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McInally concedes the better team won after Peterhead humbled

Peterhead's Derek Lyle.
Peterhead's Derek Lyle.

Peterhead manager Jim McInally accepted the better side won as his side went down 2-1 to League 1 leaders Raith Rovers at Starks Park on Saturday.

Dylan Tait’s opener for Raith was cancelled out by Derek Lyle but 20-year-old Jamie Gullan, in his final game on loan from Hibernian, notched the winner for the Kirkcaldy men.

McInally said: “To be honest, I am a bit disappointed with how the first half went as the two goals we conceded were both self-inflicted.

“It was a good end-to-end game in the first 15 to 20 minutes but we then had to rely on our goalkeeper to keep us in it with the penalty save.

“He also had a few other top-class saves before that.

“In the second half we changed our shape and although our goalkeeper has had nothing to do we didn’t work their goalkeeper hard enough.

“We threw everything at it but it just wasn’t to be.”

McInally’s men started well but they found themselves behind after 10 minutes.

A loose pass was seized upon by Dylan Tait whose long-range effort took a nick off Ryan Conroy before looping over a despairing Greg Fleming.

The lead lasted a mere two minutes when Lyle cleverly worked space in the Raith penalty area before tucking home after good work down the left-hand side.

This would be as good as it got for the Blue Toon as the home side went back in front after 25 minutes when Grant Anderson broke free down the right before cutting the ball back to Jamie Gullan to slot home from six yards.

Raith went close to extending their lead on several occasions but found Peterhead goalkeeper Fleming in inspired form.

The Blue Toon stopper was at his very best to claw away a John Baird header then produced his third penalty save in four games by getting down to his left to keep out Regan Hendry’s effort.

Fleming said: “Raith Rovers pass the ball about well and play with confidence.

“The first goal was about the fourth time in a row we have conceded inside the opening 10 minutes here.

“I hoped the penalty save would give us a chance in the second half.

“I think we’ve only forced one save in the second half so it’s just one of those days.”

Raith Rovers ended the match with 10 men after David McKay saw red for a second bookable offence following a poorly-timed challenge on Rory McAllister.

Conroy went close from the resulting free kick but Raith stopper Ross Munro made a fine save to keep out the set-piece effort.

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