SEASON 2011/12

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Peterhead 2 Annan Athletic 3

Sat 13 Aug 2011

The Blue Toon remain pointless after two league games, but there were positive signs for John Sheran’s men despite a second defeat to Annan Athletic in a matter of days.

The Borderers came out on top in the midweek Ramsdens Cup meeting, but both sides made changes ahead of the first Third Division match at Balmoor since 2005.

Barry Sellars returned to the Peterhead lineup in place of Lewis Davidson, while the visitors made six changes to the side that had won 4-2 in midweek. One of those missing out was former Peterhead man Bryan Gilfillan, who was suspended.

In a tactical change, Roy McBain started in midfield for Peterhead, with Paul Watson reverting to left-back.

And it seemed so promising for Peterhead when they took the lead after just eight minutes. Craig Summersgill, the Annan goalkeeper, came charging off his line but failed to claim the ball, and Bryan Deasley was on hand to turn and chip home from the edge of the area.

Martin Bavidge could have made it 2-0 six minutes later, but he saw his near-post header turned round the post by the former Gretna goalkeeper.

But for all Peterhead’s good work in the opening stages, defensive frailties cost them an equaliser. Peter Watson’s throw-in was poorly defended, and Annan’s teenage midfielder Jordan McKechnie fired in from the edge of the area, claiming his first senior goal.

Peterhead could have been back in front when Bavidge worked space and found strike partner Rory McAllister but the former Brechin man, still adapting to life at Balmoor saw his effort loop up and Summersgill gratefully claimed.

But the Blue Toon were back in front five minutes before the interval. The returning Sellars found former Forfar team-mate Deasley with a ball out of defence, and the goalscorer turned provider for McAllister, who swept home from six yards.

So far so good, but poor defending again led to an equaliser five minutes after the break. David Cox was given far too much room to cross from the left, and McKechnie got in at the front post to turn home his second of the afternoon.

Watson came close to putting Harry Cairney’s side in front when he headed a Steven Sloan cross over from close range, but Peterhead broke and only a fine save from Summersgill denied McAllister.

But it was the visitors who were to go in front, with 18 minutes left. Roy McBain brought down the lively Sloan and Ian Harty, who had bagged a hat-trick in midweek, found the top corner from the penalty spot.

That seemed to spark life back into the home side, who looked like they were capable of drawing level. Indeed, another Sellars ball out of defence set McAllister free, and the hitman was unlucky to see his effort come back off the upright.

Sellars himself saw a long range strike saved in injury-time, but the visitors held on to secure a win which sees them top the table at this early stage, as the only side to have won both league games.

PETERHEAD: Neil Duffy, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Barry Sellars, Callum Macdonald, Jamie Redman, Aaron Conway (Graeme Sharp, 74), Paul Watson (Dave Ross, 81), Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge (Dennis Wyness, 77), Bryan Deasley. Subs not used: Scott Ross, Lewis Davidson.

Booked: McAllister.

ANNAN ATHLETIC: Craig Summersgill, Peter Watson, Michael McGowan, Scott Gibson, Andy Aitken, Jordan McKechnie, Steven Sloan, Chris Jardine, Ian Harty, Sean O’Connor (Graeme Bell, 37), David Cox. Subs not used: Jack Steele, Andrew Forsyth, Jordy Atkinson, Alex Mitchell (gk).

Booked: McKechnie.

Attendance: 448

East Stirlingshire 0 Peterhead 2

Sat 20 Aug 2011

Peterhead finally kick-started their season with a deserved, if at times nervy, victory over East Stirlingshire.

Bryan Deasley and Rory McAllister were both on the scoresheet for the second successive game, as John Sheran’s side recorded their first Division Three victory in six years, against the same opponents as their last win at this level.

Martin Bavidge was the only survivor from the May 2005 meeting, and he started in an attack-minded Blue Toon lineup, that included four strikers, and four changes from the side that had lost out to Annan last week.

Goalkeeper Neil Duffy, club captain Callum Macdonald and winger Aaron Conway all dropped to the bench, with midfielder Paul Watson dropping out completely as Raymond Jellema, Alan Rattray, Lewis Davidson and Dave Ross returned to the starting eleven.

John Coughlin’s Shire side had be as drastically reshaped as the Peterhead side over the summer, but they were quickly on the attack, and Jordyn Sheerin saw his header come off the outside of the post, Jellema looking less concerned than perhaps he might have about the effort.

Predictably Peterhead looked dangerous going forward, and their first chance fell to Barry Sellars who saw his free-kick go wide of the target after a foul on Ross.

McAllister, as ever, was looking sharp with the ball at his feet, but the former Brechin man will admit he should have done better when he shot straight at Calum Antell just before the quarter-hour.

The hitman’s work-rate and unselfish play are perhaps overshadowed by his scoring rate but his exchange of passes with Deasley saw the former Dundee forward, having cut in from the left, hit narrowly wide of the near post.

There was concern at the other end of the park, though, as Ally Love blocked a Sellars clearance and homed in on goal, only the intervention of Rattray denying the winger an effort at goal.

And Rattray earned his wages again when he provided the cover to block after Sheerin had turned Sellars.

Jamie Redman shot over after McAllister had knocked a Roy McBain pass into his path, but it would not be long before Peterhead opened the scoring.

Bavidge’s ball picked our McAllister who sidestepped Antell, but as the ball threatened to roll out of the striker’s reach, Deasley stepped in to fire home.

If there was any expectation the goal would open the floodgates, Shire dispelled those thoughts as they came out fired up after the restart, and David Cane saw his header come back off the bar just two minutes in.

But Peterhead were quickly back in the groove. Redman hit over from a McAllister pass, and a minute later the striker saw his header from Deasley’s pass brilliantly turned over by Antell.

The hero could have quickly turned to villain as an Antell clearance was charged down by McAllister, but the goalkeeper recovered before Deasley could pounce.

Peterhead finally doubled their advantage after 68 minutes. A Deasley corner pinballed around the penalty area as the hosts failed to clear their lines, and after Redman was fouled by Scott Beveridge, McAllister stepped up to net from the spot.

Within a minute, Ross was denied by a block having been played in by McAllister, but it would be Shire who finished the game strongly, and were unlucky not to grab consolation when Cane saw another header strike the bar.

The Blue Toon held firm though, and recorded a first win in 90 minutes this term. More important as far as John Sheran will be concerned though, are the three points which belatedly get his side off the mark.

EAST STIRLING: Calum Antell, Iain Chisholm, Ryan Frances, David Cane, Stuart Beveridge, Michael Hunter, Scott Maxwell, Andy Stirling, Joe Savage (Kevin Turner, 72), Jordyn Sheerin (Alex Lurinsky, 72), Ally Love (Nico Gibson, 72). Subs not used: Fraser Team, Gavin Sorley (gk).

Booked: Chisholm, Hunter.

PETERHEAD: Raymond Jellema, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Barry Sellars, Alan Rattray, Lewis Davidson, Dave Ross.

Alloa Athletic 2 Peterhead 1

Sat 27 Aug 2011

John Sheran takes his side into the international break knowing there is work to be done after they were brought back to earth by Alloa Athletic.

The Blue Toon travelled to Recreation Park looking to build on a first league win of the season, but ended up with nothing despite taking a lead into the interval.

Sheran stuck by the starting eleven that had beaten East Stirlingshire, with Bryan Deasley fit to play despite picking up a slight back strain against the Shire.

And at times during the first half against Paul Hartley’s side, they were full of promise. Sharp passing and a will to get forward gave them chances.

The first fell to Deasley after 10 minutes, but Wasps goalkeeper Scott Bain was untroubled by his long range effort.

Three minutes later, former Celtic and East Stirling man Kevin Cawley tested Raymond Jellema with a shot to the near post but the former Wasps goalkeeper reacted well to save.

With both sides playing a 4-5-1 formation, they were having trouble making the ball stick in the final third so it was the half-hour before either goal was really put under threat again, but it was to prove fruitful for the Blue Toon.

Deasley’s probing run was ended by a push 20 yards from goal, and from a central position, top scorer Rory McAllister smashed through the wall and into the corner of the net for his fifth goal of the season.

Cawley came close to levelling within a minute, peeling towards the near post to head Mark Docherty’s cross only for Jellema to push wide.

But the striker was on target less than thirty seconds into the second half.  The ball was slipped down the outside of Barry Sellars and Cawley raced onto it, drawing Jellema out before firing across the helpless goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net.

There were chances at either end, Donald’s cross from the left going wide off Dave Ross’ foot, before Jellema plucked a Cawley scissors-kick out of the air from a Graeme Holmes cross.

But Alloa had been boosted by their leveller, and went ahead midway through the half, with Cawley again doing the damage.

This time it was a solo effort, sparked by a fine run down the left channel, before he used Alan Rattray as a shield to curl a high effort beyond Jellema.

Martin Bavidge saw Bain push over as his looping header from another Donald cross as Peterhead looked to draw level again.

And perhaps they thought their luck was starting to turn when, after Ross McCord had gone down under Rattray’s challenge, referee Barry Cook waved play on.

However, a Deasley volley from sub Graeme Sharp’s cross was their only chance in the closing minutes, and his wild strike summed up another frustrating day at the office for Sheran’s men.

ALLOA ATHLETIC: Scott Bain, Michael Doyle, Mark Docherty, Ben Gordon, Ryan Harding, Darren Young (Ryan Caddis, 75), Peter Innes, Ryan McCord, Kevin Cawley, Graeme Holmes, Ross McCord (Campbell, 83). Subs not used: Armand One, Mark McCullagh, Craig McDowall (gk).

Booked: Innes.

PETERHEAD: Raymond Jellema, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Barry Sellars, Alan Rattray, Lewis Davidson (Callum Macdonald, 55), Dave Ross (Graeme Sharp, 75), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge (Aaron Conway, 75), Bryan Deasley. Subs not used: Dennis Wyness, Neil Duffy (gk).

Booked: Donald, Rattray, McAllister.

Attendance: 509

Peterhead 1 Elgin City 3

Sat 10 Sep 2011

Two former Blue Toon men were prominent as Elgin City condemned John Sheran’s men to a fourth defeat in five league games this season.

Craig Gunn netted the opener for the visitors, and Daniel Moore set up two further goals as Ross Jack’s men climbed to the top of the table.

Barry Sellars pulled a goal back for Peterhead just after the interval, but they were unable to close the gap further despite enjoying much of the possession in the second half.

Sellars was playing in a more customary midfield role as Peterhead looked to kick-start their season, and there were four changes to the starting eleven.

Out went Lewis Davidson, Dave Ross, Martin Bavidge and Bryan Deasley, their places taken by Callum Macdonald, Dennis Wyness, Paul Watson and new loan signing Garry Wood.

But Elgin were ahead after just four minutes, as Gunn returned to haunt his former side.  He took a Moore throw-in in his stride, striding past Alan Rattray and sliding a low shot into the corner of Raymond Jellema’s goal.

And if the first goal had been the result of poor defending, the second compounded rubbed salt in a fresh wound.

Rattray was again found wanting as Mark Nicolson peeled off him and rose unchallenged to meet Moore’s corner to double his side’s advantage with just eight minutes gone.

It was a nightmare start for Peterhead, but it could have been so different had Jamie Duff’s challenge on Wyness been deemed worthy of a penalty as the former Aberdeen and Hearts man thought.

It was McAllister’s former Brechin team-mate Jamie Redman who forced Elgin keeper Zander Clark into action for the first time, his low shot turned wide by the goalkeeper.

Wyness curled an effort wide from the edge of the area, before McAllister saw a diving header from a Watson corner crash back off the crossbar.

By this stage, Elgin had lost top scorer Gunn to injury, but they would add a third on the stroke of half-time.

Moore was again the provider, swinging in a free-kick from the left, from which Jamie Duff got in front of Macdonald to head past the helpless Raymond Jellema.

The second half was only a matter of seconds old when Peterhead pulled one back. Sellars’ free-kick looked more of a cross than an attempt at goal, but evaded everyone as it found the back of the net.

And the ball was in the net again when substitute Deasley found Wood, but the on-loan Ross County man was flagged offside as he turned home left-footed.

The impressive Moore would go into the book for a foul on another sub, Graeme Sharp, with just under 15 minutes remaining, and that would prove costly for the Elgin winger.

With just two minutes left on the clock, he was deemed by referee Paul Robertson to be guilty of timewasting, and was shown a second yellow and the inevitable red followed.

There was one final chance for Peterhead as Macdonald saw his header held by Clark, but it was a comfortable and deserved win for Jack’s man.

PETERHEAD: Raymond Jellema, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Barry Sellars, Callum Macdonald, Alan Rattray, Dennis Wyness (Bryan Deasley, 64), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Garry Wood (Martin Bavidge, 72), Paul Watson (Graeme Sharp, 55). Subs not used: Ross, Duffy (gk).

Booked: McBain, Redman, McAllister, Watson, Deasley.

ELGIN CITY: Zander Clark, David Niven, Archie McPhee (Blair Lawrie, 60), Paul Kaczan, Jamie Duff, Graeme Beveridge, Craig Gunn (Craig Frizzel, 40), Brian Cameron, Stuart Leslie, Mark Nicolson, Daniel Moore. Subs not used: Zander Jack, Ciaron McLean.

Booked: Moore. Sent off: Moore.

Attendance: 596

Peterhead 1 Queen’s Park 1

Fri 11 Nov 2011

Martin Bavidge

A resilient Blue Toon team came from a goal down to earn a point against Queen’s Park at Balmoor.

