Inverurie Locos 2 Peterhead 1
Sun 15 Jul 2012
Peterhead lost out by the odd goal in three to Highland League side Inverurie Locos, as Jim McInally’s reshaped squad were given their first public outing at Harlaw Park.
Former Blue Toon man Stuart McKay scored one and set up the other, either side of a spectacular Graeme Sharp goal, as Locos ran out deserved winners.
The home side enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, and rattled the crossbar twice in the opening half-hour.
Ross had the woodwork shaking after 11 minutes, as he got on the end of a McKay cross to loop a header beyond on-loan Dundee United goalkeeper Marc McCallum and off the bar. The rebound fell to Bagshaw, but he could not hit the target.
And McCallum was beaten all ends up as defender Kieran Adams sent a wickedly curling shot towards goal after 26 minutes, only for his effort to also crash back off the frame of the goal.
Peterhead began to work their way into the game, though, and recent signing Stephen Maguire looked lively in the area.
On the half-hour, he worked space for an effort, but pulled his shot wide of the goal. A few minutes later, he had another go, this time firing narrowly wide of the top-left corner.
Another summer signing, Scott McLaughlin, looked to have opened the scoring when his effort from range dipped over Locos goalkeeper Stewart Gray, but the goalkeeper threw himself backwards to push the effort round the post.
The last action of the first half saw Maguire head down a Graeme Sharp cross, before turning, only to see Adams turn his shot away for a corner.
Peterhead made four changes at half-time with Martin Bavidge and trialist Robbie Winters up front, and Bryan Deasley and Darren Kelly also joining the fray.
Bavidge was involved almost immediately as he beat the offside trap to run onto a Strachan ball over the top, but his attempt to curl a low shot round Gray saw the keeper get down to save.
The striker is beginning his testimonial season, and a few minutes later got on the end of a cross from Winters, but was unable to direct his header on target.
Veteran striker winters still has an eye for a pass as proved again when he sent Ryan Strachan clear, but the former Celtic man couldn’t get the power behind his effort to trouble Gray.
A clash between McKay and Kelly saw the latter forced off with a dislocated shoulder, and it was while Peterhead were down to ten men that Locos broke the deadlock.
Indeed, it was McKay who created the chances, his cutback from the right turned in at the near post by Neil Gauld.
But Peterhead were quickly level after the introduction of Greg Alexander returned them to a full complement.
Graeme Sharp cut in from the right flank and unleashed an effort from 25 yards that took a deflection and looped over Gray, finding the net via the underside of the crossbar.
Locos regained the lead when sloppy play from Strachan in the midfield allowed McKay a chance, and from 20 yards, he fired a low shot in off the inside of McCallum’s right hand post, giving the young goalkeeper no chance.
Winters set up Sharp for a late chance to level, but the winger’s powerful shot was pushed to safety by the diving Gray.
PETERHEAD: McCallum, Sharp, Noble, S. Ross, Macdonald, Smith (Kelly, 46 (Alexander, 65)), Strachan, Redman (Deasley, 46), McAllister (Bavidge, 46), Maguire (Winters, 46), McLaughlin. Subs not used: Jarvie (gk)
Huntly 1 Peterhead 6
Sun 22 Jul 2012
Peterhead’s pre-season preparations continued with a comprehensive win against Huntly today.
The Blue Toon went behind to former coach Dave McGinlay’s side, but a stunning second half performance saw them run out 6-1 winners, with trialist Robbie Winters impressing.
Jim McInally switched from 3-5-2 to a 4-4-2 formation for this match, with captain Callum Macdonald, midfielder Jamie Redman and striker Rory McAllister among those players rested.
Graeme Sharp started at right back, with the rest of the back four along more familiar lines, summer signing Steven Noble on the other side. Dave Ross and Roy McBain started on the wings, with Ryan Strachan and Scott McLaughlin in the centre of midfield. Bryan Deasley partnered Martin Bavidge in attack.
The Highland League side were first to threaten, veteran Russell Guild hitting over from 25 yards after referee Andy Milne had allowed a good advantage following a Strachan foul in midfield.
Peterhead’s first chance fell to McBain, making his first start of pre-season. A Paul Jarvie clearance was flicked into the past of the former Caley Thistle man, and his dinked effort was just over.
But the home side took the lead from the penalty spot after Dave Ross was penalised for handball as a strange bounce struck his arm. David Booth stepped up and struck the opener low to Jarvie’s right as the goalkeeper dived the other way.
Ross was well-placed at the back post to make amends shortly afterwards, but from McBain’s cross, the hitman was unable to direct his header on target.
Bavidge was closer to bagging a leveller when he charged down a Barry Somers clearance and got into the penalty area, before firing just inches wide of the upright.
Bavidge was involved again as he took on a Strachan pass and then played in McBain for another chance, the legs of Hastie this time coming to Huntly’s rescue.
The afternoon was to be marred five minutes from half-time when Dave Ross went down under a strong aerial challenge, physio Greig Smith immediately signalling his involvement was over with a suspected broken collarbone.
The Blue Toon soldiered on with ten men until the interval, but managed to draw level in that short period. Strachan picked out McBain who shuffled the ball onto his right foot before finding the far corner of the net.
Winters came on for the stricken Ross at the break, and just five minutes after the break he put Peterhead in front, steering home a Strachan corner from the right at the near post.
A minute later, after linking up well with Bavidge, the former Aberdeen, Dundee United and Scotland man found McLaughlin at the back post, but he could find only the outside of the post.
Jim McInally’s men were well in control now and Bavidge was unlucky not to connect with Noble’s cross after the former Stranraer man went on a strong run down the left.
Bavidge did find the net a minute later, perfectly placed to pick up the scraps after Huntly keeper Neil Hastie had failed to hold a Deasley free kick under pressure from Ross Smith.
The striker bagged his second, and Peterhead’s fourth, of the afternoon just three minutes later, rising to head home Deasley’s corner at the near post.
With fifteen minutes to go, Winters combined well with sub McAllister down the left, the latter eventually passing for the former to striker narrowly over the junction of bar and post.
The striker did net again four minutes later, on hand to prod past Hastie after a monumental mix-up in the home defence.
And Winters was unlucky not to claim a hat-trick to cap an outstanding 45 minutes, taking advantage of mistake in the midfield to turn and strike a 30-yard lob off the crossbar. The ball did find the net, though, eventually going in off the luckless Hastie.
The Blue Toon’s final pre-season game will be against Fraserburgh on Tuesday night, where McInally will be hoping his men are in similar form before the first competitive game against East Fife in the Ramsdens Cup on Saturday.
HUNTLY: Neil Hastie, Grant Campbell, Craig Dorrat, Adam Naismith, Barry Somers, Mark Gray, Russell Guild, Alexander Thoirs, David Booth, Trialist, Neale Davidson. Subs (all used): Jason Coyle, Michael Clark, Daniel Stewart, Lewis Robertson, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist (gk).
PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie (Marc McCallum, 46), Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Scott Ross (Callum Macdonald, 60), Ross Smith, Roy McBain (Trialist – Dean Cowie, 71), Ryan Strachan, Dave Ross (Trialist – Robbie Winters, 46), Bryan Deasley (Rory McAllister, 71), Martin Bavidge, Scott McLaughlin.
Peterhead 1 Fraserburgh 0
Wed 25 Jul 2012
A solitary goal from Robbie Winters was enough to ensure Peterhead rounded out their pre-season campaign with a win over near neighbours Fraserburgh, and saw them retain the annual Buchan Cup.
But it was a tight affair and definitely not a game for the purists, the goalscoring form that had seen Jim McInally’s side smash ten past Turriff United and Huntly in the days prior having suddenly been forgotten.
Peterhead had completed the signing of Winters, along with that of Dean Cowie from the Broch, before kick-off. While Cowie went straight into the midfield, Winters had to make do with a place on the bench.
It was the visitors who were quicker out of the blocks, and Graham Johnston really needed to do better than to blaze over when he found himself in behind the Blue Toon’s three-man defence after just seven minutes.
Chances were at a premium, but not so the tackles in a first half that was more likely to catch light due to a fight than some silky skill.
It was beyond the half-hour mark when a Scott McLaughlin corner found Stephen Maguire at the near post, his header comfortably held by Broch keeper John Calder.
Maguire would go off with a groin injury before the interval, and that change saw Winters enter the fray. He was quickly joined, at the interval, by Bavidge as The Blue Toon switched to three up front, and they were immediately more threatening.
Callum Macdonald headed a Bryan Deasley corner over the bar ten minutes after the restart, but the Blue Toon went in front just after the hour.
