Preston Athletic 2-0 Peebles Rovers

By Neil Hobson

Rovers couldn’t replicate their magnificent opening day exploits as we fell to defeat at Pennypit against Preston Athletic.

Goals from Gavin Stevenson and Michael McFarlane saw the East Lothian side clinch the points despite a wonderful first-half performance from Rossi’s men.

Almost straight from the first blow of the whistle, the Rovers quickly set about their opponents in a stylish way.

Ross Lamb was at his industrious best as he pulled all the strings in the middle of the park, before hitting a thunderous strike from 25-yards out to give Sinclair Inglis an almighty fright in the Preston goal.

David Lindsay kept up this red and white onslaught, as he robbed McFarlane of the ball before hitting a sweet cross-field ball to Alan McMath.

The nippy striker carved through his marker before unleashing his shot, with Inglis diving to the rescue.

Preston soon hit back however, with the ever-looming figure of Jason Young testing McGinley with a neat half-volley from short-range following a Dean Knight cross.

In truth, Rovers dominated much of the first-half: enjoying the lion’s share of possession and territory as they hammered away on Preston’s door.

Gregor Lamb was unlucky to see two efforts palmed away by Inglis, with a creeping fear setting in as chance after chance fell away.

Somewhat inevitably, Preston took the lead on 41 minutes.

A swift break-away saw Gavin Stevenson swoop for a Jardine through-ball, with the front-man hitting a composed side-foot finish past McGinley.

HT: 1-0

Preston had grown in confidence after their goal, coming out at the break looking to get in our faces.

They went after set-pieces, looking to take advantage as the game became a battle.

McFarlane went close to adding a second from a McNaughton free-kick, with only the heroics of Ben McGinley enough to keep the game alive.

Alan McMath looked to even the odds as he whizzed off on a remarkable run beating both centre-halves, before hitting a shot from short-range which was pushed away.

By now, Rovers were fighting tooth-and-nail in their hunt for an equaliser; with a Zavaroni attempt headed off the line, after a McMath lay-off.

On 65 minutes, McFarlane prodded the ball home from close range to make it 2-0, a lead they wouldn’t surrender as they successfully saw out the game.

Peebles: McGinley, Mackay, Brown, Smith, Fleming, R. Lamb, G. Lamb (Renwick, “63), Lindsay (Schulz-Keith “77), McMath, Rossi, Zavaroni

Subs: Renwick & Schulz-Keith

 

 

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