Brilliant, sublime, fantastic. Pick your favourite, because any of those words would have described Peebles today. A composed strike from Lee Zavaroni and a powerful goal from Jason Newell with just minutes to go means that Peebles pick up their first three points of the season.
The Rovers crossed the Forth Road bridge having seen off Burntisland earlier in the season- courtesy of a fantastic Ndiweni header. But, Rossi’s men were well aware of the threat that the Shipyard posed.
The game started with a bang for Peebles, Zavaroni played a great ball to Scott Inglis who promptly played in Ndiweni who looked set to go one-on-one with the keeper, but was ultimately muscled out by the centre-half.
Peebles were arguably the superior team in the first half, but an inability to finish chances and the inspired form of the Shipyard keeper kept the Rovers at bay.
Zavaroni was unlucky not to notch in the first 45, as the skipper was denied twice thanks to some spectacular goalkeeping. Scott Inglis was fantastic out wide, a constant threat and a real handful for the Shipyard defence.
But the first half bore no fruit, and a big second half was needed to bag the Rover’s first three points of the season. It didn’t go quite to plan however, and we conceded a penalty following a McGinley foul on McKay. The referee pointed straight to the spot and McKay stepped up, but saw his ball halted by McGinley- however he followed up to score on the rebound.
Where many other teams would have crumbled, the Whitestone Warriors refused to surrender and an equaliser arrived in the 61st minute. Inglis was the supplier, and saw his ball fall to the fleet feet of Zavaroni who tucked home without hesitation. The home side were keen to retaliate, but a top-class showing from McGinley meant they were unable to break through.
As time went on, there were still no goals. It looked as though we were walking away with just a point. Someone had to be a hero, and that hero was Jason Newell. Inglis once again set it up, a ball that found Newell with lethal accuracy- and he blasted it home with just a minute to spare, and sent a travelling Peebles support into manic celebrations!
Peebles: McGinley, Mackay, Smith, Dodds, Cockburn, Runciman, Rossi, Zavaroni, Ndiweni, Inglis, Lindsay
Subs: Newell, Schulz-Keith, Brown, Marshall
A highly impressive Rovers saw Burntisland off with a fine Ndiweni header at Recreation Park yesterday, setting us up well for the league opener against Tynecastle next Saturday.
The game started with some decent sparring in midfield, but the game soon exploded into life with Ger Rossi playing a great ball out to Ndiweni, who was lurking opportunistically on the left, he showed quick thinking to snap up the ball and cut inside, with his shot going just over the bar.
It proved to be a taste of what was to come, with Peebles possessing some great firepower to pile the pressure on Burntisland. Tiff Robertson was the man leading the line, and was unlucky to not get his name on the scoresheet with some good chances coming his way, but he couldn’t quite prod the ball past Marcus Taylor between the sticks.
Burntisland did have their moments however with wide man Nathan McKay impressing.
No goals came in the first half, but a good performance hinted that the best was yet to come. Peebles came racing out the traps for the second 45, eager to land the first blow. Rossi was once again the supplier, with another great ball played out wide to Smith. Aerial assaults became an effective weapon for the Rovers, with the first goal coming after Alex Imlah eased the ball off to Donovan Ndiweni, who sprang up and planted a firm header past Taylor on 63 minutes to spark delighted celebrations. A spell of Peebles dominance followed, with some fantastic pressing football being played.
Saul Schulz-Keith also made his comeback after tweaking his hamstring last week, and the forward quickly made his mark as he was involved in some fantastic build up play which saw Colin Smith come close to stabbing the ball Home. Burntisland came back into it somewhat, with Daryl Taylor lingering menacingly up front, but a composed show from keeper Jamie Shiel kept the Burntisland boys at bay. Soon after, the referee blew for full time and the lads went back across the Forth Road Bridge with a well deserved victory.
Peebles: Shiel, Mackay, Dodds, Imlah, Zavaroni, Rossi, Smith, Cockburn, Marshall, Ndiweni, Robertson
Subs: Schulz-Keith, Glass, Thomson