Bavidge made space for a cutback on the right, only to see his pass cut out by Neil Main. Caught in two minds between controlling the ball and playing out from the back or clearing first time, Main presented the ball straight to Winters who gleefully chipped Calder from 20 yards.
It was a spectacular finish from the former Aberdeen man, and if he hadn’t already endeared himself to the home support with his performance against Huntly, scoring against Kris Hunter’s side would have done the trick.
Still chances were few and far between, though, and it was two minutes from time before Winters threatened again – and again he was close to lofting the ball into the net.
This time it was former Blue Toon man Paul Leask he’d spotted wandering off his line, but Winters was unable to find the target on this occasion.
While a win is always welcome, the nature of this game gave the Blue Toon management more questions than answers ahead of the Cup game against East Fife on Saturday.
PETERHEAD 1st HALF: Paul Jarvie, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ross Smith, Jamie Redman, Dean Cowie, Rory McAllister, Scott McLaughlin, Stephen Maguire (RobbieWinters, 44).
PETERHEAD 2nd HALF: Marc McCallum, Darren Kelly, Steve Noble, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Scott McLaughlin, Ryan Strachan, Bryan Deasley, Martin Bavidge, Robbie Winters, Rory McAllister (Roy McBain, 65).
Peterhead 1 East Fife 2
Sat 28 Jul 2012
Despite impressive spells at either end of the match, Peterhead lost out to Second Division side East Fife in the First Round of the Ramsdens Cup.
The Blue Toon had started brightly but fell behind after ten minutes to a Scott McBride penalty, before trialist striker Collin Samuel doubled the Fifers’ advantage.
Rory McAllister fired home from close range to give Jim McInally’s men a way back into the game, but despite sustained pressure, they couldn’t force what would have been a deserved leveller.
Steven Noble and Scott McLaughlin made their competitive debuts for the club, while Dean Cowie was making his second debut after returning to the club on a one-year deal.
McAllister seemed isolated as the sole front man in a 4-5-1 formation, but the Blue Toon looked good in the opening stages, taking the play to Gordon Durie’s side.
Scott Ross headed a Ryan Strachan corner wide as early as the third minute, but although the Blue Toon continued to attack, it was the visitors who took the lead.
Callum Macdonald challenged Gareth Wardlaw as the former Ayr United and St Mirren man shaped to shoot and, perhaps a little harshly, referee Greg Aitken pointed to the spot. McBride stepped up and although Paul Jarvie guessed the correct way, the ball was just above his reach.
There was almost an immediate response as Jamie Redman worked hard to win the ball wide on the right before slipping a pass to Graeme Sharp who cut onto his left foot and crashed a shot off the upright.
Midway through the half, Sharp’s ball out of defence found McAllister in space on the right. He set himself to fizz a ball across goal, but there were no takers.
A minute later, goalscorer McBride set up Sean Jamieson for an angled effort which flashed just wide of Jarvie’s left hand post.
Sharp, playing at right-back, was involved in much of the noteworthy first half action, and as the game became more even, he was well positioned to block Samuel’s header on the line following a Craig Johnstone corner.
The pair combined again when the Fifers doubled their lead. Johnstone embarked on a fine run down the left and his pinpoint cross was met by Samuel, who peeled off his man and threw himself at the ball to make it 2-0.
It looked like game over, but after the introduction of Robbie Winters and Martin Bavidge suddenly gave the Blue Toon fresh impetus, although only a superb tackle from Noble denied Samuel what was surely going to be his second goal of the afternoon.
With 20 minutes left, Bavidge held the ball up well and presented Strachan with a chance, but the usually reliable midfielder had a rush of blood to the head and blazed over the bar.
Five minutes later, though, Peterhead were back in it. Strachan’s corner from the left was met by Ross, and though visiting keeper Michael Brown was on hand to block, he couldn’t hold the effort and McAllister powered home from close range.
The scores could have been level just sixty seconds later. The veteran Winters angled a ball out to McAllister on the left, and he tried a cheeky cross-cum-shot which curled narrowly wide of the far post.
Energetic midfielder McLaughlin was running in, and any touch from the ex-Queen of the South man would have diverted the ball into the net.
McLaughlin did have a shot at goal with ten minutes remaining as more excellent link-up play between Bavidge and Winters presented him with a chance, only for the effort to be blocked.
Strachan was next up with a 25-yard snap-shot which looked like it was flying into the top corner, but came up narrowly wide of the upright.
The Fifers now looked at sixes and sevens, and another clever pass from Winters sent McAllister through with just the goalkeeper to beat. He did everything right, but Brown stuck out an arm to beat away the former Brechin man’s strike.
That was to prove the final chance of the game, leaving the Blue Toon disappointed to have lost out in a game that was there for the taking.
They have a quick chance to pick themselves up as they are in action again on Tuesday night, facing SPL side Dundee in the first round of the Scottish Communities League Cup at Balmoor.
PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Dean Cowie, Ryan Strachan, Jamie Redman (Martin Bavidge, 58), Rory McAllister, Bryan Deasley (Robbie Winters, 58), Scott McLaughlin. Subs not used: Darren Kelly, Roy McBain, Marc McCallum (gk).
EAST FIFE: Michael Brown, Scott Durie, Craig Johnstone, Steve Campbell, Darren McCormick, Darren Smith, Trialist A (Trialist B, 84), David Muir, Gareth Wardlaw (Ross Brown, 28), Sean Jamieson, Scott McBride. Subs not used: Ross Brewster, James Martin.
Peterhead 0 Dundee 0
Wed 01 Aug 2012
Jim McInally’s men battled bravely until the end of their Scottish Communities League Cup match against SPL side Dundee, but were ultimately left frustrated by a harsh penalty shootout defeat.
Aiming to build on the positives from the weekend defeat to East Fife in the Ramsdens Cup, McInally handed Robbie Winters his first Blue Toon start against a Dark Blues side struggling for players.
The time taken to determine which division they’d be playing in this season meant Smith was still running with a tight squad, as his recruitment plans had been placed on hold.
Four players were out for a variety of reasons, meaning Smith himself registered as a player and was available as a substitute for this match.
Graham Webster, on loan at Balmoor for the latter half of last season, was handed a start on the right side of a five man midfield, and relished the opportunity to return to Balmoor.
But it was Smith’s men who threatened first as striker John Baird, one of two players who had joined the Dees over the summer from Raith Rovers, flashed a 25-yard strike over the crossbar.
Peterhead look particularly strong going forward, though, and with Winters partnered by Rory McAllister, it was always likely they would create chances.
Indeed it was McAllister, played in by Jamie Redman, who fired the first warning shot. His low strike fizzing across the face of former Celtic and Scotland keeper Rab Douglas’ goal.
The big goalie was forced into action after 25 minutes, diving to his right to palm away Scott McLaughlin’s free kick after Steven Noble’s strong run down the left had been ended illegally by Kyle Benedictus.
The Dees responded and at the other end, Paul Jarvie showed what a good shot-stopper he is, reacting quickly to push an acrobatic effort from Gary Irvine over the bar after Declan Gallagher’s knock-down.
Jarvie was in top form and five minutes from the break he denied lively winger Ryan Conroy after the ex-Celtic man had cut in from the right and shot left-footed.
The Blue Toon, now shooting towards their favoured Balmoor Terrace end, came out for the second half buoyed by matching their opponents in the first half, and were quickly out of the traps again.
A poor clearance from Douglas allowed Peterhead to build an attack from the right, Graeme Sharp crossing for Redman, but the midfielder was unable to find the target.
Sharp was involved again soon after playing in McAllister again. The former Brechin man bullied Neil McGregor before the danger was cleared as far as Winters who saw his first shot blocked and his follow-up ease just wide of the upright. With 20 minutes left, Peterhead threatened again, McAllister eventually shooting straight at Douglas when perhaps a pass to a team-mate would have been the better option. It looked like it would take something special to win the game and Baird came close to providing it with a 25-yard snap-shot which only just missed the target. The inevitable extra-time came to pass, and both sides had their chances to put the game to bed.
Webster, in the first period, caught the Peterhead defence napping as he got round the back to connect with captain Irvine’s superb angled pass, but the youngster saw his angled strike trundle wide of the far post.
And Peterhead, again playing towards the hill, had the better of the second period. Sub Roy McBain’s cross found McAllister at the near post, and his overhead kick picked out another replacement, Bryan Deasley, who headed over.
It was a fine chance, but there were more as McInally’s side looked to end the game before the dreaded penalty shoot-out. From the edge of the area, McAllister curled a shot close enough that some spectators thought he had found the net.
