Coldstream 2-3 Peebles Rovers

By Neil Hobson

at Home Park

THE FINEST example of how far Peebles Rovers have come this season, is evident from even a cursory glance at the league table.

Last season saw Ger Rossi’s side pick up just 19 points in a gruelling 20-game campaign for everyone down at Whitestone Park.

But this win over Coldstream at Home Park saw Rovers climb to seventh in the table on 12 points – after just six league matches.

Amid all the euphoria and back-slapping that went on after this match, it’s clear to see that issues still exist within this Peebles squad – leaking two goals before half-time. 

But the character showed to hold onto the three points is an undoubted accomplishment.

It was liberating to see a Rovers side shimmering with such attacking menace. The midfield duo of Gregor and Ross Lamb in particular are swiftly developing into the greatest assets for this team.

This was clearly highlighted by Gregor’s stunning opening goal – one of the quickest in Rovers’ history at 17 seconds.

Lamb’s intelligent use of the ball is undoubtedly a key aspect of Rossi’s game, but few would have predicted what the former Tynecastle youngster would do when he smashed the thunderbolt past Jamie Shiel from 25 yards.

Ultimately it did not matter that Rovers conceded just a few minutes later, after James Dodds pulled Shane Bonnington down in the box for Kris Dixon to equalise from the spot.

Conceding and still being able to stumble towards the finish line is a hallmark of quality sides.

And Ben McGinley was on hand to produce two stunning saves, palming away efforts from Dixon and Bonnington.

Coldstream looked reasonably competent, harassing the midfield while recycling possession through Shiel for the long ball.

It wasn’t until the half-hour mark that Rovers started playing with authority.

Lamb, who conducted events well from midfield, pinged a superb ball into Alan McMath.

Taking a moment to spin away from an oncoming Ben Jackson, the hitman coolly slotted the ball past the keeper.

And the striker soon repaid the favour.

McMath hit a magnificent pass towards Lamb with the former Gala man racing off, before hitting a powerful effort that flew past Shiel.

Again, this still didn’t lead to Rovers dominance – with the away side soon made to pay after Dixon pulled one back soon after.

Breaking clear of a dazed defence, the big forward rampaged off before smashing the ball into the back of the net.

While the second half didn’t quite have the entertainment value of the first, there was still plenty to discuss for fans on the sidelines.

Bonnington evidently grew more frustrated as the game wore on. And the red card was flashed at him on 62 minutes – coming as surprise to no one.

With a first yellow picked up in the first-half, a late challenge on Colin Smith paved the way for an early shower for the former Gala Fairydean Rovers man.

But, Ross Forrest’s sending-off on 74 minutes, after picking up a second yellow, saw the odds evened.

By then, the finish line was in sight – and Rovers held out for three points.

Peebles: B McGinley, J Mackay, B Brown, R Forrest, J Dodds, G Rossi, R Lamb, G Lamb, C Smith, A McMath, M McEwan
Subs: R Renwick, S Schulz-Keith, R Sterricks, M Cockburn & L Zavaroni