Less than 24 hours after the club announced the departure of John Sheran, experienced striker Martin Bavidge teamed up with former Fraserburgh boss Charlie Duncan, now part of the Youth & Community department at Balmoor, to lead the team against the Spiders, who have been a bogey side for the Blue Toon over the years.

And their selection may have raised a few eyebrows, with five changes made. Perhaps the most surprising was the return of Paul Jarvie, making his first start of the season, in place of Raymond Jellema.

Striker Garry Wood dropped to the bench, while Roy McBain, Jamie Redman and Bryan Deasley all dropped out through injury.

There was a late change to the starting eleven as Alan Rattray, initially selected in place of McBain at left-back, pulled up in the warm-up, to be replaced by Lewis Davidson.

But despite the changes, Gardner Speirs’ side had goalkeeper Neil Parry to thank for keeping the scores level after just eleven seconds. The Spiders kicked the match off and angled a ball out to the left wing, but Davie Donald nodded away.

Aaron Conway picked up the loose ball and sent a fine pass up the inside-right channel for Rory McAllister, who steadied himself only for Parry to block his effort.

It was to be an entertaining affair, and the Amateurs responded with a Martin McBride free kick which clipped the outside of the post after a Barry Sellars’ foul.

Peterhead threatened again when a Conway corner was headed towards goal by Callum Macdonald, only for Ricky Little to clear. The ball came back to Macdonald who lifted a pass to Rory McAllister at the back post, but he was off target with his acrobatic effort.

Back came the visitors, and they even had the ball in the net as Peterhead finally got some of the luck they’ve been missing over the last eighteen months.

David Anderson’s ball into the box seemed to be handled by Jamie Bishop, but drew no response from referee Mat Northcroft. The ball broke to Michael Daly who saw his ball across goal turned in by David Murray, only for the winger’s effort to be ruled out by the linesman’s flag.

Anderson himself was denied from the edge of the box as the Spiders worked the ball in from the right flank, but the midfielder saw Jarvie comfortably hold his effort.

Peterhead might have had a penalty of their own as McAllister was seemingly hauled to the ground by Little, and shortly afterward, Bavidge slipped in Scott Ross who saw his shot well saved by Parry.

As the home side continued to press, McAllister picked out Davidson in the area, but the young full-back blazed over.

Just before the interval, Murray chased down McBride’s deflected shot, and shot from a narrow angle, but Jarvie reacted quickly to smother the effort.

But the goalkeeper was beaten seven minutes into the second half. McBride swung a superb ball in to the back post, where Ian Watt barely had to jump to nod through the legs of Jarvie and into the net.

Where Peterhead have so often crumbled this season, they instead pushed forward in search of a leveller.

Davidson’s cross from the left just after the hour was met by Bavidge, but his header looped over the crossbar.

But the left flank was to provide the goal.  Bishop lofted a ball to Sharp, who cut inside onto his favoured right foot and picked out McAllister with a fine cross.

The striker saw his brave diving header saved, but Bavidge was well placed to force the ball over the line, despite the challenge of James Brough.

It could have been in vain as, within a minute, Jamie Longworth saw his snap-shot beat Jarvie but crashed back off the upright.

But Peterhead pushed forward again and a move started by Scott Ross, who grew into his midfield role, saw Sharp cross for Bavidge, but his header was comfortable for Parry.

The goalkeeper was tested again with 81 minutes on the clock. Sharp’s diagonal pass found McAllister who cut back for a diving header by substitute Dave Ross, but Parry parried away the effort and Brough completed the clearance.

In the final minute, a long ball from Peter Bradley saw substitute Craig Smith seem to outpace Davidson, but as the striker took aim at Jarvie’s goal, the defender got across well to clear for a corner.

It may not have been a win for the Blue Toon, but there were certainly positive signs as the hunt for a manager who can revive seemingly flagging promotion hopes begins.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Lewis Davidson, Callum Macdonald, Jamie Bishop, Scott Ross (Ryan Strachan, 79), Graeme Sharp, Barry Sellars, Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge (Dennis Wyness, 79), Aaron Conway (Dave Ross, 60). Subs not used: Garry Wood, Raymond Jellema (gk).

QUEEN’S PARK: Neil Parry, Paul McGinn, Peter Bradley, Ricky Little, James Brough, Martin McBride, Ian Watt (Craig Smith, 84), David Anderson, Michael Daly (Tony Quinn, 90), Jamie Longworth, David Murray (Sean Burns, 79). Subs no used: Paul Gallacher, Adam Strain (gk).

Attendance: 478

 

Montrose 2 Peterhead 1

Fri 11 Nov 2011

Blue Toon keeper Paul Jarvie will want to forget this game after his unfortunate error helped Montrose come from behind to beat the Blue Toon.

Jarvie allowed the ball to slip from his grasp on the greasy artificial pitch at Links Park, and Sean Pierce took advantage to set up Martin Boyle for the winning goal after 66 minutes.

The Blue Toon had taken the lead through Rory McAllister after just 11 minutes, but Pierce had also provided the leveller for midfielder Terry Masson just before the interval.

Still without a permanent manager following the departure of John Sheran, Charlie Duncan was again in the dugout with senior players Barry Sellars and Martin Bavidge assisting from the pitch.

The Peterhead side was unchanged from that which had drawn with Queen’s Park a week earlier, only the second time this term the same side had started consecutive matches.

That statistic may provide a clue as to the uncertainty around the club at the moment, but that was a distant memory as the Blue Toon took the lead early on.

Aaron Conway found McAllister with a lofted ball down the channel, and the former Brechin man worked space for himself in the area before powering a right foot shot past Montrose goalkeeper Michael Andrews.

Montrose rallied, and Peterhead had Jarvie to thank for a fine save from lively striker Martin Boyle’s angled effort after 17 minutes, and from former Blue Toon man Dougie Cameron’s corner, the goalkeeper dived superbly to block Jonathon Smart’s powerful header.

Peterhead could have doubled their lead when Conway’s free kick from the right found the head of McAllister, but the striker saw his effort come back off the upright. The loose ball fell back to the feet of the striker, but he failed to keep his second effort down.

But the home side drew level four minutes before half-time. Pierce drove down the right flank and pulled the ball back across goal for Masson, who arrived in the area to lash past Jarvie to level the scores.

Ryan Strachan came on at the interval in place of Sellars, and his midfield partner Scott Ross threatened twice in the space of a minute early in the second half.

But as the rain began to fall, it was the home side who suddenly looked more comfortable. Indeed, Boyle’s persistence saw him get the better of Callum Macdonald after 61 minutes, but his shot found only the side netting.

That was a warning shot for what was to come five minutes later. Jarvie came off his line to smother what seemed a harmless ball down the channel, but the ball squirmed out of his grasp and allowed Pierce to square for his strike partner who gratefully accepted the gift.

Such an error was symptomatic of Peterhead’s luck over the last year or so, and coming after his saves had kept the Blue Toon in front in the first half, spoiled what had until that point been a good afternoon’s work for the goalkeeper.

The Blue Toon never really recovered from that and despite throwing on strikers Dave Ross and Garry Wood with 15 minutes remaining, Andrews was not put under any further pressure.

With two weeks before their next game due to the international break, Peterhead will hope an appointment can be made to the manager’s post in order to steady the ship and begin the recovery from what has been a nightmare start to the season.

MONTROSE: Michael Andrews, Paul Lunan, Dougie Cameron, Jonathon Smart, Alan Campbell, Jamie Winter, Stephen McNally, Terry Masson, Martin Boyle, Sean Pierce, Steven McPhee (Scott Johnston,  82). Subs not used: Jonathan Crawford, Sean Crighton, Sean Kelly, Sandy Wood (gk).

Booked: Lunan.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Lewis Davidson, Callum Macdonald, Jamie Bishop, Scott Ross, Graeme Sharp (Dave Ross, 74), Barry Sellars (Ryan Strachan, 46), Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge, Aaron Conway (Garry Wood, 74). Subs not used: Dennis Wyness, Raymond Jellema (gk).

Booked: Donald, S.Ross.

Attendance: 359

Peterhead 1 Stranraer 3

Fri 11 Nov 2011

Peterhead 1 Stranraer 3

The task ahead of new Peterhead manager Jim McInally will have become a little clearer to the former Morton and East Stirling boss after Stranraer comfortably took the points on his debut in the Blue Toon dugout.

McInally had taken charge of a bounce game against Brechin City during the week and had seen enough from makeshift centre-half Gary Wood that he pitched the on-loan Ross County striker into the same role in this game, while midfielder Paul Watson stepped in at left-back.

Bryan Deasley was restored the left flank, while Ryan Strachan joined Barry Sellars in the middle of the park.

And Peterhead had an early chance, though Rory McAllister dragged his low shot wide of the near post from the edge of the penalty area.

But the fragile home defence was breached after just 12 minutes. Chris Aitken’s corner found defender Frank McKeown unchallenged in the middle of the penalty area, and he didn’t even have to jump to head his side in front.

And Keith Knox’s side could have doubled their lead soon after. Sean Winter picked out Grant Gallagher with a pass, and the winger opened his foot up well but shot narrowly over the bar.

Chances at either end were scarce at this point, but Martin Bavidge seemed caught in two minds about what to do as he chased onto a clipped Sellars pass just before the half-hour. In the end he opted to pass, but failed to find Deasley.

And six minutes before the interval, Peterhead were punished again. Watson and Callum Macdonald could only half-clear a ball from the left between them, and when the latter’s clearance fell to Stephen Stirling, he fired a 20-yard shot into the net.

McInally changed things with the introduction of Scott Ross to the midfield and Alan Rattray to the defence, and to their credit, Peterhead began to get closer to their opposition.

Indeed, they pulled a goal back midway through the second half, McAllister heading home a Deasley corner to give his side a chance.

The good work was almost undone immediately as Stranraer sub Michael Moore was allowed to head narrowly wide just two minutes later, but Peterhead were to have their best spell over the next ten minutes.

They could have been level after Bavidge worked space to clip a ball towards the back post, but Deasley’s diving header flew tamely across the face of goal.

Moore had another chance to make the points safe when he turned on a Gallagher pass, only to see his effort palmed away by Paul Jarvie, but the striker finally got on the scoresheet in the final minute when, looping a header beyond Jarvie from another Gallagher cross.

PETERHEAD: Jarvie, Donald, Watson (Rattray 55), Strachan, Wood, Macdonald, Conway (Ross 55), Bavidge, McAllister, Sellars (Wyness 66), Deasley. Subs not used: Davidson, Jellema (gk). Booked: Strachan, Wood, Macdonald, Bavidge, Rattray, Ross.

STRANRAER: David Mitchell, Kane, Noble, Taggart, McKeown, Aitken (Danny Mitchell 58), Gallagher, Stirling, Malcolm, Grehan (Moore 65), Winter. Subs not used: McColm, Shephard, Marshall (gk). Booked: Moore.

Attendance: 405

Peterhead 2 Nairn County 0

Fri 11 Nov 2011

RedmanRedman

A first-half Martin Bavidge double eased Peterhead beyond the challenge of Highland League leaders Nairn County and into Round Three of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

It was a first win for new boss Jim McInally, who is already starting to make his mark on the Blue Toon side.

McInally opted for a 3-4-1-2 system, which saw Scott Ross come into the defence alongside Callum Macdonald and Gary Wood.

Jamie Redman returned from injury to partner Ryan Strachan in the centre of midfield, while Davie Donald and Bryan Deasley filled the wide positions.

Dennis Wyness started behind a front two of Martin Bavidge and Rory McAllister.

But Nairn started brightly, and former Blue Toon man Conor Gethins, starting despite picking up a groin strain on league business the week before, flashed an early effort across the face of goal.

However, Peterhead settled into the game quickly, and took the lead after 12 minutes. Deasley was the creator with a jinking run into the area, and he stood the ball up for Bavidge who could hardly fail to head home from close range.

A long ball out of defence from Ross saw McAllister work a chance shortly after, but from 20 yards his effort was held well by visiting goalkeeper Callum Donaldson.

But after 25 minutes, it was 2-0. Wyness slipped Donald in with a fine pass, and the former Aberdeen man bravely slid into retain possession with Donaldson bearing down on him, and squared for Bavidge to stroke home from 12 yards.

It was comfortable now for Peterhead, and McAllister tried his luck from a tight angle wide on the left, missing the target by just inches moments after half-time.

Strachan also came close with a 20-yard free kick which had Donaldson beaten but crashed back off the crossbar.

Still the Blue Toon pressed in search of a killer third goal, and defender Scott Ross had two shots from range in quick succession, both of which forced Donaldson to save.

Les Fridge’s side had hardly threatened, but gave it a go in the final ten minutes, and were unlucky not to pull one back with ten minutes remaining.

A corner from the right was cleared as far as substitute Gregg Main, and his spectacular 20-yard effort was pushed away by the fingertips of Raymond Jellema, the goalkeeper having been restored to the starting eleven.

PETERHEAD: Jellema, Donald, Deasley, Wood, Macdonald, Redman, Wyness (Sharp, 64), Strachan, McAllister, Bavidge (D. Ross, 77), S. Ross. Subs not used: Sellars, Davidson, Jarvie (gk)

Attendance: 625

Peterhead 0 Clyde 0

Fri 11 Nov 2011

Ryan Strachan

There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for Peterhead as they recorded a second consecutive clean sheet to draw with ten-man Clyde.

Despite a squad so ravaged by injuries that an unfit Roy McBain sat on the bench alongside U19 players Shaun Robertson and Ewen Morgan, Jim McInally’s men defended resolutely to battle out a 0-0 draw with Jim Duffy’s side.