And as time ticked down, Deasley’s cross picked out the run of McLauglin, but the former Morton, Airdrie and Queen of the South man was unable to trouble Douglas.
And so to penalties, which took place at Peterhead’s favoured end.
Dundee were first up, Kevin McBride scoring and McAllister matching him. Baird netted the second for the visitors, but Peterhead captain Callum Macdonald saw Douglas dive to his right to save.
Irvine stepped up and made it 3-1, with McLaughlin’s penalty coming back off the crossbar to leave Conroy with the chance to win it. He duly netted to break Peterhead hearts, not for the first time in a penalty shoot-out.
PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Dean Cowie (Roy McBain 94), Ryan Strachan, Jamie Redman (Stephen Maguire, 103), Rory McAllister, Robbie Winters (Bryan Deasley 69), Scott McLaughlin. Subs: Darren Kelly, Cameron Knowles (gk).
DUNDEE: Rab Douglas, Gary Irvine, Matt Lockwood, Kyle Benedictus, Neil McGregor, Declan Gallagher, Graham Webster (Jamie Reid 109), Kevin McBride, Leighton McIntosh, John Baird, Ryan Conroy. Subs: Jamie McCluskey, Daniel Cavanagh, Barry Smith, Alex Baird (gk)
Peterhead 2 Rangers 2
Sat 11 Aug 2012
Peterhead did themselves proud on an historic day for Scottish Football, as they came within seconds of taking all three points from Third Division new-boys Rangers on the opening day of the league campaign, in front of the Sky TV cameras.
The reasons for the ‘Gers demotion down the leagues have been well publicised, and this was their first chance to focus on football in a league setting.
All seemed to be going as expected when teenage striker Barrie McKay put the visitors in front but Peterhead were impressive and strikes from Rory McAllister and Scott McLaughlin had them in front with just eight minutes remaining.
However, Andy Little got the final touch on a scrappy goal in the final minute to rescue a point for Ally McCoist’s side who looked shell-shocked by the work rate and application of Peterhead’s part-timers.
Even within the first 45 seconds, McLaughlin put Kirk Broadfoot, one of eight full internationals in the Rangers starting eleven, under pressure to win a corner, but nothing serious developed.
As one might have anticipated, the visitors were pushing Peterhead back as much as they could, but it was the 13th minute before Lee McCulloch sent a header over the bar as they threatened for the first time, and three minutes later before Dean Shiels saw his low shot test Paul Jarvie.
Soon after, a quick free-kick after a Dean Cowie foul saw Little get in behind Steven Noble, but the former Stranraer wing-back recovered to block the striker’s effort.
And Peterhead were soon on the attack themselves, McAllister skipping past the Romanian defender Dorin Goian before getting a kind break of the ball off Broadfoot, only to snatch at his shot and make it easy for Neil Alexander to save low down.
It was into the 26th minute when McKay opened the scoring, and ironically it came about in the most simple of fashions. Lewis Macleod aimed a long ball forward. McCulloch got in front of Ryan Strachan to nod the ball down, and McKay strode onto the ball before coolly slotting low to Jarvie’s right.
That could have been the moment the floodgates opened, but if there is one thing Jim McInally has done during his time at the club, it is galvanise his players; make them tough to beat. That’s exactly how they proved themselves.
McAllister passed up a superb chance for an equaliser ten minutes from the interval.
Ian Black’s foul on Cowie led to the former Hearts man being booked for dissent, but Strachan’s delivery from the set-piece was perfect for McAllister. He had time to let the ball sit up for him, but lost his composure and lashed the effort across the face of goal when the net should have been bulging.
There was concern when a mix-up between Jarvie and Strachan allowed McKay to nip between the pair, but the Gers were unable to make anything of the opportunity, and Noble cleared well.
And just before the break, a neat move involving Redman, Winters and McAllister saw the latter’s cross cut out by Broadfoot with blue shirts flooding into the penalty area.
McAllister thought he had drawn the sides level after 61 minutes when he took on a Noble pass and curled an excellent shot towards the far corner of the net from the edge of the area. It looked destined to find the postage stamp, only for former Scotland goalkeeper Alexander to get the merest of touches to push the ball onto the bar.
But the same combination did bring about the leveller two minutes later. Noble crossed from the left and McAllister brought the ball down with the deftest of touches before turning sharply to leave Carlos Bocanegra sprawling, and placing the ball past Alexander with his left foot.
Rangers’ immediate response was to bring on Fran Sandaza for goalscorer McKay, but it was Bocanegra who headed the next chance past the post from a Black free-kick.
Sandaza did have a chance after a Shiels flick-on, but Jarvie got down well to save, and the keeper was quick off his line to deny the Spaniard again with 15 minutes remaining.
Jarvie was in action again as the Gers continued to search to take the lead once more. This time Bocanegra’s curling cross found McCulloch at the back post, but former Wigan man saw his powerful volley beaten away by the goalkeeper.
But, who would believe Peterhead would take the lead? Goian gave away a needless corner and when Alexander could only palm away Strachan’s deliver, McLaughlin charged in at the edge of the area to lash an unstoppable left-foot strike high into the net.
The looks of joy, and a hint of surprise, on the Blue Toon players’ faces as they celebrated the goal said it all, but they quickly settled down to the task of trying to see the game out.
But their hopes of a surprise three points were extinguished when substitute Kevin Kyle turned a Shiels corner towards goal. The ball struck the underside of the bar and was eventually bundled over the line by Little, to seal a point for the relieved visiting side.
PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Dean Cowie (Bryan Deasley, 87), Ryan Strachan, Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Stephen Maguire, 83), Robbie Winters (Martin Bavidge, 59), Scott McLaughlin. Subs not used: Roy McBain, Marc McCallum (gk). Booked: Macdonald, Sharp, Cowie.
RANGERS: Neil Alexander, Dorin Goian, Carlos Bocanegra, Kirk Broadfoot, Lee Wallace, Lee McCulloch, Andy Little, Ian Black, Dean Shiels, Barrie McKay (Fran Sandaza, 65), Lewis MacLeod (Kevin Kyle, 83). Subs not used: Kyle Hutton, Robbie Crawford, Scot Gallagher (gk).
Clyde 0 Peterhead 2
Sat 18 Aug 2012
A typically opportunistic goal from veteran Robbie Winters and a Rory McAllister penalty saw Peterhead ease to victory against Clyde at Alloa’s Recreation Park.
The Blue Toon were under the cosh for large parts of the game, but Winters put them ahead with a superb 30-yard lob after a defensive mix-up, and McAllister bagged a second from the penalty spot after Jamie Redman had been bundled over.
With Graeme Sharp unavailable due to getting married, Ross Smith returned to the starting eleven in an unaccustomed right wing-back role, but any concerns about the on-loan Dundee United centre-back’s ability to play the role were eased as he put in a solid performance down the flank.
That was the one change to the side which had come so close to stunning Rangers last week.
It was a scrappy start, and the home side were first to threaten. John Sweeney netted a superb opener in the corresponding fixture last season, but this time when he struck from the edge of the area, Ryan Strachan was on hand to deflect the effort away.
Peterhead had barely registered as an attacking force when Winters gave them the lead after 20 minutes.
Paul Jarvie’s clearance saw Clyde’s centre-backs, Iain Gray and David Marsh, get in each other’s way. Marsh failed to get any distance on his header, and Winters, from 30 yards, lifted the ball over Barclay and into the net from 30 yards.
Marsh came close to making amends almost instantly, his header from a Stevie Masterton corner headed off the line by Dean Cowie.
And they had another chance when Stuart McColm crossed from the left for John Neill, the midfielder slicing his shot wide at the back post.
And yet, after 29 minutes, Peterhead were 2-0 up. Winters was again involved, the striker knocking a neat little ball into the feet of Jamie Redman.
The former Brechin man still had it all to do, but as he turned, he was caught by John Kane and referee Don Robertson wasted no time pointing to the spot.
McAllister, so cool in these situations, stepped up and stroked the ball low to Barclay’s left, the keeper diving off to his right.
The cushion that gave Peterhead seemed to spur them on, and McAllister could have doubled his tally when he brought the ball down in the area, but lashed his shot side of the target.
Five minutes from the break a dangerous bounce from Gilfillan’s snap-shot looked awkward for Jarvie, but the goalkeeper covered it well to maintain his side’s two-goal lead.
Captain Callum Macdonald was just inches from giving his side a third goal, his looping header coming off the post before being scrambled to safety.
