Peebles put in a solid defensive performance to claim a 2-0 victory away at Fernieside FC, with a goal either side of half time proving enough to give them the three points. Jules Carrie tapped home from close range in the first half, before Joe Ryalls pounced on a loose clearance to hammer the ball in. Fernieside, who sit 24 points behind Peebles in the 2nd Division, were industrious going forward but could not find the required spark needed to break down the Peebles defence.
After a slight delay to kick off the game got underway on a slightly overcast Drum Park.
The opening exchanges were predictably tense, neither team wanting to make a serious mistake early in the game. This resulted in a lot of long clearances from each defence and some frantic pressing in the midfield department.
After the first five minutes though, Peebles started to apply some extended pressure. First, Joe Robertson with a surging drive from midfield, leaving the other midfielders in his wake before some composed defending stopped him on the edge of the box.
Minutes later, Jules Carrie curls a shot onto the Fernieside crossbar after some great build-up play around the box. The rebound fell to Jordan Hogarth, who’s low shot was well saved by the Fernieside keeper Sebastian Lacomme.
This pressure continued, but Fernieside grew into the game well and started to hit the opposition on the break. Daniel Abubakar held the ball up well on the halfway line before engaging on a smart run, laying a smart through ball in the 14th minute to Harry Churchmichle, who ambitiously fired a half volley from outside the box just over the Peebles crossbar.
Just as the games momentum looked to be shifting to Fernieside, Peebles grabbed a goal. In the 15th minute, Carrie tapped home at the far post after a great teasing cross from Hogarth from the left wing that left the defence flat footed; a calm finish that left the keeper with no chance.
After that moment the game started to open up and each team grew in confidence. Abubakar, whose direct running was a threat all game for Fernieside, advanced on the Peebles defence in the 20th minute, beating a defender and shooting just over.
The pressure continued after the goal, Peebles shooting wide on several occasions before Lacomme was tested in the 25th minute, rushing quickly off his line to nullify a one-on-one opportunity. Throughout this period of extended pressure, the Fernieside defence stood strong, Byron Martin in particular putting in some great challenges as well as marshalling his backline.
Ferniesides best chance came in the 28th minute, with only a lick of paint of the post denying them. The build-up play was good - a corner on the right hand side was headed back out by the Peebles defence, only to be quickly floated back into the box. Abubakar rose highest to flick the ball on, it was cleared off the line, just, and the resulting shot from the left of the box hammered off the post.
The pace dropped after that though, each team looking to close out the half quietly without conceding a goal before the break.