Garry Wood and Martin Bavidge were the latest additions to the injury list and their places were taken by Lewis Davidson and Dave Ross, the only changes from the side that had beaten Nairn County in the cup a fortnight ago.

And they were put under pressure early on by Clyde, with Raymond Jellema pleased to see John Neil head a Paul Hay cross wide when he really should have done better after just seven minutes.

The former Alloa goalkeeper kept the scores level when he spread himself to block from Steph McDonald after the striker had pulled down Declan Gallagher’s long ball out of defence.

But still Clyde pushed forward, and after a Neil free-kick was blocked by Rory McAllister, John Sweeney saw his ambitious 30-yard effort deflect away for a corner.

It was 39 minutes in before Peterhead got a first sight of goal, Bryan Deasley exchanging passes with Ryan Strachan before seeing his left-foot shot blocked by the head of Lee Sharp.

Although Clyde could have opened the scoring through Gallagher shortly after the interval, it was clear Peterhead were determined to pose more of a threat, although their efforts were not helped by McAllister taking knocks to an ankle and then his head in quick succession.

He was forced off just after the hour to make way for Robertson, by which point Peterhead had begun to edge their way into the match as an attacking force.

Strachan saw an effort deflect tamely into the arms of Clyde’s former Manchester City goalkeeper Filip Mentel, before Davie Donald hit high and wide on a foray forward down the right.

One of Robertson’s first involvements was to play in Lewis Davidson, with the local lad slicing an effort narrowly over the crossbar.

But it was a neat move down the right which saw Peterhead create their best chance.Donald linked up with Dennis Wyness, and though the full-back’s cross was cut out, the clearance fell to Wyness who stung the palms of Mentel. Still the danger wasn’t cleared until Deasley had a low shot blocked.

And Deasley would be involved again as Clyde were reduced to ten men with five minutes remaining.

Hay had already been booked for a foul on Jamie Redman when he hauled back Deasley on the edge of the area, and referee Andrew Dallas was left with no alternative but to flash a second yellow.

Deasley’s free kick was blocked by the wall, and the Blue Toon failed to capitalise on their extra man in the dying minutes, but will be happy to have earned a point.

PETERHEAD: Raymond Jellema, Davie Donald, Lewis Davidson, Ryan Strachan, Callum Macdonald, Scott Ross, Dennis Wyness, Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Shaun Robertson, 62), Bryan Deasley, Dave Ross. Subs not used: Paul Watson, Roy McBain, Ewen Morgan, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: Deasley, Macdonald, Strachan, McAllister.

CLYDE: Filip Mentel, Iain Gray, Lee Sharp, Declan Gallagher, Brian McQueen, Paul Hay, John Neil, John Sweeney, Steph McDonald (Mark Archdeacon, 73), Liam Cusack, Michael Oliver (Pat Scullion, 76). Subs not used: Kris Irvine, Jack Sloss, Barry McCue (gk).

Booked: Gallagher, Hay. Sent off: Hay.

Referee: Andrew Dallas.

Attendance: 517

Peterhead 1 Alloa Athletic 1

Wed 16 Nov 2011

Peterhead 1 Alloa Athletic 1

The Blue Toon’s improved form of late continued as they showed a battling spirit to grind out a point against high-flying Alloa Athletic.

Both sides were tipped to be closely matched at the sharp end of the league following relegation and subsequently overhauling their squads in the summer.

But after a close cup encounter at the start of the season, which Peterhead eventually won on penalties, their seasons have differed dramatically.

The Blue Toon lie just two points off the bottom of the table and recently replaced John Sheran with Jim McInally, while Paul Hartley has moulded an attractive Wasps side who sit second in the table.

The early part of McInally’s reign at Balmoor has been spent trying to eradicate defensive errors which have blighted the side over the past 18 months, and there are signs his influence is starting to pay off as his men already look harder to beat.

That said, they had suffered defeat to leaders Annan Athletic in midweek, and there was one change to the side which had played that game, as Paul Watson dropped to the bench to be replaced by Lewis Davidson.

And the Blue Toon had an early sight of goal, but Dennis Wyness was unlucky to see his effort from close range blocked on the line.

It was Hartley’s side, though, who would take of the first half, and veteran hitman Robbie Winters, perhaps inspired by Kenny Miller’s Scotland goal on Friday night, pulled down a long ball after 11 minutes, only to see his quick lob drop over the crossbar.
Winters’ captain and former Aberdeen team-mate Darren Young pulled a shot wide from the edge of the box, but it was midfield partner Ryan McCord who came closest to breaking the deadlock.

On the half-hour, he curled in a free kick from the left wing which evaded everyone and looked to be heading towards the top corner of the net, before Peterhead’s former Wasps’ keeper Raymond Jellema palmed the ball to safety.

The keeper was helpless when McCord tried his luck again from 25 yards three minutes before the interval, looking on as the former Dundee United man’s effort crashed back off the crossbar.

Peterhead improved, after the interval, and a neat interchange between Rory McAllister and Bryan Deasley saw the former Dundee winger shuffle the ball onto his left foot before curling wide.
Alloa responded as Winters pulled out onto the right flank to orchestrate a move involving Ross McCord and Graeme Holmes, who found Kevin Cawley with his low cross, but the former Celtic man struck over the bar.

Peterhead had by now replaced Wyness with Martin Bavidge, and the striker posed a fresh problem for the Wasps defence who had previously looked solid.

The added aerial presence of Bavidge was evident as he got in to put goalkeeper Craig McDowall under pressure from a Davidson cross. The experienced hitman flicked the ball away from the keeper, but Dave Ross was unable to turn the ball home left-footed.

Peterhead were now looking much more comfortable in possession and perhaps even looked the more likely to open the scoring when they were hit with a cruel sucker punch.
Alloa substitute Armand One used his imposing physique to out-jump Bavidge at the near post, turning home Ryan McCord’s corner at the near post with just shy of 15 minutes remaining.

Just a few weeks ago, that would have seen Peterhead buckle, but not so now. Instead they pushed forward in search of an equaliser, and that was rewarded.

McAllister won a corner down the Peterhead right, and Deasley’s inswinging delivery put McDowall under pressure, the goalkeeper punching the ball into his own net as he attempted to clear the danger.

That sealed what was a deserved share of the points for McInally’s men, and though they now have to put their improved defending together with the attacking prowess shown earlier in the season, the result will be a boost ahead of next Saturday’s William Hill Scottish Cup trip to Inverurie Locos.

PETERHEAD: Raymond Jellema, Davie Donald, Lewis Davidson, Ryan Strachan, Callum Macdonald, Scott Ross, Dennis Wyness (Martin Bavidge, 64), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Bryan Deasley, Dave Ross. Subs not used: Paul Watson, Roy McBain, Shaun Robertson, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: Scott Ross.

ALLOA ATHLETIC: Craig McDowall, Mark McCullagh, James Doyle, Ben Gordon, Ryan Harding, Darren Young, Ross McCord (Mark Docherty, 64), Ryan McCord, Robbie Winters (Armand One, 67), Graeme Holmes, Kevin Cawley (Max Wright, 86). Subs not used: Craig Campbell, Scott Bain (gk).

Booked: Ryan McCord, Ryan Harding.

Referee: Mat Northcroft.

Attendance: 528

Inverurie Locos 2 Peterhead 1

Wed 23 Nov 2011

Inverurie Locos made life tough for Peterhead, but it was Jim McInally’s men who eventually won through to round four of the William Hill Scottish Cup, as the Blue Toon edged a six-goal thriller at Harlaw Park.

Strikes from Jamie Redman and Martin Bavidge seemed to have the game killed off after just 22 minutes, but Steven Park pulled one back for the hosts.

Callum Macdonald restored the two-goal advantage but Neil McLean hit back again for the home side who battled hard in a bid to level the scores, before Rory McAllister’s stunning free kick eventually killed off their hopes.

There was one change to the side that had drawn with Alloa last week, Bavidge returning to the starting eleven in place of Dennis Wyness after recovering from an ankle injury.

The Blue Toon were first out of the traps and Bryan Deasley sent an early shot wide of the target.

But goalkeeper Raymond Jellema spared his side’s blushes in the fifth minute as Locos co-manager Kenny Coull exchanged passes with Keith Thomson before the full-back saw his low shot turned round the post by the ex-Alloa custodian.

Deasley again hit wide before Peterhead took the lead in the 18th minute. Jamie Redman did the hard work, turning on Davie Donald’s pass and ghosting past three challenges before Thomson’s attempted clearance came back off Redman’s foot and found the back of the net.

And they were quick to double their advantage. Deasley took a short corner to Ryan Strachan and from the return pass the winger got into the area and cut back for McAllister who saw his shot blocked.

Dave Ross took a swing at it, but it was Bavidge who got the final touch, spinning quickly to fire home from close range.

If Peterhead thought they were home and dry, that notion was quickly removed as Steven Park rose to head home John Maitland’s corner at the back post just two minutes later, and it was game on again.

Jellema had to be at his best to turn away McLean’s effort ten minutes before the break as Locos hunted for a leveller, but Peterhead restored their two-goal advantage on the stroke of half-time.

The lively Deasley was again involved, his corner this time flicked on by Ross at the near post, and Macdonald rose highest to head home at the back post.

Again the Locos hit back, and again Peterhead were undone by a corner. Maitland was allowed to take a short kick to Craig Ross who crossed for Park. His header was punched away by Jellema, but fell nicely for McLean to lash home from 15 yards.

Once more the Highland League side took heart from their goal and they could have been level when Andy Reid’s free kick bounced all the way through to Neil Gauld, who saw his header flash inches wide of the post.

A minute later, Gauld’s free kick was only just wide of the other post as Locos took the game to their Third Division opponents, but they were to be hit with a cruel sucker punch.

McAllister won a free kick wide on the left and took it himself, unexpectedly curling a superb effort into the net from a tight angle.

That was to cement Peterhead’s place in the next round, but if Jim McInally is looking for his men to use this win as a building block towards improving their league form, then he will be disappointed that a replay between his side’s next two opponents, Elgin City and Queen’s Park, means the trip to Borough Briggs will now be postponed.

INVERURIE LOCOS: Andy Reid, Keith Thomson, Simon Scott, Scott Begg, Steven Park, Ryan Broadhurst, Craig Ross (Jamie Michie, 81), Neil McLean, Kenny Coull (Jack Strachan, 74), Neil Gauld (Marc Young, 81), John Maitland. Subs not used: Kieran Adams, Chris Ainslie (gk)

Booked: Begg, Park.

PETERHEAD: Raymond Jellema, Davie Donald, Lewis Davidson (Dennis Wyness, 78), Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan (Roy McBain, 68), Bryan Deasley, Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Graeme Sharp, 81), Martin Bavidge, Dave Ross. Subs not used: Paul Watson, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: Macdonald, Strachan.

Attendance: 998

 

U21s: Peterhead 2 Banks O’Dee 4

Wed 23 Nov 2011

Peterhead fell to defeat against Banks o’ Dee in a controversial Aberdeenshire League match at Balmoor last night.

The Blue Toon led thanks to Jamie McLauchlan’s 7th minute goal, flicked in by the youngster after Conor Legge and Dane Ballard had both flicked on a Paul Jarvie goal kick.

But midfielder Paul Watson was sent off for a frustrated swipe at fresh air which referee Thomas Shaw deemed an act of violent conduct after half an hour, and from the resultant free-kick the visitors levelled.

Ballard had already been subsituted by this point, and Peterhead were forced to use the second of their two substitutes when Ewen Morgan was stretchered off ten minutes from the break.

The Blue Toon were reduced to nine men when Barry Sellars was deemed to have brought down a Dee player in the area, though the award looked soft and the punishment harsh.

The resultant penalty was converted and worse was to follow as Legge was forced off with a knock, leaving the Blue Toon with just eight men – before half-time!

Kevin Will’s side netted twice in the second half to lead 4-1, but Paul Campbell thumped home a stunner from 25 yards with two minutes left to bring a some respectability to the scoreline.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Lewis Davidson, Roy McBain, Ewen Morgan (Greg Alexander, 35), Matt Fraser, Barry Sellars, Graeme Sharp, Paul Watson, Conor Legge, Jamie McLauchlan, Dane Ballard (Paul Campbell, 24).

Under 19s: Livingston 5 Peterhead 1

Wed 23 Nov 2011

Peterhead under 19’s team travelled again to West Lothian on Sunday to play their delayed match in the third round of the Scottish Youth Cup. The match on the 13th had been delayed previously when the Peterhead under 19’s bus broke down on the journey down to West Lothian.

Unfortunately the Peterhead young guns exited out of the competition against a very good Livingston under 17’s side, the young Livi lions have only been defeated once this season. Peterhead under 19’s team had comfortably defeated the Broch in the previous round three nil but Livingston was a different proposition.

The sides met at Albyn Park in Broxburn and home advantage told with Livingston running out 5-1 winners. There was no disgrace for the young Peterhead team who delivered a spirited display.

Peterhead went in front on twelve minutes and a shock looked on the cards, however the Peterhead resistance was broken on 28 minutes with a low angled shot from the edge of the box. Livingston took the lead 6 minutes later when a speculative effort from Gray from distance beat the Blue Toon keeper.

Livingston stepped up a gear in the second half and Livingston’s Gray added his second and third goals of the match on 47 and 69 minutes. The scoring was completed in 74 minutes but the match was a valuable learning experience for the young Buchan side.