There was an incredible let-off for Peterhead when Neill sent Stefan McCluskey, though on Jarvie’s goal, the ex-Clyde keeper beating away his first attempt before Strachan snuffed out the second.
McCluskey attempted to catch Jarvie out again with 15 minutes left, his snapshot forcing the keeper into a diving save low to his left.
As time ticked down, still it was the home side who were looking for that elusive goal to get themselves back in the game, but Neill twice failed to hit the second, the latter chance seeing him head wide of a gaping goal.
Although not a vintage performance, the Blue Toon had, after two games, matched their points tally for the first quarter of last season already. They now face a stern test at home to Queen’s Park, a side they have an up and down record against.
CLYDE: Jamie Barclay, John Kane, Lee Sharp (Gavin Brown, 64), Iain Gray, David Marsh, Trialist (Kevin Watt, 67), John Neill, John Sweeney, Stefan McCluskey, Bryan Gilfillan (Ryan MacBeth, 79), Stuart McColm. Subs not used: Paul Hay, Nick Rajovic (gk)
PETERHEAD: Jarvie, Smith, Noble, Ross, Macdonald, Cowie (Deasley 85), Strachan, Redman, McAllister (Maguire 74), Winters (Bavidge 62), McLaughlin. Subs not used: McBain, McCallum (gk).
Peterhead 1 Queen’s Park 0
Sat 26 Aug 2012
Rory McAllister bagged his third league goal in as many games to eventually earn the Blue Toon three points against Queen’s Park, and help the Blue Toon remain joint-top of Division Three after three games.
McAllister sent Spiders keeper Neil Parry the wrong way from the penalty spot, after being fouled by James Brough to give Peterhead a second straight win and a second straight clean sheet.
The last match at Balmoor had, of course, been something special as Rangers visited Balmoor on competitive duty fir the first, time, but their Glasgow neighbours proved equally tough opposition.
Jim McInally made just one change from the side that had beaten Clyde, Graeme Sharp returning in place of Ross Smith.
The first half was an admittedly uninspiring affair, with Parry’s turning the ball round the post after McAllister had thrown himself at a Robbie Winters cross the only noteworthy action of the opening stages.
But the game suddenly sparked into life in the final six minutes of the first half. A foul on McAllister gave Ryan Strachan the opportunity to send a 20 yard free kick whistling over, before Gardner Speirs’ side had the best chance so far.
The ever-dangerous Jamie Longworth crossed from the right and found Tony Quinn six yards out but goalkeeper Paul Jarvie produced a stunning save to deny the big striker.
At the other end, McAllister pulled the ball across goal for the unlikely figure of Dean Cowie, but the midfielder failed to get any convincing purchase on his effort, and Scott McLaughlin’s touch couldn’t direct the effort on target.
The second half was a different matter, with both sides getting into more threatening positions than they had before the interval, and seemingly at will.
McAllister set the tone as he twisted and turned to get a shot off, but Parry was more than equal to his 56th minute effort.
Two minutes later, McAllister again had a go, this time attempting a lob from a tight angle, but failing to hit the target.
The visitors’ top scorer, Lawrence Shankland, had started the game on the bench, but proved his awareness when he had his side’s best chance of the match.
Confusion between Jarvie and Blue Toon skipper Callum Macdonald gave the striker the opportunity but, under pressure from the recovering Scott Ross, Shankland struck wide when he would have been expected to open the scoring.
That miss was to prove costly as Peterhead, aided by the introduction of Martin Bavidge, began to pummel the Spiders goal and there was a big escape with 13 minutes left.
Jamie Redman’s effort was blocked by Parry but he couldn’t hold the ball. Bavidge reacted first, only for Brough to clear his shot off the line.
And there was another double-chance for the home side with ten minutes remaining, as Parry beat away a Robbie Winters header and prevented McLaughlin from finding the net with a follow-up effort.
The pressure had to tell and when Brough, his side’s hero just five minutes earlier, bundled McAllister over following a fine McLaughlin pass, referee Andrew Dallas was quick to point to the spot.
Rory just doesn’t miss from 12 yards, and he sent Parry the wrong way from the spot to earn the points for the Blue Toon.
It’s a quickfire return to Balmoor as the Blue Toon play host to Montrose next Saturday, looking to maintain an unbeaten start to the season that sees them trail Elgin City only on goal difference.
PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Dean Cowie (Martin Bavidge, 70), Ryan Strachan, Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Bryan Deasley, 85), Robbie Winters (Stephen Maguire, 81), Scott McLaughlin. Subs not used: Ross Smith, Marc McCallum (gk).
Booked: Graeme Sharp, Scott Ross.
QUEEN’S PARK: Neil Parry, Ricky Little, Andrew Robertson, Peter Bradley, James Brough, Michael Keenan (Giuseppe Capuano, 85), Ian Watt (Lawrence Shankland, 70), David Anderson, Tony Quinn (Craig Smith, 85), Jamie Longworth, Sean Burns. Subs not used: Richard Sinclair, Blair Lochhead (gk).
Booked: James Brough, Sean Burns.
Peterhead 2 Montrose 0
Sat 01 Sep 2012
Debutante goalkeeper Marc McCallum notched up a clean sheet and two assists as he linked up superbly with striker Rory McAllister to hand Peterhead victory over Montrose, taking the Blue Toon clear at the top of Division Three in the process.
The on-loan Dundee United man had replaced Paul Jarvie in the Blue Toon goal, with the regular number one unavailable due to work commitments, and McCallum had a big say in the course of the game.
That was the one change from the win over Queen’s Park last week, with Jim McInally reluctant to tinker with a winning formula. Jarvie’s unavailability, though, meant McCallum had a chance to shine.
The goalkeeper was called into action after 8 minutes, diving to his left to turn a Craig McLeish effort past the post.
McLeish had been set up by David Gray, and the former Kilmarnock man had already threatened with a free kick that went wide of the target.
Gray had a similar effort after 27 minutes, but Peterhead began to come more into things after the interval.
Three minutes after the restart, Scott McLaughlin’s set-piece had the visitors goal under threat, but the touch to take his viciously inswinging corner over the line was sadly missing.
That was forgotten three minutes later when McAllister handed the Blue Toon the lead.
The striker latched on to McCallum’s long clearance, set himself at the edge of the box, and sent a superb curling effort into the postage stamp, leaving former Queen’s Park keeper David Crawford grasping at air.
Summer signing McLaughlin has proven himself to be an adept signing for McInally, and the midfielder seemed keen to get his name on the scoresheet.
He first went close when Steven Noble and Robbie Winters combined to put him through on goal, but the ex-Morton man shot straight at Crawford.
Just four minutes later he headed wide from a Graeme Sharp cross.
The Blue Toon really should have been 2-0 up when Sharp’s ball out of defence saw McAllister beat the offside trap, to get himself into a great position, but with too much time to think, he lifted the ball over Crawford and the crossbar.
Peterhead sealed the points when McAllister, after 71 minutes, bagged his second. Again McCallum was instrumental. It was his goal kick, after Leighton McIntosh had headed over, that sent McAllister through on goal.
The striker took one touch to knock the ball past goalkeeper Crawford and, with his second, rolled the ball past the goalkeeper from a tightening angle.
It took the striker’s tally to six in all competitions this season, and in this kind of form, he can be forgiven – just about- for the odd moment of indulgence.
Peterhead could have added another when substitutes Bryan Deasley and Martin Bavidge combined, the latter seeing Crawford turning his effort past the post.
But 2-0 it would remain, enough to lift Jim McInally’s men to the summit of the table, with Elgin City and Rangers to play on Sunday.
The Blue Toon now face a two-week break before squaring up to Elgin at Borough Briggs after the international break, but after this win have every reason to be confident.
PETERHEAD: Marc McCallum, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Dean Cowie (Stephen Maguire 74), Ryan Strachan, Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Bryan Deasley 81), Robbie Winters (Martin Bavidge 55), Scott McLaughlin. Subs not used: Ross Smith, Trialist (gk).
MONTROSE: David Crawford, Stephen McNally, Ricky McIntosh, Paul Lunan, Alan Campbell, Terry Masson, David Gray, Craig McLeish, Leighton McIntosh, Garry Wood, Scott Johnston. Subs not used: Lloyd Young, Jon Crawford, Scott Gordon, Dale Reid, Sandy Wood (gk).
Elgin City 2 Peterhead 0
Sat 15 Sep 2012
A remarkable second half saw Peterhead reduced to eight men as ex-Blue Toon winger Daniel Moore netted two second-half penalties to hoist themselves to top spot in Division Three, albeit level on points with the Blue Toon and Clyde.
