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Dumbarton 1-1 Peterhead: A step closer to survival for the Blue Toon

Peterhead's Russell McLean heads home the equaliser against Dumbarton.
Peterhead's Russell McLean heads home the equaliser against Dumbarton.

Peterhead’s hard-earned point at Dumbarton may have ended the threat of automatic relegation but defender Shaun Want insists there is still work to be done to keep clear of the ninth-placed Sons.

On a threadbare pitch the hosts took an early lead through Josh Oyishan’s fine strike but Russell McLean’s header just before the break earned Jim McInally’s side what could be a precious point.

The result leaves Peterhead four points clear of second-bottom Dumbarton with three games remaining.

Want said: “This league is incredibly competitive and our job in ensuring we stay in it is far from done.

“We wanted to win but after being behind we will take the point.”

McInally was forced into changing the team that had defeated Clyde 3-0 last weekend as injuries ruled out Simon Ferry and Hamish Ritchie with Ryan Duncan and McLean handed starts.

The recast line-up got off to a disappointing start when Rico Quitongo lost possession on five minutes to Oyishan, some 25 yards from goal, and the big striker steadied himself before sending a shot flashing past Brett Long.

The wind that was blowing into visiting faces, as well as the bobbly surface, made Peterhead’s quest to draw level difficult with only a free-kick from Duncan testing Kieran Wright in the home goal in the opening half hour.

Peterhead’s Jack Brown has a shot at goal. 

Duncan’s trickery earned a corner on the right two minutes from half-time and that led to the equaliser. The on-loan Aberdeen attacker whipped over the dead ball and McLean timed his run perfectly to shake off his marker and nod home from seven yards.

After the break Niah Payne looked set to turn in a driven McLean cross but Gregor Buchanan stepped in to clear with Quitongo doing likewise when Connor Duthie threatened on 57 minutes.

Peterhead’s best chance of the second half came with 19 minutes left when a surging Scott Brown run looked to have teed up Jordon Brown four yards from goal, only for the ball to spin away from the substitute.

Long ensured that the visitors kept a four-point gap on their host with a superb late save from a Buchanan header with Want adding: “Performance wise we know that we can play better and the pitch affected the way we went about things.

“We started slowly but got level and the main thing after that was not to lose.

“We have come away from home with a point and that is good especially after going a goal down. It was important how we reacted to that and we grew back into the game. Our equaliser came at an important time.

“They would have been looking to come out in the second half and make it very hard for us to get level. The point could help us in the long run.”

McInally said: “Ian McCall described his Partick Thistle team as dog meat on Friday night and I would describe this game in the same way. In saying that I would have taken a draw before a ball was kicked.

“We have kept a four-point gap to Dumbarton and are a point closer to Clyde so we will accept that.”

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