Queen’s Park 1 Peterhead 1

Mon 05 Dec 2011

The team could have been forgiven for letting thoughts of the Scottish Cup and Celtic after the team bus rolled into Hampden, however it is the bread and butter of the league results that Jim McInally will be judged on. The rain was relentless and it was bitterly cold but the blue toon almost made a hot start.

Martin Bavidge’s first touch was to nutmeg Meggatt as he drove in from the right, but his cross was cleared for a corner and again showed how dangerous he can be with a strong turn in the box five minutes later, holding off McGinn and firing in a low shot that was deflected for a corner. Queen’s Park were making chances also with a free header from a McBride corner straight at Jellema, followed up with the McGinn cutting inside and feeding Longworth on the edge of the box, where the striker turned and fired a low shot which the Jellema took low down

Peterhead responded four minutes later with Dave Ross forcing the spiders’ keeper to palm a shot from 20 yards over the bar. The keeper was beaten from the corner as Bavidge again rose first only to head onto the top of the bar and over. Peterhead were exerting some pressure now, Deasley had a shot blocked for a corner and it took a fine stretching clearance by Little to prevent Bavidge getting in again after a nice through pass by Strachan.

Queens reacted and started to get back into the game, Roy McBain was booked for pulling back Watt and Callum MacDonald had to dive full length to head over his own bar and prevent the resulting free kick reaching the queens striker. Queen’s won a second corner and there was an almighty scramble in the Peterhead box as first Meggatt and then Watt couldn’t connect properly with shots before the danger was cleared. Peterhead suffered a blow when Davie Donald had to go off in 37 minutes with a knock to his ribs, with Graeme Sharp coming on.

Peterhead came out determined for the second half and it paid rewards into the second half, Queens’s defender Little’s awkward attempt at a headed back-pass went for a corner. The kick was cleared, but only out to Ryan Strachan and his whipped cross found Rory McAllister who headed high into the net.

Rory should have made it two up for the toon when he rounded Queens’s keeper Parry and then shot into the side net. The referee was alone in thinking the game was boiling over as he booked Strachan, Scott Ross, Deasley and Bavidge in quick succession, the blue toon fans were struggling to remember a bad challenge in the match.

Queens were now on top and they came so close to an equaliser, with having two shots cleared off the line with Jellema beaten. Murray skipped into the box on the left to win yet another corner but again McBride’s delivery found a Toon head and was cleared. On 71 minutes Queens equalised McGinn got past first Ross after a nice one-two and then glided past MacDonald as he got to the by-line and his cutback was swept behind Jellema by Murray.

The fussy referee found five additional minutes and queens could have won it in the last minute, the queens striker played a one two on the edge of the box to find himself unmarked 10 yards in front of goal, put the effort wide.

There was bad news for the toon at the final whistle when news of East Stirlingshire’s victory over Annan, had pushed the toon to the bottom of Scottish league football. Jim McInally needs to get the team back to winning ways soon where it matters; the cup match will take care of itself.

Stranraer 2 Peterhead 1

Mon 19 Dec 2011

Peterhead can perhaps count themselves unfortunate to still be searching for a first league win under Jim McInally, despite returning from Stranraer with nothing.

Bryan Deasley had given the Blue Toon the lead just before the hour mark, but Stranraer substitute Michael Moore levelled matters ten minutes from time, and Stephen Stirling added a second in injury time to complete the turnaround.

Deasley had started up front alongside Rory McAllister, with Martin Bavidge dropping to the bench and Graeme Sharp coming in on the flank, the only change McInally made to the team that had been denied victory at Queen’s Park a fortnight ago thanks to another late goal.

Sharp and Deasley had combined to create the first chance after nine minutes, the latter heading narrowly wide of the target as Peterhead took the game to their hosts.

Callum Macdonald saw a header come back off the crossbar, but the home side came into things and Raymond Jellema was forced into action to turn a Craig Malcolm shot round the post, after Martin Grehan had flicked on a long ball.

Stranraer defender Frank McKeown, who scored in the fixture between the sides at Balmoor earlier in the season, headed wide from the resultant corner.

And McKeown came close again, as his stunning strike forced Jellema to push over.

The sides were level at the interval, but Deasley opened the scoring just before the hour with a well-worked strike.

His pass had seen McAllister home in on goal, only for the Blue Toon’s top scorer to see his shot palmed away by home goalkeeper Ryan Marshall. The ball fell to Jamie Redman, but his cross was headed behind for a corner.

Deasley took a short corner, exchanging passes with Dave Ross before finding the angle for a shot which curled in at the far post, though Redman may claim a touch as the ball whizzed over his head.

McAllister passed up an opportunity to make the points safe, before Moore levelled matters, creating space inside the area to fire into the corner of the net from 12 yards.

It looked like the Blue Toon would at least hold on for a point, until they were cruelly undone in injury time.

Jellema’s goal kick was won in the midfield by John Kane, and he lifted a ball deep into Peterhead territory. Moore flicked on, and Stirling was perfectly placed to fire home from 20 yards.

It was a cruel defeat for the Blue Toon who remain bottom of the table ahead of Tuesday night’s rearranged match at home to Berwick Rangers.

STRANRAER: Ryan Marshall, Scott Taggart, Steven Noble, David McGregor, Frank McKeown, John Kane, Sean Winter (Michael Moore, 67), Stephen Stirling, Craig Malcolm, Martin Grehan, Stuart McColm. Subs not used: Grant Gallagher, Shepherd, Dean Agnew, David Mitchell (gk).

Booked: McColm.

PETERHEAD: Raymond Jellema, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Dave Ross, Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Dennis Wyness, 80), Bryan Deasley (Martin Bavidge, 65), Graeme Sharp (Shaun Robertson, 86). Subs not used: Lewis Davidson, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: McBain, Redman.

Attendance: 290

Peterhead 1 Berwick Rangers 0

Wed 21 Dec 2011

Peterhead served up an early Christmas present for the Balmoor faithful as they notched their first league win under the stewardship of Jim McInally to lift themselves off the bottom of Division Three, and record a first home league win since January.

Rory McAllister found the net from the penalty spot deep into first half injury-time to give McInally’s men the lead but, despite turning the screw on their visitors, a killer second goal never came.

That meant a nervy final ten minutes, but The Blue Toon held on to record a much-needed victory.

McInally had stuck by the same starting eleven that had lost out, somewhat harshly, to Stranraer at the weekend meaning Martin Bavidge again had to be content with a seat on the bench with Bryan Deasley partnering McAllister in attack.

It was Peterhead goalkeeper Raymond Jellema who was called into action first, repositioning himself to save from Darren Gribben’s attempted lob after the striker had spotted the keeper off his line.

The former Alloa custodian was at full stretch to turn Steven Notman’s header round the post, before Jamie Redman saw his header at the other end held by Berwick’s Jamie Barclay following Davie Donald’s long throw.

Deasley’s set pieces caused a number of problems for the visitors’ defence, and from one such delivery Scott Ross really should have done better than to head high and wide.

Another Deasley corner found Ross again, this time at the back post, but his header was cleared off the line by Lee Currie.

The Borderers weren’t out of this yet though, and there was a massive let-off for the home side when a mix-up between Donald and Ross allowed Stuart Noble to latch onto Andy McLean’s pass out of defence.

He squared unselfishly to strike partner Gribben, but the hitman somehow struck wide of the target with just Jellema to beat.

There was another escape for the Blue Toon when Berwick substitute Michael Deland, on for the injured Elliot Smith, picked up another McLean pass and seemed to be bundled over by Donald, but referee George Salmond was unmoved by the claim.

But Salmond’s penalty decision at the other end would give Peterhead a half-time lead. Redman pounced on the rebound after Deasley’s shot was saved by Barclay, but was sent flying by McLean’s strong challenge.

Despite the defender’s claim contact was made outside the box, Salmond pointed to the spot and McAllister confidently despatched.

The goal gave Peterhead the freedom to push forward after the interval, and McAllister came close to notching a second when he curled a left-footed effort narrowly past the post after 55 minutes.

Dave Ross saw a header saved from a Graeme Sharp cross soon after, and Sharp himself saw Barclay beat an effort away after a fine run from midfield.

Peterhead continued to press forward, and only the timely intervention of McLean took the ball away from McAllister following Donald’s cross from the right, the goal gaping in front of the former Brechin striker.

Ross was again denied by the goalkeeper when he struck left-footed after another Redman header had been blocked, with the ball prodded away from substitute Bavidge.

The nerves began to grow as time wore on, but the outcome should really have been put beyond doubt when Deasley got to the bye-line and crossed from the left. Barclay could only push the ball as far as Lewis Davidson.

He pulled back for Redman, but Currie threw himself in front of the midfielder’s strike and deflected away for a corner.

Berwick had a couple of chances to level in the last ten minutes, but Kevin McDonald spurned the best of them, his 15-yard effort taking a deflection on its way over the bar.

The win was just Peterhead’s second in what has been a difficult return to Division Three, but they now have the opportunity to build on the victory with home games against Montrose on Boxing Day and Elgin on January 2nd.

PETERHEAD: Raymond Jellema, Davie Donald (Lewis Davidson, 86), Roy McBain, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Dave Ross, Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Dennis Wyness, 82), Bryan Deasley, Graeme Sharp (Martin Bavidge, 61). Subs not used: Shaun Robertson, Paul Jarvie (gk).

BERWICK RANGERS: Jamie Barclay, Elliot Smith (Michael Deland, 15), Steven Thomson, Chris Townsley, Andy McLean, Lee Currie, Steven Notman, David Greenhill (Fraser McLaren, 70), Darren Gribben (Damon Gray, 70), Stuart Noble, Kevin McDonald. Subs not used: Aaron Ponton, Connor Wood.

Attendance: 483

Peterhead 2 Montrose 3

Mon 26 Dec 2011

Peterhead’s hopes of using their first home league win of the season as a springboard were dashed when the Blue Toon followed that win over Berwick Rangers with defeat against third-bottom Montrose.

Jim McInally’s men were looking to close the gap on Montrose to just one point and the manager stuck by the same starting eleven that head earned the points against the Wee Rangers, the only change coming on the bench where Aaron Conway replaced Shaun Robertson.

But it was a nervy start for the Blue Toon, not aided by the windy conditions at Balmoor. Indeed, Montrose right-back Sean Crichton used the wind to his advantage to send a 25-yard strike fizzing over the crossbar.

At the other end, Jamie Redman and Davie Donald combined on the right to work an opportunity for Dave Ross, but his cross was headed away by Montrose defender Jonathan Smart with Bryan Deasley waiting to pounce.

Montrose took the lead on the quarter-hour. Keeper Raymond Jellema made a meal of Jamie Winter’s low free kick, the goalkeeper managing only to palm the ball off the helpless Ryan Strachan and into the net.

Smart was in attendance and took the plaudits, but Strachan’s name went down on the scoresheet.

Peterhead came back at their hosts though and, after a Deasley free kick had been beaten away by Wood, Strachan shot disappointingly over the bar.

The ambitious Crichton had another go from distance which was held at the second attempt by Jellema, but Peterhead had started to get a grip in the match and saw Rory McAllister flash a header wide from Graeme Sharp’s cross.

McAllister was involved in his side’s best chance so far, on the hour mark. He scampered away down the left after being released by Ross, and it seemed Redman had to score from his low pass, only for a combination of Wood and Dougie Cameron to avert the danger.

McInally threw on Martin Bavidge for Ross, but the Toon would find themselves 2-0 down when Masson released winger David McGowan, who eased past the challenge of Callum Macdonald before slotting past Jellema from 15 yards.

To their credit, Peterhead pushed forward and when Wood spilled a Strachan cross, Redman knocked back but neither Bavidge nor Dennis Wyness could get a shot away.

But Strachan hauled them back into the game with 16 minutes remaining. Wood opted to punch a dangerous Deasley corner, and the ball to the former Celtic man who lashed home a left-foot effort.

But despite pressing for a leveller, Montrose made the points safe in injury time. Strachan’s attempted clearance in the full-back area was blocked and that allowed Martin Boyle to pull back for Lloyd Young.

He in turn picked out ex-Peterhead man Jonathon Crawford, who found the net from eight yards.

But there was still time for Bavidge to fire home a consolation strike in the fourth minute of time added on. Again it came from a Deasley corner, the striker winning the ball at the near post before firing high into the net on the turn.

The goal might have masked the ease of Montrose’s win, but it did little to ease the hurt of a painful 12 months for Peterhead FC, who must surely now look to the Elgin match on January 2, their first of 2012, as a new beginning.

PETERHEAD: Raymond Jellema, Davie Donald, Roy McBain (Aaron Conway 82), Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Dave Ross (Martin Bavidge 60), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Bryan Deasley, Graeme Sharp (Dennis Wyness 67). Subs not used: Lewis Davidson, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: McAllister, Deasley.

MONTROSE: Sandy Wood, Sean Crichton, Dougie Cameron, Alan Campbell, Jonathan Smart, Terry Masson, Lloyd Young, Jamie Winter, Martin Boyle, Scott Johnston, David McGowan (Jonathon Crawford 81). Subs not used: Sean Pierce, David Dimilta, Steven McPhee, Michael Andrews (gk).

Booked: Cameron, McGowan, Crawford.

Attendance: 566

Peterhead 3 Elgin City 0

Mon 02 Jan 2012

Peterhead got their attempts to put the nightmare that was 2011 behind them off to a good start, as they comfortably disposed of ten-man Elgin City in their first match of 2012.

Jim McInally made two changes to the side that had suffered Boxing Day defeat to Montrose, goalkeeper Raymond Jellema replaced by Paul Jarvie, and Martin Bavidge returning to the starting eleven in place of Bryan Deasley.