The home side had been rocked by a midweek car accident that left six players requiring hospital treatment, one critically injured. Manager Ross Jack was able to re-focus his players on football for this derby played in front of a near-1000 strong crowd.
Peterhead had boasted an unbeaten league record and had been rewarded during the week as manager Jim McInally picked up the Irn Bru Phenomenal Manager of the Month award for August.
He made one change from the win over Montrose before the international break, Martin Bavidge making his first league start of the season in place of Robbie Winters. Marc McCallum retained his place in goal.
The game started slowly, Elgin having changed their shape to match Peterhead’s 3-5-2, and the two sides cancelled each other out in the opening stages.
It was ten minutes in before Rory McAllister registered the first attempt on goal with a speculative bicycle kick which drifted wide of the target, following a Bavidge knockdown.
McAllister was involved again when he created space on the right and sent a low cross to the near post, only for the on-rushing Scott McLaughlin to be denied by a timely challenge.
Elgin were starting to come into the game but Peterhead’s stout defence was preventing them any clear shots at goal. Indeed, a fine challenge from Callum Macdonald denied Stuart Leslie a shot from the edge of the area midway through the first half.
Peterhead promptly launched a sustained assault on the home goal, forcing a series of corners before McAllister snatched at a left-foot volley, failing to trouble goalkeeper John Calder.
The former Brechin City striker was again on the goal hunt as he hit wide after Steven Noble’s pass with 12 minutes of the first half remaining.
McCallum was called into action for the first time after Macdonald’s foul allowed Craig Gunn to line up at 30-yard free-kick. The former Blue Toon striker fired a low shot towards goal, but the on-loan Dundee United goalkeeper got down to his left to turn the strike round the post.
But the first half finished with another half-chance for Peterhead. Dean Cowie stepped on to the ball after good buildup between Graeme Sharp and McAllister, but could only curl the ball over the top.
The second half, though, would be an entirely different proposition. The first blow came when Sharp was forced off through injury soon after the break, to be replaced by Ross Smith.
There was a warning that Elgin would improve going forward came when Dennis Wyness, the third of the home side’s ex-Peterhead men, got in behind the visiting defence, only to slice wide of the target.
And it all started to go wrong after 58 minutes. Leslie got in behind the Blue Toon defence and was upended by Macdonald. Referee Gavin Ross deemed it to deny a clear goalscoring opportunity, and Macdonald was sent off.
Moore stepped up to take but paused during his run-up, earning a booking for unsporting conduct. He made no mistake with the re-take, though, sending McCallum the wrong way and opening the scoring.
Eight minutes later, the home side were two-up. Smith was the culprit this time, bundling over Wyness in the area, and Moore this time sent the ball to McCallum’s right as the keeper went left.
Worse was to follow. Noble, booked earlier for a foul, embarked on a trademark run down the left, brought to an end by Jamie Duff’s foul. It all seemed simple enough until referee Ross deemed Noble had dived. The full-back had already been booked for a foul, and was subsequently shown a second yellow card, leaving Peterhead with just nine men.
Stephen Maguire had replaced Bavidge after the first red card and, in need of defensive cover, McAllister was sacrificed for Roy McBain following the second.
But it was a struggle for Peterhead to do much more than soak up the Elgin pressure by now, although the home side were limited to Gunn’s snap-shot after 84 minutes.
A miserable afternoon was compounded in the final minute when Scott Ross, already booked for a clash with Gunn, lashed out at Leslie, and was shown a straight red card, meaning Peterhead will be without three suspended defenders, and perhaps without the injured Sharp, for the trip to Annan next Saturday.
First, though, there’s the matter of the Martin Bavidge testimonial on Tuesday night, and it will be interesting to see whether that provides any clue as to the shape of next Saturday’s team.
ELGIN CITY: John Calder, David Niven, Stuart Leslie, Sean Crighton, Jamie Duff, Brian Cameron, Craig Gunn, Ross O’Donoghue (Paul McMullan, 84), Dennis Wyness (Paul Harkins, 75), Mark Nicholson, Daniel Moore. Subs not used: Paul Miller, Fraser Forbes, Stuart Black (gk).
Booked: Gunn, Moore, Duff.
PETERHEAD: Marc McCallum, Graeme Sharp (Ross Smith, 51), Steven Noble, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Dean Cowie, Ryan Strachan, Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Roy McBain, 71), Martin Bavidge (Stephen Maguire, 61), Scott McLaughlin. Subs not used: Robbie Winters, Paul Jarvie (gk).
Booked: Ross, Noble, Smith, Strachan, McAllister.
Sent off: Macdonald, Noble, Ross.
Deveronvale 3 Peterhead 2
Sat 29 Sep 2012
Boss Jim McInally declared Saturday’s defeat to Highland League Deveronvale as the worst result he had been involved in, after his side crashed out of the William Hill Scottish Cup at the first hurdle.
The Blue Toon were 2-0 down within the first ten minutes, and 3-0 down before the interval.
A late red card for an X-rated Michele Lombardi challenge on Steven Noble allowed Peterhead back into the game, but goals from Ross Smith and Bryan Deasley in the last ten minutes came too late to prevent a cup upset.
Noble and club captain Callum Macdonald returned from suspension following the defeat at Annan seven days earlier, but on-loan Dundee United goalkeeper Marc McCallum was prevented from playing by his club.
Scott Ross saw out the second of his two-match ban, while Ryan Strachan was unavailable after having his tonsils removed through the week.
Vale opened the scoring after just 7 minutes. Lombardi was allowed to hit the bye-line on the right, and pulled back for Chris Blackhall to steer the ball past Jarvie.
Two minutes later, they doubled the lead. Again Lombardi was the supplier, this time sending a ball to the back post where two unmarked Deveronvale men waited to pounce.
Midfielder Graeme Rodger did the damage this time, lifting the ball over a helpless Jarvie to give his side an early cushion.
It could have been worse had Graeme Watt not been denied by the goalkeeper following a horrible Jamie Redman passback, but Peterhead immediately hit on the counter, and Rory McAllister should have done better as he attempted to round goalkeeper Darren McConnachie.
Smith headed a teasing Bavidge cross over the bar just before the half-hour, and Peterhead were left to rue their frivolity in front of goal.
More suspect defending saw a 37th minute corner cleared only as far as Rodger, and he dinked the ball back into the area where Vale captain Scott Fraser sent a stunning volley across Jarvie and high into the net.
That sent the Vale fans into raptures and, you felt, signalled the end for Peterhead.
McInally responded by throwing on Deasley, just back after being forced out for three weeks through illness, for Dean Cowie before the interval.
During the second half, the match descended into a physical battle and just moments after Noble and Lombardi had clashed in an off-the-ball incident, the former Aberdeen forward exacted his revenge and saw red.
The wide-man threw himself at Noble with no intention of playing the ball, catching the ex-Stranraer man on the thigh and leaving referee Ryan Milne with no option but to show a red card.
Peterhead had already thrown on Robbie Winters, and sacrificed a defender as they threw on-loan centre-back Ryan Harding into attack, by now becoming a fourth man up top.
And Harding came close to handing his side a lifeline when, amid an almighty goalmouth scramble, his effort came back off the underside of the crossbar.
The Blue Toon did pull one back when, after a foul on Winters, Smith guided Deasley’s low free-kick past a helpless McConnachie. Game on.
Winters then squared for Deasley to drill low past McConnachie with four minutes remaining, but it was too little too late for McInally’s men, who have now been beaten in three consecutive games.
Having now suffered three straight defeats, McInally will have to pick his men up ahead of the visit of Berwick Rangers next Saturday.
DEVERONVALE: Darren McConnachie, Connor Rennie, Kevin Adams, Scott Henry (Grant Mitchell, 23), Scott Fraser, Graeme Rodger, Michele Lombardi, Craig Cowie (Jack Meldrum, 86), Kris Duncan, Chris Blackhall (Ivan Sinclair, 72), Graeme Watt. Subs not used: Franny More, James Blanchard (gk)
Booked: Duncan. Sent off: Lombardi
PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Ross Smith, Steven Noble, Ryan Harding, Callum Macdonald, Dean Cowie (Bryan Deasley, 40), Stephen Maguire (Robbie Winters, 57), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge, Scott McLaughlin. Subs not used: Roy McBain, Jake Fitzgerald, Camran Knowles (gk)
Booked: Smith, Macdonald, Deasley.
Peterhead 1 Berwick Rangers 0
Sat 06 Oct 2012
Substitute Stephen Maguire bagged his first Peterhead goal with 13 minutes to go as the Blue Toon arrested their recent slump in form to claim victory over Berwick Rangers.
