Preston Athletic 2

Peebles Rovers 0

Neil Hobson at the Pennypit

ROVERS fell to defeat in their second league match of the season, going down 2-0 to Preston Athletic at the Pennypit.

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 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 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.

And 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.

Preston had grown in confidence after their goal.

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

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. Unused subs: Renwick & Schulz-Keith