-range after hoovering up a loose Tweedmouth pass.
By then, Rovers had amassed a huge lead – as Rangers became a speck in the distance.
Peebles: McGinley, Mackay, Brown, Forrest, Fleming, R Lamb, G Lamb, Schulz-Keith, J Smith, McMath, Renwick
Subs: Lindsay, Dodds, Sterricks