A tactical switch saw Dave Ross switch to the left flank, Graeme Sharp on the right, and both would put in fine performances.

Sharp was heavily involved in the early play, his cross just evading Rory McAllister before Jamie Redman struck over from just inside the area.

A neat interchange between Ross and McAllister on the left saw the former Brechin man fly past Elgin defender David Niven before crossing for Sharp after 12 minutes but, left-footed, Sharp hit high and wide.

The Blue Toon were playing well, and their cause was aided by the incident that led to the opener, and reduced the visitors to ten men.

Bavidge slipped a clever ball through to McAllister who drew City keeper Zander Clark off his line and into hauling the striker down.

That left referee Don Robertson no option but to produce the red card and, after some delay City withdrew giant striker Paul Miller and replaced him with sub keeper John Calder, McAllister stepped up to confidently stroke home from the spot.

City were up against it, but Peterhead struggled to press home their advantage in the immediate aftermath of the card, and it took almost 20 minutes for them to threaten once more.

Ryan Strachan won the ball in his own half and evaded three challenges before passing to Bavidge, who himself beat two men then fed Redman whose cross simply had to be put away by Sharp from close range.

The former Montrose winger completely missed his kick, though, slicing tamely back across the goal and allowing Elgin to clear.

But Sharp made up for that miss in some style, two minutes into injury time. Scott Ross headed away a Daniel Moore free-kick, and Dave Ross fed Sharp just inside the Elgin half.

Sharp raced towards goal, cutting inside McPhee before striking left-footed from 20 yards, a deflection off Graeme Beveridge wrong-footing Calder as the ball flew into the net.

Still in the thick of the action after the break, Sharp saw an early volley deflected wide of the post, then another 25-yard effort squirm wide of the post after McAllister’s clever flick.

Piling on the pressure, Bavidge went close when his shot from an acute angle struck both the upright and Calder just before the hour mark.

The visitors were still more than capable of hitting on the break though, and they too hit the woodwork just a minute later.

Stuart Leslie picked the ball up in midfield and fed former Blue Toon man Craig Gunn. Elgin’s top scorer had Jarvie beaten with an angled shot but the ball came back off the inside of the post and into the arms of the relieved keeper.

Gunn again threatened soon after, this time from a Moore delivery, however his tame header was comfortably held by Jarvie.

The points were sealed after 73 minutes though, as Scott Ross popped up in the penalty area to turn home a corner from substitute Deasley, the ball coming off the former Aberdeen man’s shoulder as he came under pressure from Calder and Jamie Duff.

Another sub, Aaron Conway, stung the palms of Calder in the dying stages, as the Blue Toon ensured a confidence-boosting win ahead of their televised Scottish Cup tie against Celtic on Sunday.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Dave Ross (Bryan Deasley, 65), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Aaron Conway, 75), Martin Bavidge (Dennis Wyness, 57), Graeme Sharp. Subs not used: Lewis Davidson, Raymond Jellema (gk).

Booked: Bavidge.

ELGIN CITY: Zander Clark, David Niven, Archie McPhee, Stuart Leslie (Trialist, 68), Jamie Duff, Graeme Beveridge, Craig Gunn (Jason Crooks, 72), Ross O’Donoghue, Paul Miller (John Calder, 19), Mark Nicolson, Daniel Moore. Sub not used: Cieran Maclean.

Sent off: Clark.

Attendance: 626

Peterhead 0 Celtic 3

Sun 08 Jan 2012

Peterhead’s Scottish Cup adventure came to an expected end against Celtic at Balmoor, but the memories will live long for a side who didn’t disgrace themselves against the current SPL leaders.

With Peterhead sitting second-bottom of the Third Division an upset never really looked on the cards, but Jim McInally’s men held strong for much of the first half before Anthony Stokes netted the first of what would be a Balmoor hat-trick.

The game was over when Stokes notched his second just before the hour mark, and the third came with just eight minutes remaining.

Starting with the same personnel who had begun in the 3-0 win over Elgin City six days previously, Peterhead began brightly, and worked an opportunity for Dave Ross to get into the heart of the Celtic penalty area after just 45 seconds, but Lukasz Zaluska mopped up the danger.

McInally had sent his troops out in a 3-4-3 formation but quickly reverted into a 5-4-1 as Celtic pushed forward in the wide areas, Martin Bavidge and Graeme Sharp in particular finding themselves pressed back by Cha Du Ri, who was always happy to get forward down the Celtic right.

Indeed it was his pass, after being slipped in by countryman Ki Sung Yeung, that saw Stokes turn Celtic’s first real opportunity over the crossbar.

There was something of a let-off for the Blue Toon just before the hour, as Ki was left all alone on the edge of the area, and he crashed a shot off the crossbar from Charlie Mulgrew’s corner kick.

Mulgrew himself had an effort from a 20-yard free kick just to the right of goal, but Paul Jarvie was more than equal to the effort.

Just moments later, though, the ball was in the back of the net.

Peterhead cleared their lines but Celtic were happy to play out from the back, and when Paddy McCourt eventually sent a diagonal ball in behind Callum Macdonald, Georgos Samaras squared for Stokes to turn home the opener.

There was perhaps a hint of offside about Samaras’ involvement, but the crisp passing was to be admired.

Peterhead had a rare chance to throw a ball into the Celtic area as Rory McAllister won a free kick out on the left, but the visitors quickly turned defence into attack after Ryan Strachan’s delivery.

They broke quickly, and Neil Lennon’s front two combined to put the ball in the net again, Stokes this time flagged offside as he blasted home from all of a yard.

With just the one goal in it at half-time McInally could already be proud of his side, but he bravely adjusted his formation to try to get some support to the hard-working McAllister.

Bavidge was pushed forwards as Bryan Deasley replaced Graeme Sharp, but the visitors would double their lead shortly before the hour.

Stokes had already seen another effort ruled out by the linesman’s flag from a McCourt pass, before a patient build-up saw him fire home his second of the game.

Twice Stokes exchanged passes with rampaging left-back Emilio Izaguirre before eventually angling a shot from the Honduran’s pass beyond the helpless Jarvie.

If anything, the pass from Izaguirre had taken the former Arsenal, Falkirk and Hibs man away from goal, but it was a mark of his calibre that he coolly dispatched beyond Jarvie.

Celtic made their first substitution in the wake of the goal, Joe Ledley replaced by Victor Wanyama after the former had sustained a facial knock in a collision with Jamie Redman, the contact looking accidental from the former Brechin City player.

A rare foray forward saw Deasley slice a cross-cum-shot wide of the target after 74 minutes following some good play by Ross on the left, but Celtic were to extend their lead eight minutes later.

Ki picked out Dylan McGeouch with a short corner, with the ball eventually worked to Stokes on the other side of the penalty area, and he calmly set himself before angling past the unlucky Jarvie.

That was game, set and match for the visitors, but the record crowd of 4,505 within Balmoor could certainly go home proud of their side.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Dave Ross (Lewis Davidson, 69), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge (Dennis Wyness, 60) Graeme Sharp (Bryan Deasley, 46). Subs not used: Aaron Conway, Ray Jellema (gk).

Booked: McBain, McAllister, S. Ross.

CELTIC: Lukasz Zaluska, Cha Du Ri, Emilio Izaguirre, Kelvin Wilson, Charlie Mulgrew (Dylan McGeouch, 82), Paddy McCourt, Scott Brown, Joe Ledley (Victor Wanyama, 58), Ki Sung Yeung, Giorgos Samaras (Filip Twardzik, 70), Anthony Stokes. Subs not used: Adam Matthews, Frazer Forster (gk).

Attendance: 4,505

Peterhead 1 East Stirling 0

Sun 15 Jan 2012

Peterhead extended their recent league form to three wins from their last four games, but made heavy weather of it against East Stirling at Balmoor.

The Blue Toon were still on a high after the William Hill Scottish Cup tie against Celtic six days earlier, and their first half performance was one of promise, capped eleven minutes from the interval by Dennis Wyness’ opener.

But East Stirling emerged for the second half the livelier of the teams, and could count themselves unlucky not to take something from the match.

Missing top scorer Rory McAllister through injury, Jim McInally drafted Wyness into the starting eleven, while Bryan Deasley replaced the injured Davie Ross.

And though the game took a while to warm up on a bitterly cold day, it would be Peterhead who dominated the first half action.

Deasley had the first opportunity of the game, but his effort was comfortably held by Callum Antell in the Shire goal.

It was the nineteenth minutes before the game really burst into life, though. Graeme Sharp worked space on the right and pulled back for Jamie Redman, who saw Antell push his low effort away.

When the ball broke back out, Roy McBain slipped in former Inverness Caley Thistle team-mate Wyness who curled narrowly over.

A minute later Bavidge latched on to Paul Jarvie’s clearance and, though he was forced wide, crossed for Wyness at the near post, his diving header just wide of the target.

As Peterhead maintained the pressure, both Sharp and Bavidge passed up further opportunities.

The willing attitude of Bavidge almost paid off when he charged down an Antell clearance, the on-load Hibs man relieved to see the ball spin away from the goal.

And Bavidge was involved again when Peterhead finally broke the deadlock after 34 minutes.

His shot was deflected wide for a corner, from which Ryan Strachan picked out Scott Ross. It took a fine diving save to prevent the former Aberdeen man from netting a second goal in consecutive league games, but Wyness was on hand to turn home from close range.

The visitors were keen to hit on the counter, though, and hitman Lewis Horner saw his curling effort sail just inches wide of the upright, but Peterhead would also threaten again before the interval with Antell turning over a long-range effort from Sharp.

It looked at the interval as though it was more a question of when rather than if the Blue Toon would score again, but the visitors came out determined to prove themselves worthy adversaries.

Though Antell denied Bavidge again early in the second half, the visitors would enjoy a fine spell of possession and put the Blue Toon under severe pressure.

That said, when Jarvie got down to deny Turner at the near post on the hour mark, it was the only real save the goalkeeper had to make in the game.

But Peterhead were bolstered when Lewis Davidson replaced the injured Scott Ross, and the local lad came close to making the points safe, with just over ten minutes remaining, his 20-yard strike coming back off the crossbar.

And Jamie Redman will be disappointed he didn’t find the back of the net late on, when he headed Donald’s cross straight at the impressive Antell.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Scott Ross (Lewis Davidson 60), Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Graeme Sharp (Aaron Conway 76), Jamie Redman, Dennis Wyness, Martin Bavidge, Bryan Deasley. Subs not used: Shaun Robertson, Paul Watson, Ray Jellema (gk).

Booked: Ross, Strachan, Sharp.

EAST STIRLING: Callum Antell, Iain Chisholm, Joe Dingwall (Fraser Team 86), David Cane, Steven Jackson, Mikey Hunter, Alex Lurinsky (Jamie Benton 83), Andrew Stirling, Kevin Turner (Jordyn Sheerin 70), Lewis Horner, Scott Maxwell. Subs not used: Craig Scott, Grant Hay (gk)

Attendance: 541

Clyde 0 Peterhead 1

Sat 21 Jan 2012

Peterhead’s upturn in fortunes continued as they took their recent good form on the road to collect a second away win of the season, and a fourth in their last five league games.

The Blue Toon’s last five games in all competitions had been at Balmoor, and with an improvement in form having seen them take nine points from their four league matches in that spell, manager Jim McInally was looking for his men to replicate that form at Broadwood.

Top scorer Rory McAllister returned to the starting eleven after suspension in place of Graeme Sharp, while Dennis Wyness retained his place in the starting eleven after netting the winner against East Stirling last week.

Dave Ross returned to the bench after injury, and on-loan midfielder Graham Webster was also among the substitutes, having joined from Dundee this week.

Conditions were far from ideal, but with a strong, swirling wind blowing through the Cumbernauld stadium, Peterhead must have felt more than at home.

They certainly didn’t waste any time in abusing the hospitality of their hosts, taking the lead after just three minutes.

Ryan Strachan took a quick free kick to Bryan Deasley and although his cross took a nick off a Clyde defender, Scott Ross was able to head across goal and Martin Bavidge nodded over the line.

But though Peterhead pressed forward with intent, they found it hard to put Clyde keeper David Crawford under any real pressure, before Roy McBain flashed a cross-cum-shot across goal ten minutes from the interval.

There was more action after the interval though, and Bavidge set the tone in the opening minutes, cutting in from the left to hit a shot from eight yards, Crawford turning the ball away with his legs for a corner.

Crawford was coming under pressure in the early stages of the second half, but he wouldn’t have expected to have to scramble backwards to deal with Brian McQueen’s passback ten minutes after the interval, the centre-back having misjudged his goalkeeper’s positioning.

A minute later, Strachan had the goalkeeper under threat again, as he sent a shot narrowly over the crossbar from 25-yards.

At the other end, Clyde’s recent loan signing from Dumbarton, Kieran Brannan, got the better of Callum Macdonald to get into the penalty area, but the Blue Toon captain recovered to block, and Brannan sent his second effort into the side-netting.

But still Peterhead drove forward in search of a second goal, and McAllister should have done better with his 20-yard free kick on the hour. Having won the set-piece himself, he blazed his shot into the empty stand behind the goal.

Substitute Dave Ross was next to have a crack at goal, his strike crashing off the crossbar after excellent work by Bavidge on the right flank had allowed him to cross.

Paul Jarvie, on his return to his former club, denied John Neil with a diving save low to his left, while McAllister turned brilliantly at the other end, only to see his shot saved by Crawford.

