Peebles Rovers returned to action on Saturday, with a pre-season clash against Upper Annandale at Moffat Academy.
On a somewhat grey day at the school, Rovers went down 2-1 to the South of Scotland outfit.
The match kicked-off in typically hectic style, with both teams looking to impose themselves early on in proceedings.
Michael Cockburn dashed off down the left, latching onto a cross-field ball from Jason Newell- ultimately being crowded out by a proactive Uppers defence.
The Uppers carved out their first chance on 11 minutes, with Ben Brown racing to shut down a sharp attack from Josh Usher- the Annandale man made his way past McGinley, but Brown came to the rescue and booted the ball to safety.
From the resulting corner, the home side smashed a sweet, dipping volley at McGinley- with the ‘keeper producing a magnificent fingertips save to keep the Moffat outfit at bay.
A prolonged spell of Uppers attacks followed, but the bouncer-esque figure of Ger Rossi served as a formidable shield to keep the home side out.
Rover’s first clear-cut chance came from a delightful Ross Lamb corner, with the debutant knocking in a sweet ball from the left- a ball that the looming figure of Grant Wilson rose to meet, only to see a terrific goal-line clearance to keep the scoresheet blank.
Quickly regaining their composure, a foul on Alan McMath opened the window of opportunity for Ross Lamb to smash a terrific free-kick at the Upper ‘keeper. The ball, with near-GPS accuracy; was destined to only wallop the crossbar and not the ‘keeper’s dreams of keeping a clean-sheet.
Alas, this spate of Peebles dominance wasn’t to last, with a punctual Uppers attack making it 1-0 to the home-side after 23 minutes. The Annandale wide man rampaged down the left, giving his marker the slip with a terrific move.
The ball whizzed in from short-range, and Josh Usher was there to gobble up the chance and stab the ball home.This set-back scarcely registered on the Rovers’ radar however, and Gregor Lamb quickly put himself to work- making off like a bandit by robbing the full-back of the ball and galloping away down the left.
Lamb carved his way through, before hitting a gift-wrapped ball into the box. Alan McMath went to scoop it up before being crudely bundled over.The referee pointed straight to the spot, with David Lindsay stepping up to slam the ball past the ‘keeper and launch us back into the game.
As half-time approached, Michael Swan bundled another shot over the line to hand them a 2-1 lead in the dying embers of the second-half.
The second half was a marked improvement over the first, with David Lindsay laying down a marker for the remainder of the half with a terrific performance.
The striker was at his best in what was a dominating performance, with barely 5 minutes on the clock for the second half- the big man hit a tremendous ball through to Gregor Lamb who lurked outside the box.
The midfielder gratefully grabbed this opportunity, danced through and smashed the ball- with the Uppers ‘keeper rushing to push the ball away.
Grant Wilson kept up the attacking onslaught, showing some beautiful footwork to evade his marker- culminating in the big striker ‘megging his marker and whipping the ball into the box, with Gregor Lamb narrowly missing out on powering home a powerful header.
As the game continued, Rovers were denied a penalty on 78 minutes after Alan McMath was bundled over in the box- with the referee giving nothing but a firm shake of his head.
McMath had another penalty shout turned down soon after, with the attacker looking to whip in a ball from the right-hand side- but his cross allegedly smacked the hand of the Uppers defender, but again, still no penalty and Peebles walked away with ninety minutes under their belts.
PEEBLES: MCGINLEY, DODDS, BROWN, NEWELL, COCKBURN, ROSSI, R.LAMB, G.LAMB, LINDSAY, MCMATH, WILSON
SUBS: KERR, J.RUNCIMAN, B.RUNCIMAN,
MAN OF THE MATCH: DAVID LINDSAY