It was hard going, though, with the visitors having two goals chopped off in the dying stages.
Dean Cowie and Martin Bavidge both dropped out through injury following the humiliating Scottish Cup defeat to Deveronvale, both having taken ankle knocks, while Maguire had dropped to the bench.
Scott Ross returned from suspension, and Ryan Strachan from having his tonsils removed, while Robbie Winters took the place of Bavidge.
It was Ian Little’s Wee Rangers side who created the better chances in the first period, though perhaps not as many as their play deserved.
Paul Jarvie was called into action for the first time when Lee Currie’s cross found Chris Townsley at the back post. The centre-back headed powerfully from point-blank range, forcing the goalkeeper into a fine save.
And Jarvie was the Blue Toon hero again on the half-hour when he charged off his line to deny Stuart Noble following a short headed-passback from Ross.
The Blue Toon had been struggling to create anything in front of goal, long balls out of defence struggling to find either Winters or Rory McAllister.
But three minutes from the interval, the latter brought down a diagonal pass from Ross on the edge of the area, before seeing his effort claimed at the second attempt by Berwick keeper Youssef Bejaoui.
Peterhead did improve after the interval, but could have found themselves behind when Kevin McDonald’s angled strike flashed just beyond Jarvie’s left-hand upright.
McAllister had another chance shortly after weaving into the box following Callum Macdonald’s pass. The striker slipped, though, as he pulled the trigger, leaving Bejaoui with a simple save at his near post.
The prolific striker was becoming more and more threatening, and his cross from the left was narrowly over the head of Winters just after the hour mark.
Two minutes later, McAllister seized on Devon Jacobs’ misjudgement to put the Berwick goal under further pressure, but a combination of defender Douglas Bryden and goalkeeper Bejaoui saw the ball turned over the bar.
The breakthrough finally came after 77 minutes. Steven Noble win the ball in midfield and sent substitute Bryan Deasley haring away down the left. He crossed low, with McAllister’s step-over leaving Maguire the simplest of tap-ins.
Berwick thought they had levelled ten minutes later when Fraser McLaren tapped home, but Steven Notman was penalised for his challenge on Jarvie in the lead-up to the goal.
Two minutes later, Notman’s cross was flicked on by Damon Geilty for Dean Hoskins to bundle home at the back post, but Hoskins had strayed into an offside position and again the effort was ruled out.
PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Ross Smith (Bryan Deasley, 56), Steven Noble, Scott Ross, Callum Macdonald, Ryan Harding, Ryan Strachan, Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Darren Kelly, 86), Robbie Winters (Stephen Maguire, 69), Scott McLaughlin. Subs not used: Jake Fitzgerald, Marc McCallum (gk).
BERWICK RANGERS: Youssef Bejaoui, Devon Jacobs, Dean Hoskins, Douglas Bryden, Chris Townsley, Lee Currie (Damon Geilty, 81), Steven Notman, Neil Janczyk, Stuart Noble (Darren Lavery, 59), Phillip Addison (Fraser McLaren, 59), Kevin McDonald. Subs not used: Andy McLean, Ian McCaldon (gk)
East Stirling 2 Peterhead 1
Sat 20 Oct 2012
Peterhead’s recent run of miserable away form continued as the ten-man Blue Toon went down to East Stirlingshire, despite Rory McAllister’s penalty giving them an early lead.
The former Brechin City striker found the net after just 77 seconds, but a double from Shire captain Kevin Turner put the home side in front, before Scott Ross was somewhat harshly sent off for the second time this season.
The Blue Toon were without captain Callum Macdonald and midfielder Dean Cowie through injury, but Martin Bavidge was fit enough to return to the bench after missing the win over Berwick. Bryan Deasley and Graeme Sharp came into the starting eleven.
And they couldn’t have got off to a better start. Sharp’s ball down the right channel found McAllister, who was wrestled to the ground by Steven Jackson right in front of the linesman.
Referee Gavin Ross, who took change of the infamous defeat to Elgin City earlier in the season, pointed to the spot after his linesman flagged for the foul, and McAllister typically made no mistake from 12 yards.
Peterhead had scored a similarly early goal on their last visit to Ochilview and went on to lose 6-3, though, so there was more work to be done.
It was the home side, though, who bounced back quickly and hauled their way back into the match.
Turner looked a genuine threat, and was twice denied by Paul Jarvie in the Peterhead goal, while another effort was narrowly wide of the post during a lively opening half-hour.
The striker finally got his reward after 32 minutes. Ryan Harding’s clearance from a corner was sent back with interest by Ricky Miller, and Turner took the ball into his feet beautifully, before turning and dispatching beyond Jarvie.
The home side were well on top by now, and Peterhead’s hopes were dented when the energetic Jamie Redman was forced off with an injury sustained in a wild challenge from Shire midfielder Sean Kelly which saw the home man go into the book.
Martin Bavidge replaced Redman, but it was McAllister who had the next chance for the Toon, his angled shot beaten away by Hay.
The scores remained level at the interval, but Shire were in front just six minutes into the second half. Turner got the better of Harding 20 yards out, before unleashing a curling left-foot strike that was beyond the grasp of the full-stretch Jarvie.
Six minutes later, Peterhead were reduced to ten men as referee Gavin Ross deemed a tackle from namesake Scott worthy of a straight red card, although Shire boss John Coughlin would later admit he felt the challenge was worthy only of a booking.
Stephen Maguire was sacrificed to allow Ross Smith to come on in defence, and the on-loan Dundee United man showed the kind of hunger that was sadly lacking from his team-mates, demanding the ball and trying to take it forward at any opportunity.
The Blue Toon did improve, and Sharp was unlucky to see his left-foot shot come back off the crossbar, Bavidge seeing his follow-up cleared off the line by Miller.
Bavidge came close again with just over 10 minutes remaining, his low volley deflected away for a corner following a Ryan Strachan knock-back.
And the striker turned provider for fellow sub Darren Kelly with four minutes remaining, the ex-Shire man denied only by a fantastic reflex save from goalkeeper Grant Hay.
In the end, though, the Blue Toon were beaten by the better team, and will be looking for a much improved performance when they host Stirling Albion on Saturday.
EAST SIRLING: Grant Hay, Craig Hume, Nathan Shepherd, Ricky Miller, Steven Jackson, Sean Kelly, Jamie McKernon, Michael Hunter, Kevin Turner (Mark Begg, 89), Paul Quinn (David Greenhill, 76), Scott Maxwell. Subs not used: Kyle Gillespie, Jamie Glasgow, Craig Gordon (gk).
Booked: Kelly, Hunter.
PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Ryan Harding, Scott Ross, Bryan Deasley, Ryan Strachan, Jamie Redman (Martin Bavidge, 38), Rory McAllister (Darren Kelly, 72), Stephen Maguire (Ross Smith, 59), Scott McLaughlin. Subs not used: Robbie Winters, Marc McCallum (gk).
Booked: Strachan, Deasley, Noble. Sent off: Ross.
Peterhead 2 Stirling Albion 2
Sat 27 Oct 2012
Jim McInally will have plenty of reason to be frustrated after watching his team throw away a two-goal lead to allow struggling Stirling Albion a share of the points.
In truth the Binos did enough to show that they are in a false position, but the Blue Toon boss will be disappointed to have dropped points at home, when Balmoor has been such a stronghold this term.
There were three changes to the side that had lost at the hands of East Stirling a week earlier. Ross Smith had impressed as a substitute and he replaced Ryan Harding, who has returned to Alloa after his spell on-loan.
Dave Ross made his first appearance of the campaign in midfield, taking the place of Jamie Redman who was injured against the Shire, and Martin Bavidge started in place of Stephen Maguire.
Bavidge was involved in an early chance, as he flicked on a Steven Noble cross for Rory McAllister, the Blue Toon’s top scorer seeing his header loop onto the crossbar.
The front pairing linked up again five minutes later after Gary Thom could only clear as far as McAllister. He brought the ball down and slipped a neat ball to Bavidge who got enough on his shot to find the bottom corner of the net, despite Sam Filler getting a hand to the effort.
On-loan Falkirk striker Jordan White, with his physical presence, was a threat, and he headed his first real chance over the crossbar. A minute later, he was involved again as he flicked Ross McGeachie’s ball on to Scott Davidson, but the striker sent the ball wide of the upright.
The Binos were in the hunt for a leveller and Jamie McCunnie was presented an opportunity when Smith failed to get an purchase on his clearing header, but McCunnie snatched at his shot and left Paul Jarvie with an easy save.