With the clock running down, the home side began to throw men forward in search of a late leveller and appealed strongly for handball when Steph McDonald’s shot was deflected wide, but there was no reaction from referee Brian Colvin.

It was a nervy climax without the buffer of that elusive second goal, but the Blue Toon held firm to close the gap to both Clyde and Montrose to just two points – with McInally’s men having a game in hand over both.

Each of Peterhead’s recent wins has been accompanied by a clean sheet, which provides some encouragement ahead of next Saturday’s home match against Queen’s Park.

CLYDE: David Crawford, Iain Gray (Michael Oliver, 46), Lee Sharp, Jason Marr, Brian McQueen, Paul Hay (Dale Fulton, 83), John Neil, John Sweeney, Kieran Brannan, Trialist, Pat Scullion (Steph McDonald, 63). Subs not used: Kris Irvine, Barry McCue (gk).

Booked: Scullion, Sweeney.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Roy McBain (Lewis Davidson, 83), Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Dennis Wyness (Dave Ross, 61), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge, Bryan Deasley (Graeme Sharp, 61). Subs not used: Graham Webster, Raymond Jellema (gk).

Booked: Macdonald, McAllister.

Attendance: 456

Peterhead 2 Queen’s Park 1

Sat 28 Jan 2012

Peterhead’s run of form continues ad they picked up a fourth straight win, and a fifth in six league games, despite falling behind to Queen’s Park.

The visitors had dominated the first half, so deserved the lead handed to them by Sean Burns after 33 minutes. But a tactical reshuffle saw Peterhead take control after the interval, and Rory McAllister netted a double to earn the points.

With Scott Ross suspended, Peterhead handed a second debut to veteran defender Craig Tully, now registered for a second spell on the Balmoor playing staff alongside his coaching duties.

Also making his debut, at the other end of the age scale, was midfielder Graham Webster, the recent loan signing from Dundee.

Both players slotted into a 3-5-2 formation designed to provide as much cover for Tully as possible, the defender having last played for Clyde in July.

But the Spiders took the game to Peterhead early on, and Paul Jarvie had to be alert to save Jamie Longworth’s header from a Martin McBride corner early on, and again to deny Daryl Meggatt from another McBride delivery.

It was almost 20 minutes into the game before Peterhead’s first chance saw Queen’s keeper Neil Parry comfortably hold Bryan Deasley’s 20-yard strike.

But McBride provided another moment of danger at the other end as, after a short corner, he curled a dangerous cross towards the back post, Jamie Redman having to head the danger away.

Martin Bavidge saw a header saved from a Deasley cross after 33 minutes, but twenty seconds later the visitors were deservedly ahead.

Parry quickly played the ball out to captain Ricky Little, who found Craig Smith with a ball down the right channel. Tully was unable to cut out the low cross Smith fired across goal, and Burns had the easiest of tasks to tap home.

They could have been two up by half-time as Ian Watt charged down Tully’s attempted clearance and was through one-on-one with Jarvie, only for a heavy touch to allow the goalkeeper to mop up the danger.

But it was an entirely different game after the restart. Peterhead switched to a 4-4-2 formation and the improvement was immediate.

Just four minutes after the restart Ryan Strachan, pushed forward into a midfield role, found Bavidge with a cross from the left. He knocked down for Webster who missed his kick but still forced a save from Parry, with Davie Donald seeing his follow-up come back off the post.

Parry had to get down at his near post shortly after, by which time Peterhead had brought on Dave Ross and Graeme Sharp to bolster their attacking options.

Ross’ first real involvement saw him take advantage of a Paul McGinn slip to cross for McAllister from the left, only for the former Brechin man to fluff his lines and blaze high and wide.

But you can’t keep a good man down, and McAllister would net the leveller after 62 minutes. Bavidge played in Sharp down the right and his early cross found the striker unmarked to head a superb header into the top corner of the net.

The momentum was definitely with Peterhead now, and they took the lead from the penalty spot five minutes later.

Bavidge beat McGinn as he cut in from the left flank but drew Little into a foul, and McAllister stepped up to coolly beat Parry from 12 yards.

Ross was unlucky to see his shot deflect wide as he looked to put some distance between the sides, but as has so often been the case lately, it was a nervy finish with the narrowest of margins.

Perhaps evidence that the Blue Toon are starting to get the rub of the green, Smith was millimetres away from earning the Spiders a point as he beat Jarvie from 20 yards with an injury-time strike, only to see his effort come back off the upright.

It was heart-in-mouth stuff for the home support, but their side held on for a vital three points that lift them to seventh in the league ahead of tough trips to league leaders Alloa and then sixth-placed Berwick Rangers.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Craig Tully, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Graham Webster (Graeme Sharp 51), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge (Dennis Wyness 90), Bryan Deasley (Dave Ross 51). Subs not used: Lewis Davidson, Ray Jellema (gk)

Booked: McBain, McAllister.

QUEEN’S PARK: Neil Parry, Paul McGinn, Daryl Meggatt, Ricky Little, Paul Gallacher, David Anderson, Ian Watt (Tony Quinn 83), Martin McBride, Craig Smith, Jamie Longworth, Sean Burns (Michael Daly 72). Subs not used: Peter Bradley, Owen Ronald, Blair Lochhead (gk).

Booked: McGinn.

Referee: Brian Winter

Attendance: 505

Alloa Athletic 3 Peterhead 1

Tue 31 Jan 2012

A Rory McAllister wonder-strike could not stop Third Division leaders Alloa Athletic ending Peterhead’s run of league wins at four.

McAllister hit a superb leveller after central defender Ben Gordon had given Paul Hartley’s side the lead in this rearranged match, but the Wasps swiftly hit back through Mark Docherty before Stevie May struck a killer third.

Scott Ross had returned for Peterhead in place of Craig Tully, while Dave Ross and Graeme Sharp started after impressing as substitutes in the win over Queen’s Park.

Graham Webster dropped out, and Bryan Deasley was demoted to the bench to make way for them.

Peterhead’s recent form had been impressive, but Alloa’s own run had seen them win five on the bounce, and they were undefeated since October.

Making the most of their home advantage, the Wasps started brightly, with Stevie Masterton blasting a 25-yard effort narrowly wide of the upright.

Peterhead returned fire immediately as McAllister cut back for Dave Ross, only for the ex-Aberdeen man to blaze over from eight yards.

Paul Jarvie was the first of the goalkeepers to be tested, as he saved from Alloa’s former Celtic striker Kevin Cawley after eight minutes, but he was left helpless as the home side opened the scoring.

Peterhead struggled to deal with a free kick sent over to the far post, and Graeme Holmes was able to pick out Gordon who slotted past the goalkeeper from close range.

Four minutes later, Cawley won his side a free kick 20 yards out, but the lively May sliced well wide.

Jim McInally’s men began to find a footing in the game, though, and used the artificial surface at Recreation Park to build some neat passing moves.

Indeed, Martin Bavidge saw an effort blocked from Davie Donald’s right wing cross, before Ryan Strachan’s left-foot effort from 25 yards drew a save from former Aberdeen keeper Scott Bain.

They were finally rewarded when McAllister turned at the left corner of the penalty area, and sent a scorching shot high past Bain and into the top corner of the net.

But parity only lasted two minutes, and again it was a set-piece which would be Peterhead’s undoing.

This time it was Masterton’s corner, swung in from the right, which caused the problems. Only cleared as far as the edge of the area where Docherty pounced with a fine strike high into Jarvie’s net.

The second half started more evenly, with May hitting just inches over, before Sharp drew a save from Bain with a 20-yard effort.

Peterhead pressed strongly for a leveller and Bavidge was unlucky to head wide at the near post from a Ryan Strachan corner, but another set piece would soon cost them dear.

With 25 minutes remaining, Jarvie beat away a Masterton corner from under his own cross bar, and the in-form May followed up to fire home his eighth goal in his last five appearances.

The on-loan St Johnstone man had looked a cut above throughout, and his goal was well-deserved.

That said, his heroics were to be matched at the other end as Peterhead threw caution to the wind and pushed men forward in a bid to get back into the game.

Scott Ross saw a header crash back off the upright with just a little too much pace on the rebound for McAllister to pounce.

Minutes later, Bain produced a double save worthy of the admission fee alone. Bain’s save from Strachan’s low effort was relatively routine, but the goalkeeper was back up quickly to somehow deny Dennis Wyness.

His efforts drew praise from both managers after the match, and who knows what might have happened had either effort found the net.

The Blue Toon continued to press right to the death, but only when Donald struck over from 20 yards was Bain’s goal under further threat, with Peterhead’s hopes of taking something from the game all but gone by that point.

Despite the result there was much for Jim McInally and his coaching staff to be positive about ahead of the weekend’s trip over the border to sixth-placed Berwick Rangers, who lie just three points ahead of the Blue Toon.

ALLOA ATHLETIC: Scott Bain, James Doyle, Ross McKinnon, Ben Gordon (Mark McCullagh, 48), Ryan Harding, Darren Young, Mark Docherty, Stevie Masterton (Ross McCord, 81), Stevie May, Graeme Holmes, Kevin Cawley. Subs not used: Armand One, Robbie Winters, Craig McDowall (gk).

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Scott Ross (Craig Tully, 78), Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Graeme Sharp (Dennis Wyness, 68), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge, Dave Ross (Bryan Deasley, 54). Subs not used: Lewis Davidson, Raymond Jellema (gk).

Booked: Scott Ross.

Attendance: 429

Peterhead 1 Stranraer 1

Sun 12 Feb 2012

Jarvie saves from Steven Noble

Rory McAllister netted from the spot to earn Peterhead a point at home to high-flying Stranraer, as Jim McInally’s men bounced back from losing a goal after just 54 seconds.

However, they had goalkeeper Paul Jarvie to thank for keeping them in the match after a string of first half saves, including a stunning triple save.

New loan signing Ross Smith had to be content with a place on the bench, Bryan Deasley starting in place of Dave Ross the only change from the defeat to Alloa Athletic.

But before they could settle into the game, they found themselves behind. Stephen Stirling was the architect, threading a ball between centre-backs Scott Ross and Callum Macdonald for Craig Malcolm to dispatch beyond the helpless Jarvie.

Malcolm was involved in the move leading to Jarvie’s heroic triple-save. His cutback was touched on by Martin Grehan to Steven Noble, and Jarvie got down well to save his initial effort.

McAllister heads the ball ahead of Frank McKeown

The ball rebounded back to Noble who saw his second effort deflect off Macdonald before being palmed away by the keeper, who got up quickly to turn away Grehan’s third effort.

The former Dundee United and Clyde keeper was called into action again when lax marking gifted Grant Gallagher space to line up a shot from Chris Aitken’s short corner but he was again equal to the effort.

Peterhead finally registered a shot on target just before the half-hour as Deasley picked up on Frank McKeown’s loose clearance before sending a low shot skidding across the turf and into the arms of David Mitchell.

Peterhead switched to a 3-4-3 formation with Roy McBain moving into a sweeper role between Ross and Macdonald, but Stranraer had another chance to extend their lead as the Blue Toon settled into the new system.

Stirling was again the driving force, turning Davie Donald on the right and slipping the ball in to the feet of Grehan. Stirling continued his run to meet the return pass but was denied by the feet of the outstanding Jarvie.

But the change in formation saw Peterhead begin to establish themselves, and they drew level three minutes from the interval.

Ryan Strachan spread the play out to Graeme Sharp on the left, and as he cut inside Scott Taggart, the on-loan Hibs man caught him with a trailing leg, and Stephen Finnie had no hesitation pointing to the spot.

Up stepped top scorer McAllister and he rolled the ball straight down the middle as Mitchell dived to his left.

The visitors had a chance to re-take the lead early in the second half as Malcolm’s quickly-taken free-kick presented strike partner Grehan with a chance from 18 yards, but his effort was comfortably smothered by Jarvie.

Peterhead would press forward, though, and Martin Bavidge sent a powerful header narrowly over the bar from Sharp’s left-wing cross.

And just before the hour, Gallagher was perhaps lucky not to direct a Donald cross into his own net, as he beat both Deasley and his own goalkeeper to win the ball, heading over his own crossbar.

For his part, Deasley was caught by the onrushing goalkeeper and looked a little dazed by the collision but was able to continue.

Still the home side pressed forward and it looked like McAllister would put them in front after Bavidge flicked on Macdonald’s long ball. McAllister took it in his stride and rounded Mitchell, only to see his angled effort come back off the far post.

Jamie Redman followed up but his shot was blocked by McKeown, and Sharp eventually struck over from 20 yards.

They came close again when substitute Dennis Wyness’ cross, Bavidge saw Mitchell push his shot on the turn over the bar for a corner.

Another sub, Dave Ross, charged down a clearance and swung over a cross from the right that was met by the flying McAllister, his header off target but a free-kick given to Stranraer as Mr Finnie deemed his low head to constitute dangerous play.

Blue Toon hero Jarvie had to be withdrawn from the action in the dying stages after taking a kick to the elbow in claiming a cross, and he was replaced by Raymond Jellema.

Jellema was called into action just once. Gallagher burst through the middle and slipped in sub Michael Moore who cut inside onto his left foot but his curling effort was pushed away by the replacement keeper.

The final chance fell to the Blue Toon, Donald bursting forward and laying off for Wyness on the edge of the area, but the veteran’s lob flew over the bar as the scores remained level.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie (Raymond Jellema, 86), Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Bryan Deasley (Dennis Wyness, 72), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge, Graeme Sharp (Dave Ross, 75). Subs not used: Lewis Davidson, Ross Smith.

Booked: Macdonald, Strachan, Redman.

STRANRAER: David Mitchell, John Kane, Steven Noble, David Macgregor, Frank McKeown, Chris Aitken (Sean Winter, 68), Scott Taggart, Stephen Stirling, Craig Malcolm (Stuart McColm, 77), Martin Grehan (Michael Moore, 77), Grant Gallagher. Subs not used: Nathan Shepherd, Ryan Marshall (gk).

Booked: Aitken.

Attendance: 435

 

Elgin City 6 Peterhead 1

Tue 14 Feb 2012

Shades of the ‘old’ Blue Toon were evident as they crashed to a humiliating defeat at the hands of northern rivals Elgin City in this oft-postponed match.

Peterhead were boosted ahead of the match by Paul Jarvie’s recovery from the elbow knock that had forced him off after an inspired performance in the draw against Stranraer a few days previously.

That meant there was just one change to the side that had come from behind to earn that draw, Dave Ross starting in place of Bryan Deasley.

The home side were without the suspended Peterhead loan target Mark Durnan, and were dealt a further blow after just nine minutes as influential midfielder Graeme Beveridge was forced off with an ankle injury.

But they swiftly recovered, and took the lead in farcical circumstances. Ross played what appeared a simple passback but Jarvie was caught unawares and could only watch in horror as the ball rolled over the line.

It was into the second half before the home side added a second, as the Peterhead defence failed to deal with a corner and Paul Millar slammed low into the net.

The game was all but over two minutes later, and again it was an own-goal which extended the lead. This time it was Rory McAllister who glanced a header beyond his own goalkeeper from Daniel Moore’s corner.

Moore was involved again as Elgin netted a fourth with twenty minutes remaining, his drive looping off the head of luckless Peterhead captain Callum Macdonald and into the net.

There was some respite for McInally’s side as midfielder Jamie Redman headed home a consolation with ten minutes remaining, but the ruthless hosts were not finished yet.

They added further strikes through Brian Cameron and former Blue Toon man Craig Gunn to seal a remarkable 6-1 victory and consolidate their playoff hopes, while denting Peterhead’s own slender hopes of a late surge towards the playoffs.

ELGIN CITY: Zander Clark, David Niven, Archie MacPhee, Graeme Beveridge (Ross O’Donoghue, 9), Jamie Duff, Stuart Leslie, Craig Gunn, Brian Cameron, Paul Millar (Paul McMullan, 64), Mark Nicolson (Barry Wilson, 77), Daniel Moore. Subs not used: Steven Edwards, John Calder (gk).

Booked: Duff.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Scott Ross (Dennis Wyness, 81), Callum MacDonald, Ryan Strachan, Graeme Sharp (Bryan Deasley, 52), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge, Dave Ross (Ross Smith, 52). Subs not used Graham Webster, Raymond Jellema (gk).

Booked: Scott Ross.

Attendance: 431

Montrose 1 Peterhead 3

Sat 18 Feb 2012

Peterhead bounced back from their midweek humiliation to return to winning ways against Montrose.

Manager Jim McInally had promised changes in the wake of the 6-1 reverse against Elgin City, and handed a first start to on-loan Dundee United defender Ross Smith.

Smith lined up in a reshaped defence alongside Callum Macdonald and Craig Tully, who replaced the injured Scott Ross.

The other change saw Graham Webster return to the starting eleven, with Dave Ross dropping to the bench.

McInally had reverted to a 3-5-2 formation, so Webster joined Jamie Redman and Ryan Strachan in the centre of midfield.

But the Blue Toon had to weather an early storm on two counts, with the home side using the wind at their backs to press forward at will.

After conceding six in midweek, Peterhead goalkeeper Paul Jarvie put in a display reminiscent of that he had enjoyed against Stranraer a week earlier, keeping his side in the game with a string of fine saves.

He was powerless to prevent Jamie Winter’s free kick crashing off the crossbar as early as the third minute, but was called into action to deny the same player after ten minutes, and then smothered a low shot from livewire striker Martin Boyle.

Boyle was again denied by the former Torquay United goalkeeper before Peterhead began to find their footing in the game.

Webster fired a warning shot as he found space on the edge of the area, the on-loan Dundee man being forced onto his left foot and seeing Michael Andrews hold his shot comfortably.

Jarvie again came to his side’s rescue as he spectacularly turned away David McGowan’s effort after the winger had been played in by Scott Johnston, and Boyle failed to find the target with the rebound.

But Webster would make a more telling contribution just after the half-hour. Again he ghosted into space on the edge of the area and, found by Ryan Strachan, saw his first shot blocked before rifling a shot low into the corner of the net.

It should have been two when Rory McAllister beat the offside trap to latch on to a superb pass from Martin Bavidge but, with Andrews advancing, the former Brechin City man could only hit straight at the goalkeeper.

That was to prove McAllister’s last action as he was replaced by Dave Ross just before the interval, a substitution which McInally would later reveal was down to a mix-up in communication.

The former Morton and East Stirling boss was forced to make a second change at half-time, ex-Montrose man Graeme Sharp replacing the ill Davie Donald at right-wing back.

Sharp was involved almost immediately and raised a loud cheer from the Links Park crowd as he managed to direct a clearance straight through the open window of the pie stall to the amusement of the 358-strong crowd.

Peterhead were back to more serious action just minutes later, and doubled their lead after 51 minutes.

A Strachan corner was flicked on by Macdonald at the near post, and Bavidge directed a header goalward.

Andrews was behind his line when he dived and may not have done enough to keep the ball out, but Dave Ross made sure in any case as he prodded home from close range.

There would be no arguments about the scorer of Peterhead’s third goal just two minutes later. Smith sent a pass up the inside-right channel and Bavidge went haring after it, beating the onrushing Andrews to the ball and lifting over the former Falkirk goalkeeper from outside the area.

It was a killer blow to Montrose, but to their credit they continued to push forward and threw on former Peterhead loan man Gary Wood in a bid to claw their way back into the game.

It was Boyle, though, who reduced the deficit, pulling down a Winter pass and rounding Jarvie before rolling the ball home to give his side a lifeline.

They could have further reduced the deficit when defender Alan Campbell sent a header toward goal, but Roy McBain was well positioned to head off the line.

And the former Caley Thistle midfielder could have scored himself moments later, combining with Jamie Redman on the edge of the area only to see his chipped effort turned past the post.

MONTROSE: Michael Andrews, Sean Crighton (Jonathon Crawford, 78), Dougie Cameron, Alan Campbell, Jonathan Smart, Terry Masson, Lloyd Young, Jamie Winter, Martin Boyle, Scott Johnston, David McGowan (Gary Wood, 57). Subs not used: Kevin Brown, Scott Gordon, Sandy Wood (gk).

Booked: Winter.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald (Graeme Sharp, 46), Roy McBain, Ross Smith, Callum Macdonald, Craig Tully, Graham Webster (Dennis Wyness, 78), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Dave Ross, 42), Martin Bavidge, Ryan Strachan. Subs not used: Lewis Davidson, Raymond Jellema (gk).

Booked: Tully, Strachan, Macdonald.

Attendance: 358

Elgin City 1 Peterhead 2

Sat 10 Mar 2012

Jim McInally must be sick to the back teeth of watching his men fall behind early in matches.

The Peterhead boss saw his side lose yet another early goal – a Mark Nicolson header – against Elgin at Borough Briggs, but will have been more pleased to see his side bounce back to win the game.

Martin Bavidge levelled matters with a close-range finish, and Jamie Redman headed home a second to give the Blue Toon all three points.

Bavidge was skippering the side in the absence of the suspended Callum Macdonald, and his presence in the team after missing the 6-3 defeat to East Stirling last week was one of four changes.

Also out went Graham Webster, Dennis Wyness and Ray Jellema, the trio all dropping to the bench, while Macdonald looked on from the stand following his late red card against the Shire.

In came Bavidge, Paul Jarvie, Bryan Deasley and new signing Russell Duncan, the former Inverness Caley Thistle midfielder having joined the Blue Toon on loan from Ross County in the lead-up to the game.

But the game had barely started when Peterhead found themselves behind. Daniel Moore’s corner from the Elgin right found Nicholson unmarked at the back post, and he headed home the simplest of goals.

The majority of the crowd went wild, and could have been forgiven for thinking a comfortable home win was on the cards – especially just weeks after Elgin had defeated the Blue Toon 6-1 at the same venue.

But Peterhead don’t give up easily and Deasley’s jinking run showed the threat they can pose, the former Forfar winger playing in Bavidge who shot just wide.

Unbeaten in their last eight games, though, Elgin looked capable of adding more goals, and Craig Gunn really should have done better after being slipped in by Brian Cameron after 20 minutes.

The main threat for the hosts was the delivery of set-pieces from Daniel Moore, the former Peterhead winger. That threat was underlined when, from a seemingly innocuous free kick in the midfield, his delivery bounced awkwardly in front of Jarvie and forced the keeper to push over.

That sparked a period of pressure culminating in the goalkeeper diving to his left to push away a header from Elgin captain David Niven.

Another Moore deliver, this time a corner from the left, had Jarvie scrambling again on the half-hour, the delivery coming back off the crossbar before Craig Tully cleared the danger.

But Peterhead were back level seven minutes before the interval, and Elgin keeper Zander Clark won’t look back fondly on the goal.

The on-loan St Johnstone keeper dived to his left to parry Rory McAllister’s free kick after Deasley had been fouled, but Redman reacted first to play the ball back across goal, and Bavidge gleefully turned the ball over the line.

Elgin could have been back in front a minute later as Nicholson picked up on a Moore corner fumbled by Jarvie, but the goalkeeper reacted to save from the midfielder.

The half ended on a sour note, McAllister and Elgin full-back Archie McPhee clashing after a typically strong battle for possession. Both players were booked for their troubles, while there were also yellows for Elgin defender Jamie Duff and Peterhead midfielder Redman for their part in the ensuing melee.

But Redman’s next contribution would be much more welcome, as he put McInally’s men ahead eight minutes after the interval.

Again it was a simple finish, the midfielder rising above Niven to head Deasley’s corner home at the far post.
Elgin would go on to spend the majority of the second period camped in the Peterhead half, but for all they tried to get the ball forward, they lacked the guile and creativity to trouble a resolute Peterhead defence.

Indeed, the closest they came saw Gunn turn to find space on the edge of the box, before shooting meekly beyond the upright.

If anything, despite the scarcity of their chances, Peterhead looked the more likely to find the net again, with Deasley forcing a smart save from Clark with 15 minutes to go.

And in injury time, after Clark had earned himself a booking for bringing down substitute Wyness, Russell Duncan’s low free kick drew another save from the young goalkeeper.

ELGIN CITY: Zander Clark, David Niven, Archie McPhee, Mark Durnan, Jamie Duff, Stuart Leslie (Barry Wilson, 86), Craig Gunn, Brian Cameron (Graham Beveridge, 62), Jason Crooks (Paul Millar, 62), Mark Nicholson, Daniel Moore. Subs not used: Paul McMullan, John Calder (gk).

Booked: Clark, Niven, McPhee, Durnan, Duff.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Russell Duncan, Craig Tully, Ryan Strachan, Graeme Sharp, Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Dennis Wyness, 77), Martin Bavidge (Lewis Davidson, 86), Bryan Deasley. Subs not used: Shaun Robertson, Graham Webster, Ray Jellema (gk).

Booked: Tully, Strachan, McAllister, Redman.

Attendance: 1,072

Peterhead 0 Alloa Athletic 1

Mon 19 Mar 2012

Peterhead can take pride from their performance despite losing 1-0 to league leaders Alloa Athletic at Balmoor.

The Blue Toon matched their opponents for much of the game, and only a 20th minute strike from on-loan St Johnstone striker Stevie May would separate the sides.

Captain Callum Macdonald returned to the Peterhead starting eleven after suspension, replacing Martin Bavidge who was unavailable due to work commitments.

That was the only change to the side which had come from behind to defeat Elgin seven days earlier, although a tactical shift saw manager Jim McInally employ a 4-2-3-1 formation with Jamie Redman, Graeme Sharp and Bryan Deasley pushing forward to support lone-striker Rory McAllister.

Both sides took their time settling into the match, and May’s goal came from the first real chance.

Referee Paul Robertson allowed a good advantage after Craig Tully had fouled Mark Docherty on the edge of the area, and May got in ahead of Roy McBain to turn home Robbie Winters’ pass from the right.

May was soon sniffing around again and he came close to a second when he seized on Tully’s poor touch from a McBain pass, only to see Paul Jarvie block well at his near post.

But Peterhead were sparked into life and with a bit more luck, could have been level after 27 minutes.

Sharp’s shot was parried by Bain but struck the onrushing Redman on the chest, bouncing back into the arms of the grateful goalkeeper.

There was another chance when Deasley’s deep corner broke to Macdonald at the far post, the defender unable to get the purchase on his left-foot shot to really trouble former Aberdeen keeper Bain.

Deasley himself would be denied by the feet of the goalkeeper. After plucking McAllister’s flighted pass out of the air, the former Dundee man fired off a quick snap-shot which was kicked away by Bain.

McAllister tested Bain from range as the Blue Toon continued to pour forward, but the goalkeeper was again equal to the effort.

Alloa were still a threat, though, and when May released Winters who squared for Ryan McCord, the midfielder shot over from the edge of the area.

The former Dundee United midfielder had another opportunity on the stroke of half-time as he sent a 20-yard free-kick curling off the upright with Jarvie beaten all ends up.