But Peterhead were left mystified when Bryan Deasley broke the Stirling offside trap and raced towards goal, only to be brought down on the edge of the box by a combination of Filler and Steven Day.
Unbelievably, referee Gary Hilland deemed the ex-Dundee man to have dived and showed him a yellow card.
That was quickly forgotten though, with the Toon doubling their lead before the half-hour. Filler did well to turn Graeme Sharp’s angled drive wide of the post and from Ryan Strachan’s resultant corner, Smith peeled off White and headed home his first goal of the season.
It could have been 3-0 just moments later, a McAllister shot looping up off Thom and palmed over by Filler before McLaughlin could take advantage.
Cruelly, that was immediately punished. Graham Weir slipped a pass to Day on the left, and he pulled back for White to bundle the ball home at the near post. Game on.
The perfect placement of Scott Ross on the line denied Davidson a quick-fire leveller, and Smith was quick to close down the danger as White threatened to lash home the loose ball.
That brought a frantic period of play to an end and the game settled back down, much to the relief of both dugouts.
Blue Toon keeper Paul Jarvie was forced off at the interval, to be replaced by Marc McCallum, and although the on-loan Dundee United man was left with relatively little to do, Peterhead couldn’t hold out.
That said, they could have been 3-1 up midway through the half. McLaughlin’s ball into the area seemed to come off substitute Robbie Winters’ hand, but play continued and McAllister, having done the hard part with a neat turn, sent a 15-yard shot well wide.
Stirling now looked the better side in possession, though, and when Day’s 83rd minute cross was flicked on at the near post by White, sub Josh Flood sent an excellent left-foot volley beyond the helpless McCallum.
There was a final chance for Peterhead to take the points with a couple of minutes remaining, McAllister’s cross from the left just evading Winters, before Bavidge turned over from Day’s clearing header.
It was another frustrating day at the office for the Blue Toon who now have to pick themselves up for the trip to Ibrox.
PETERHEAD: Paul Jarvie (Marc McCallum, 46), Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Ross Smith, Scott Ross, Ryan Strachan (Dean Cowie, 69), Dave Ross (Robbie Winters, 61), Bryan Deasley, Rory McAllister, Martin Bavidge, Scott McLaughlin. Subs not used: Stephen Maguire, Darren Kelly.
STIRLING ALBION: Sam Filler, Ross McGeachie (Josh Flood, 77), Steven Day, Jamie McCunnie, Kieran McAnespie, Gary Thom, Graham Weir, Daly McSorley, Scott Davidson, David McClune (Mark Ferry, 82), Jordan White. Subs not used: Jamie Clark, Gary Brass, Mark Peat (gk).
Rangers 2 Peterhead 0
Sat 10 Nov 2012
Peterhead may not have left Ibrox with any points, but there were plenty of positives for The Blue Toon to take out of their visit to Govan.
A goal just before half-time from Lee McCulloch and a second from Lee Wallace earned Ally McCoist’s side victory, but there was plenty of credit for the tight and stuffy way Peterhead played.
Still missing captain Callum Macdonald, Jim McInally was able to welcome Dean Cowie and Jamie Redman back into the midfield as he set his men out in a 5-4-1 formation. Also starting was loan signing David Cox, who has joined from Alloa Athletic.
There were six full internationals in the Gers starting eleven, but Peterhead could have been in front within the opening five minutes.
Rory McAllister gambled to get in behind the home defence as Dave Ross challenged Ian Black for an aerial ball, and when the Rangers man misplaced his header back, the striker was left with just Neil Alexander to beat.
Linesman Raymond White was caught out by Black’s touch and raised his flag but was correctly over-ruled by Craig Charleston, leaving McAllister to wheel away in anguish as he lifted the ball over the keeper and off the crossbar.
Cox was first to the rebound and, although he was forced wide, did well to twist and turn to find the space to angle a cross-cum-shot which Neil Alexander palmed out from under the bar.
It was a marker for how Peterhead were approaching the game, and McAllister again should have done better when he rose to head a Ryan Strachan free-kick over the bar two minutes later.
Rangers had dominated the possession thus far but Peterhead’s sturdy defence kept them from registering a shot on target until Dean Shiels 11th minute strike was held by goalkeeper Marc McCallum.
The home side were poised to seize upon any mistakes in the home defence, though, and Black sent a 25-yard shot whistling wide after Scott Ross could only half-clear a cross.
And McCallum was relieved to see the ball fizz past his left-hand upright midway through the first half, Andy Little having plucked an Anestis Argyriou cross out of the air before hitting a superb effort on the turn.
Home skipper Lee McCulloch sent a frustrated effort over the bar as Peterhead continued to force Ally McCoist’s men to play in front of them, but McCallum was soon called into action again, palming away a free-kick from Black.
There was another moment of relief in the Rangers defence when former Celtic man Ryan Strachan delivered a wicked free-kick from the left, which evaded the leap of Alexander and crashed back off the bar.
Cox was impressing with an energetic display on the right of midfield, but the former Kilmarnock man left his side in trouble when his short pass-back was picked up by Little. The striker looked set to open the scoring, but McCallum spread his giant frame to turn the ball away for a corner.
The home fans had already appealed, rather optimistically, for a penalty when they thought Scott Ross had handled a cross he actually brought down on his chest, but there was more substance to a second claim six minutes before the interval.
Ross was again involved, but could do nothing to move his arms out the way from Little’s touch, and quite rightly Charleston again waved play on.
The official was having a good game, and two minutes later pulled the play back for a Rangers free-kick after Scott McLaughlin’s challenge was just enough to make Shiels stumble and lose any advantage he may have otherwise gained.
From the free-kick, McCulloch struck the wall and the ball spun away for a corner from which he would enjoy greater success.
The former Wigan Athletic man peeled away from Scott Ross as Black delivered the ball from the left, and guided a header across goal and into the far corner of the net.
It was a bitter blow for Peterhead to concede so close to the break, especially having done so much to frustrate their hosts up to that point.
And the blow obviously hit them hard as they came close to conceding a quick-fire second, losing the ball from the kick off and allowing the home side to ease through before Little hit wide.
There was time for Redman to send a left-footed effort over the bar before the half-time break, but it was clear the Blue Toon needed to regroup.
While McInally set to work in the dressing room, 500 members of the various armed forces were allowed to roam free on the Ibrox pitch having been invited by Rangers to take part in their Remembrance Sunday celebrations.
Before the match a minute silence, marked at either end by the firing of an artillery gun, had been impeccably observed by the 48, 407 crowd, and an impressive display involving both sets of fans paid tribute to those who have died in conflict.
The half-time festivities dispensed with, there was more of the same in terms of on-pitch action. The home side had much of the possession but were restricted largely to shots from distance, with Scott Ross and Ross Smith in particular doing much to repel the Rangers attacks.
It started to get a bit scrappy in the midfield, with Cowie going into the book, quickly followed by McCulloch and then Black.
McCulloch’s booking was earned for a foul on McAllister, and presented the Blue Toon with a chance to remind Rangers that there were two teams in this game.
That’s exactly what they did; Strachan again delivered from the left, McAllister found himself free in the area, but will have been disappointed to have headed straight at the goalkeeper.
Passing up such a chance was to prove costly, though you would have to say the second Rangers bore a resemblance to a goal scored by Charlie Mulgrew of Celtic earlier in the season.
Dave Ross was penalised for blocking off Wallace on the left and from the resultant free kick, Black played a pass back into a space quickly filled by Wallace, who peeled away from McAllister to run right across the penalty area fire home at the near post. As the ball hit the net, you sensed it was game over.
Peterhead remained stoic, though, and there were only a couple of chances for Rangers to extend their lead. Shiels was involved in both, firstly sending a shot wide of the upright after making space for himself.
Shiels turned provider with eight minutes remaining, working an opening on the right and unselfishly cutting back for substitute Kal Naismith, only to see the young hitman draw a fine save from the on-loan Dundee United goalkeeper McCallum.
RANGERS: Neil Alexander, Anestis Argyriou, Chris Hegarty, Andy Little (Kal Naismith, 68), Lee Wallace, Lee McCulloch, Robbie Crawford (Fraser Aird, 80), Ian Black (Kyle Hutton, 72), Dean Shiels, Lewis McLeod, Barrie McKay. Subs not used: Kamil Witorski, Scott Gallacher (gk).
Booked: McCulloch, Black.