But that wasn’t the end of the first-half action, McAllister spotting Bain off his line in injury time, and sending a 35-yard lob towards goal, but the keeper recovering to grasp the effort.

Peterhead continues to push forward after the restart, a Ryan Strachan corner headed towards goal by McAllister and coming off Tully before Bain gratefully took control of the situation.

McAllister will have been disappointed not to have done better when, having exchanged passes with Deasley, he shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Alloa were still a threat on the break, and substitute Ross McCord came closest as he fizzed a shot across the face of goal.

But Peterhead attacked until the final whistle and could have finally grabbed a leveller when Darren Young diverted a McBain pass towards his own goal, Bain racing from his line to head away from McAllister.

The ball broke to sub Dennis Wyness who headed towards goal, only to see McAllister, in trying to help guide the ball home, inadvertently blocked the effort.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Ryan Strachan, Callum Macdonald, Craig Tully (Dave Ross, 70), Graeme Sharp (Dennis Wyness, 86), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Russell Duncan, Bryan Deasley. Subs not used: Lewis Davidson, Graham Webster, Ray Jellema (gk).

Booked: Tully, McAllister.

ALLOA ATHLETIC: Scott Bain, Jamie Doyle, Ross McKinnon, Ben Gordon, Ryan Harding, Darren Young, Mark Docherty (Ross McCord, 61), Ryan McCord, Stevie May, Graeme Holmes, Robbie Winters (Kevin Cawley, 70). Subs not used: Mark McCullagh, Craig Campbell, Craig McDowall (gk).

Booked: McKinnon, Gordon.

Attendance: 488

Queen’s Park 0 Peterhead 1

Sat 31 Mar 2012

The Blue Toon returned to winning ways at Hampden as Rory McAllister’s superb strike proved decisive against Queen’s Park.

The result was a positive in an up-and-down season for the Blue Toon and ensured Jim McInally’s men were unbeaten against the Spiders, traditionally seen as a bogey side for Peterhead, this term.

McInally handed Scott Ross a start following his substitute appearance against Berwick Rangers last week, but there was a late blow as goalkeeper Paul Jarvie was forced out of the side during the warmup, suffering from a pelvic injury.

That meant Ray Jellema was handed an unexpected start, but the former Alloa man stepped up to the mark, looking comfortable in claiming Jamie Longworth’s effort after just three minutes.

McAllister registered Peterhead’s first shot on goal sixty seconds later, his 25-yard effort testing Neil Parry in the home goal, but the goalkeeper was able to grasp the ball as it threatened to squirm between his legs.

There was some light relief as the stadium announcer, confused by Ryan Strachan’s change of shirt, announced a substitution midway through the first half – though the former Celtic midfielder had only pulled on a spare jersey because drips from a nosebleed had dirtied his number six shirt.

The Spiders were getting some joy from the left and, though the flag had already gone up, Michael Daly headed wide at the near post from a Peter Bradley cross, before Longworth saw a similar outcome from a near-identical effort following a Martin McBride free-kick.

At the other end, McAllister was again denied by Parry, before the best move of the first half saw Strachan’s determined play release Martin Bavidge down the right.

The striker fired over a cross towards Russell Duncan at the back post, but the on-loan Ross County midfielder could only head into the side-netting.

The Blue Toon started the second half on the front foot, and former Brechin pair McAllister and Jamie Redman combined only for the latter to steer his left-foot shot narrowly wide.

They were on the attack again just a few moments later when Roy McBain’s deep cross was met by Callum Macdonald at the far post, but again Parry was equal to the effort.

The Queen’s keeper was, though, helpless when McAllister shot Peterhead in front after 54 minutes.

The impressive Redman strode forward fully 60 yards after picking off a loose pass midway inside his own half, before spreading the play left to McAllister who set himself and curled across Parry, high into the far corner of the net.

It was a goal fit for the venue, but the Blue Toon soon had some defending to do, with livewire striker Longworth turning just inside the area to flash an effort across the face of goal.

A well-struck McAllister free-kick had Parry scrambling across his goal to turn away shortly after the hour, and Redman saw a shot just fade away from the far post after he had again run strongly at the home defence.

But the home side threw men forward in the dying stages, and some in the National Stadium thought they had levelled when Craig Smith’s volley beat Jellema, but only found the outside of the net.

The final chance fell to another substitute, David Murray, but after stepping inside Redman, the winger saw his shot also find the side-netting.

Peterhead had been comfortable for large spells of the game but again a nervy ending could have resulted in dropped points. However, they held on for a confidence-boosting win and clean sheet ahead of their home game against Montrose on Saturday.

QUEEN’S PARK: Neil Parry, Paul McGinn, Peter Bradley, Ricky Little, Daryll Meggatt, Giuseppe Capuano, Ian Watt (David Murray, 62), Martin McBride, Michael Daly (Craig Smith, 73), Jamie Longworth, Owen Ronald (Tony Quinn, 73). Subs not used: Sean Burns, Adam Strain (gk).

PETERHEAD: Ray Jellema, Davie Donald, Roy McBain, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Strachan, Graeme Sharp (Graham Webster, 75), Jamie Redman, Martin Bavidge (Dennis Wyness, 85), Rory McAllister (Lewis Davidson, 90), Russell Duncan. Subs not used: Craig Tully, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: Scott Ross.

Attendance: 441

Peterhead 2 Montrose 1

Tue 17 Apr 2012

Peterhead created the first opening in the third minute when Martin Bavidge got free of the Montrose defence but he fired in a shot which Andrews saved before Lunan cleared the rebound. Seconds later Jonathan Crawford picked up the first booking of the match for a stud up challenge on McDonald.

The Bloo Toon almost took the lead in the fifth minute when a cross from Roy McBain was headed on by Bavidge for full back Donald to net at the far post but the flag was quickly raised to signal off side. Montrose then won a free kick when Johnston was fouled on the edge of the area but from twenty five yards out Jamie Winter’s low shot went into the arms of keeper Ray Jellema.

It was Peterhead who opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Donald was allowed loads of space down the right and he fired over the perfect cross for Rory McAllister who powered home a header from six yards out. Montrose had a good chance to equalise in the 13th minute. Boyle turned his man and found Johnston inside the box and his low cross come shot was just missed by the inrushing Boyle who had continued his run at the far post.

Peterhead where forced into a change in the 16th minute when Ryan Strachan was injured and he was replaced by on loan Dundee midfielder Graham Webster. In the 24th minute a pass from Jamie Winter found the gap and put Martin Boyle through on goal but he was fouled by Scott Ross, who was booked but resultant free kick was blasted the kick over the crossbar.

On the half hour mark Peterhead went close to a second goal when another cross from Donald found the head of McAllister but this time the top scorer headed over the crossbar. With five minutes of an entertaining first half left to play Montrose were awarded another free kick after Peterhead captain Callum McDonald fouled Johnston. Winter played the ball into the box but Crighton headed over the crossbar.

In the opening sixty seconds of second half Cameron was again caught out down the left when he missed a tackle but David Donald could only shot into the arms of Andrews. The match was all square in the 54th minute when Montrose equalised. After some pressure Peterhead failed to clear the ball and this allowed Johnston into the area and he did well to reach the byeline before he cut the ball back for the former Bloo Toon Player Crawford who blasted the ball home from close range.

In the 62nd minute, Montrose went close to taking the lead, a long throw in from McNally found Jamie Winter some 20 yards out and he took aim before sending a low effort inches wide of the far post with Jellema beaten. Peterhead made their second change of the afternoon and it was a strange one taking of Webster who had only come on in the first half and he was replaced by Shaun Robertson.

In the 64th minute, Peterhead regained the lead when Davie Donald won the ball off Dougie Cameron on the touchline and found Russell Duncan who fired in a shot from twenty yards out the keeper couldn’t hold and Rory McAllister was onto it in a flash and turned and chipped the ball into the empty net.

McAllister was sniffing about for a hat trick and with 77 minutes gone he raced up the left wing and into the box before firing across goal, but Crighton was on hand to cut out the cross and put the ball out for a corner kick. Four minutes later the home side were awarded a free kick when Lunan fouled McAllister, the striker took the kick himself but Andrews pulled off a great save to kept the ball out. In the final seconds of the match Montrose won a corner kick and sent everybody forward but the corner bounced around the penalty area and was eventually cleared by the home defence.

 

 

Stranraer 0 Peterhead 3

Tue 17 Apr 2012

Goalkeeper Neil Duffy returned to the first-team squad as Raymond Jellema was working offshore and Paul Jarvie was a major doubt with a hip problem. Paul played the game but all his goal kicks were taken by Callum MacDonald.

David Ross continues to be missing with a knock and Ryan Strachan also missed out due to injury with, Graham Sharp is in Australia it was Craig Tully that filled the centre midfield slot and Bryan Deasley returning after playing in a behind-closed-doors game against Aberdeen.

Peterhead were on the front foot from the start. McAllister threatened on seven minutes when he got on the end of a Jamie Redman cross and fired just over. The on form striker went even closer on 22 minutes when David Donald swung the ball in from the right and he lunged out a leg to divert the ball on to the bar. Stranraer finally created an opening on 26 minutes when Frank McKeown launched the ball forward but Craig Malcolm smashed his effort high and wide.

Then, on 30 minutes, Nathan Shepherd wriggled free inside the box but Scott Ross made a superb last-ditch block. Stranraer were playing some nice passing football, but the direct approach paid off for the Blue Toon on 34 minutes.

Rory McAllister ran on to a long ball from Bryan Deasley before rounding David Mitchell and slotting home, to notch a strike for the fourth game in a row. Moore got on the end of a Chris Aitken free-kick five minutes after the restart, but he was denied by Paul Jarvie. It was the only time the Bloo Toon keeper was tested.

Peterhead got the second they deserved on 74 minutes, when Rory McAllister broke forward and smashed a right-foot shot in from the edge of the box. Roy McBain was superb all day and got a well-deserved goal with a tap-in nine minutes from time after good work from Martin Bavidge.

Peterhead still have an outside chance of finishing in the top four but are six points adrift with three games left and boss McInally said: “I thought we would do well today because we needed to win. Rory McAllister said: “Nobody could grudge us a play-off place the way we’ve been playing since Christmas, but I think we let ourselves down at the start of the season. We’re proving that now with the way we’re beating teams. Now we can’t do anything but win our games. If we get there great, but if we don’t it’s our own fault. We’ll just look forward to next season.”

 

 

Peterhead 1 Clyde 1

Sun 22 Apr 2012

Although Peterhead can still mathematically qualify for the playoffs, a late header from Clyde captain Declan Gallagher all-but ended those aspirations with two games still to play.

In truth the draw was a fair result, but the Blue Toon will be ruing opportunities they passed up to build on the lead handed to them by Iain Gray’s freak own-goal just after the interval.

Paul Jarvie continued in goals despite playing through injury in the 3-0 win over Stranraer a week earlier, the only change seeing Ryan Strachan return in place of the suspended Roy McBain.

However, it was the Bully Wee who started the stronger of the sides, Jason Marr and Gavin Brown both passing up chances in the opening five minutes.

They came within inches of opening the scoring after 14 minutes when Lee Sharp curled a free-kick off the inside of the post from 20-yards with Jarvie beaten all ends up.

The best Peterhead had mustered thus far was a Rory McAllister volley which flew well over the bar, but as half-time approached thy began to get a foothold in the game.

Jamie Redman flicked a header wide from Ryan Strachan’s corner, before another Strachan cross, this time from the right allowed captain Callum Macdonald to beat the offside trap.

Macdonald seemed taken by surprise, though, and was unable to pull the ball across goal, Clyde keeper Nick Feely happy to pick up the loose ball.

David Donald sliced an effort wide shortly before the interval, but the Blue Toon went ahead shortly after the break.

Scott Ross carried the ball out of defence and combined with Craig Tully to send Martin Bavidge away down the left. He was brought down by Jason Marr, but referee Barry Cook allowed a good advantage as the striker squared for Bryan Deasley.

Deasley’s low shot was fumbled by on-loan Celtic man Feely, and when Gallagher attempted to hack clear, the ball came off Gray and found the back of the net.

A defensive header from Bavidge after 69 minutes sent McAllister away, the striker holding the ball up well for Deasley whose shot moved in the air before being held by Feely at the second attempt.

McAllister himself had a chance after Marr failed to deal with Ross Smith’s ball out of defence, but with just Feely to beat, the former Brechin man opted to take on the first-time shot, dragging his effort across the face of goal.

Tully was next to threaten, but the veteran failed to connect with his shot after pulling down Donald’s cross from the right.

Peterhead had been forced to replace Jarvie with Ray Jellema at half-time and the goalkeeper had not been seriously troubled until Pat Scullion forced him into a diving save from a 20-yard free-kick with ten minutes remaining.

And in injury time, another set-piece led to the leveller. Brown swung the ball out to sub Kris Irvine on the right and his cross found Gallagher who headed home from close range.

PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie (Ray Jellema, 46), Davie Donald, Craig Tully, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ross Smith, Ryan Strachan, Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Lewis Davidson, 81), Martin Bavidge (Dennis Wyness, 90), Bryan Deasley. Subs not used: Graham Webster, Shaun Robertson.

CLYDE: Nick Feely, Iain Gray,  Lee Sharp (Kris Irvine, 86), Declan Gallagher, Jason Marr, Gavin Brown, John Neil, John Sweeney, Michael Oliver, Pat Scullion (Steph McDonald, 81), Drew Ramsay (Ryan Kane, 72). Subs not used: Jack Sloss, Barry McCue (gk).

B