PETERHEAD: Marc McCallum, Dave Ross, Steven Noble, Ross Smith, Scott Ross, Ryan Strachan, Dean Cowie (Bryan Deasley, 61), Jamie Redman (Martin Bavidge, 73), Rory McAllister, David Cox (Robbie Winters, 80), Scott McLaughlin. Subs not used: Stephen Maguire, Paul Jarvie (gk).
Booked: Cowie, Deasley.
Peterhead 1 Elgin City 1
Tue 11 Dec 2012
Peterhead’s local derby with Elgin beat the snap freezing conditions as the Buchan area was covered in a blanket of snow, the determined efforts of ground staff, directors, volunteers and even player’s family’s ensured that Balmoor was declared playable. A small band of 225 hardy supporters braved the freezing temperatures where champions league football on the telly might have been more appealing to others.
The midweek game came courtesy of Elgin’s Scottish Cup match versus Rangers at Ibrox, so Elgin returned to league business hard on the heels of that fruitless trip to Glasgow but with hopes of jumping over Rangers into top spot in the table, if they could overcome Peterhead’s unbeaten home record this season. Rory McAllister returned to the Peterhead starting line up in after his bout of illness in an otherwise unchanged side, Graeme Smith making his home debut as the Toon looked to bounce back from defeat to Montrose.
It was Rory McAllister that was to make the game’s first impact, a long ball from Ross Smith, fell inside the Elgin full back and Rory used his strength to ease him off the ball and sprint to the edge of the box, where his curved shot went just past the far post. Elgin then were the next to threaten when Daniel Moore beat two Peterhead defenders to swing a dangerous cross into the Peterhead box, however there were no takers as the ball slipped by for a goal kick.
On the twenty minute mark Peterhead took the game by the scruff of the neck, with superb linking play between David Cox and Jamie Redman exchanging a series of passes on the right hand side, before creating space to slip the ball to McLaughlin and his rasping shot was turned round the post by Elgin’s Gibson, on-loan from Dundee. Peterhead were not to be denied and on 23 minutes Robbie Winters picked up a loose ball from Elgin’s defence, he played in David Cox, who turned the ball back to Noble who charged into the box, but fooled everyone with a disguised pass to David Cox, who curved his shot past Gibson from 12 yards, for his first goal for the toon.
This stung Elgin into action, however the Blue Toon restricted them to set pieces and long range shots, however there was a glorious chance right on the half time whistle when Scott Ross lose the ball in mid-flight and the ball fell to the feet of former Peterhead Player Craig Gunn, he fired in a crisp effort that was well saved by the feet of Graeme Smith.
The second half started in a similar fashion with Elgin pressing and it was on 60 minutes, a soft free kick that was to be Peterhead’s undoing, lack marking at the Daniel Moore floated ball to the back post saw Stuart Leslie unmarked and his half volley gave Graeme Smith no chance. It was Peterhead’s turn to react and again the long ball caught out Elgin, this time from Strachan, finding McAllister, however this time his shot was across the keeper and past the post.
Martin Bavidge came on to strengthen the Toon upfront and he linked well with Noble, who fired a dangerous cross that McAlister met full on with the header well saved by Gibson. The best chances to win the game however fell to Elgin’s Leslie, first a penetrating ball from Nicolson spilt the Peterhead defence and put Leslie clean through, the effort well saved by Smith and again the Peterhead Keeper denied Leslie from close range as he wriggled through three defenders challenges.
Peterhead – G Smith, Cowie, Noble, R.Smith, Strachan, Ross, Redman, Cox (Deasley 78), McAllister, Winters (Bavidge 61), McLaughlin. Subs not used – Jarvie, Alexander, Tully.
Elgin City – Gibson, Niven, McMullan (Millar 87), Crighton, Duff, Cameron (Harkins 80), Gunn (Wyness 75), O’Donoghue, Leslie, Nicolson, Moore. Subs not used – Black, Beveridge.
Berwick Rangers 1 Peterhead 1
Tue 11 Dec 2012
Martin Bavidge returned to the Peterhead side in an otherwise unchanged Peterhead side that drew with Elgin on the Wednesday night, new signing Ryan McCann had to make do with a place on the bench. It was to be ultimately another frustrating match for the blue Toon, however with the recent upturn in form the reward of three points can’t be that far away.
Peterhead opened brightly with Rory McAllister heading just wide before David Cox saw a fierce effort blocked in a crowded box by Berwick keeper Youssef Bejaoui. The toon continued to press; Bejaoui again smartly turned away a close-range strike from Cox before Ryan Strachan blazed over from the edge of the box.
Berwick Rangers stated to get into the game as Steve Notman was just off target with a glancing header. It was Peterhead that was to make the early dominance count on 25 minutes when Scott McLaughlin stroked the ball into the bottom-right corner from 12 yards out, for his first goal since the opening day of the season, after McAllister neatly turned two defenders on the edge of the box to create the required space.
Rory McAllister was only a fraction away from doubling the tally early in the second half, shaving the bar with a free kick from 20 yards, and then Martin Bavidge split the home defence with a super cross only to find there were no takers. However, Berwick fought their way back into the game and just before the hour mark Graeme Smith let a Dean Hoskins corner slip from his grasp and Lavery pounced to sweep the loose ball home.
However Graeme Smith was to make amends minutes later when only a great fingertip save prevented Lavery adding another with a blistering 30-yarder as Berwick began to take the upper hand but time ran out with both teams having to settle for a share of the points.
Berwick: Bejaoui, Jacobs, Townsley, Brydon, Hoskins, Gray (O’Brien 90), Notman, Janczyk, McDonald, Lavery (Morris 90), Ferguson (McLaren 76).
Subs Not Used: Sandison, McLean.
Peterhead: Graeme Smith, Ross Smith, Strachan, Scott Ross, Redman, Cowie, Cox, McLaughlin, Noble, McAllister (Winters 90), Bavidge (McCann 76).
Subs Not Used: Jarvie, Deasley, Maguire.
Peterhead 2 Annan Athletic 0
Sat 15 Dec 2012
There was a twenty minute delay to the kick off as the bus carrying players to the match broke down, the unusual thing was it was the home team that was affected, the Glasgow based Peterhead players became stranded south of Stonehaven and alternative transport was arranged. So it was a relived Jim McInally that was able to send out an unchanged side for only the second time this season, Ryan McCann and Bryan Deasley being joined on the bench by Stephen Maquire and Robbie Winters.
It was a clod day at Balmoor and no sign of the fierce storm that had lashed the town the night before, however whether it was the delay in arriving or the weather Peterhead started the game poorly. Annan had the best chance to open the scoring when failure to clear the line’s effectively, meant that Annan Attacker Andrew Donnelly was one on one with Graeme Smith, fortunately for the Blue Toon, he slipped his effort just past the post.
This seemed to spark a response from Peterhead and Galabankies goalkeeper Alex Mitchell needed to be alert after 16 minutes to beat away Steven Noble’s goal bound effort. Scott McLaughlin had sight of goal seven minutes later, but was unable to hit the target with a curling strike from the edge of the area. However both teams were cancelling each other out to great effect and although Peterhead were enjoying greater possession, no real clear chances were being created.
The second half started with no changes to either team, but Peterhead looked to have more purposes about them, former Annan player David Cox being in the thick of the action and he was to have the first chance of the second half, after 52 minutes, when under pressure from the Annan defence he fired over the bar from close range.
Peterhead finally made the breakthrough after the ball was played out to Jamie Redman and his teasing cross was perfectly placed between the Annan Keeper and defence, who both delayed coming for the ball and Rory McAllister slid in at the back post to force the ball over the line, for the striker’s seventh league goal of the season.
Peterhead were now on top and looked to get the killer second goal, a long ball over the Annan defence saw Martin Bavidge power past his marker into the box, before sidestepping back inside him to get onto his favoured foot and the sharp shot forced a great save down low by the keeper. It was Stephen Nobles turn next to have a shot saved after good work from David Cox saw him drawing the Annan defence and slipping the ball into Stig’s path.
Rory McAllister almost doubled his tally in the game, hitting the post from six yards in the 79th minute. However it only took another five minutes for the Blue Toon to double theirs when Martin Bavidge found the top corner, after Good work on the right hand side with Noble and Cox, the ball was played into Bavidge’s feet and he superbly spun his marker, firing past the keeper from 14 yards.
Jim McInally was delighted with the teams second half showing, “ We deserved the win today, after getting the goals we played with a freedom and quality and saw the game out really well, we have battled and played well against Elgin and Berwick, the players understand that you have to earn the right to play with freedom, winning the tackles and the second balls. However you can see the belief is coming back into the side.”