Forfar Athletic 0
Tue 19 Jul 2016
Peterhead made light work of their first competitive game of the new season, brushing aside Forfar to collect three points from their Group A opener in the Betfred Cup.
It was straightforward, comfortable and efficient with Rory McAllister netting a penalty after Andy Munro put through his own net.
Both goals came in the first half in a game which saw Scott Rumsby make his debut. Hugh Samuels, bidding to earn a longer contract after signing an initial short term deal, was introduced from the bench towards the end.
The opener came in the 20th minute through the boot of Forfar defender Munro. Attempting to cut out a dangerous Nathan Blockley cross from the right, he diverted the ball past Grant Adam from six yards.
McAllister, like most seasons, did not take long to get off the mark for the new campaign. 34 minutes in fact. The Blue Toon marksman made a tidy job of converting a spot-kick after Gavin Swankie hauled down the lively Nicky RIley.
Other than a Swankie strike which Graeme Smith parried, Jim McInally’s troops were rarely troubled although Munro almost atoned for his own goal with a deflected shot which clipped the crossbar and went over for a corner.
However, a Peterhead third looked likelier than a Forfar reply and twice Jamie Stevenson was foiled by Adam midway through the second period.
Blockley then curled a sidefoot effort wide while substitute Jordon Brown tamely shot at the visiting goalkeeper after good work from new skipper Simon Ferry, who collected the Peterhead Scottish Week Cup at full time.
So a steady start. Three points on the board with three games still to play.
Next up the group leaders..no, not Dundee. It’s East Fife.
Smith; Blockley, Strachan, Rumsby, Noble, Stevenson, Ferry, Dzierzawsk,i Redman, Riley, McAllister.
East Fife 2
Sat 23 Jul 2016
Frustration in Fife for the Blue Toon.
Peterhead let slip a lead to leave Methil empty-handed.
Jordon Brown’s goal was cancelled out by Jonathon Page before a Paul McManus penalty gave Group A leaders East Fife the points.
Jim McInally made two changes from the team, which beat Forfar, with Brown and Scott Ross coming in for Nathan Blockley and Jamie Redman.
However, Redman was required almost immediately as Simon Ferry lasted just 90 seconds due to an injury.
Brown neatly slotted home the opener in the 26th minute but the Blue Toon’s advantage lasted just 12 minutes as Page headed past Graeme Smith after the visitors failed to clear a corner.
Five minutes into the second half, East Fife went ahead. McManus tucked away his spot kick after Kevin Dzierzawski was adjudged to have fouled Ross Brown.
McInally’s men tried to find a way back into the match and Rory McAllister went closest with an effort, which hit the woodwork.
But the points went to East Fife, who have now racked up eight and look near certainties to progress to the knock out phase.
Dundee, who thumped Dumbarton 6-2, climb above Peterhead into second spot going into Tuesday’s clash at Balmoor.
Tue 26 Jul 2016
Jim McInally said pre-match if we defend well, we can win the game.
He meant it and he was absolutely right.
Rory McAllister’s second half double saw Dundee stunned by Peterhead.
But this Betfred Cup Group A upset was largely down to a superb rearguard display typified by the performance of debutant Fiacre Kelleher, who was outstanding throughout.
The 20 year old, on loan from Celtic, won countless headers and made numerous telling tackles.
Fellow centre back Scott Rumsby was equally as impressive and their contributions meant Graeme Smith did not have too much to do in the home goal.
Yes, Dundee saw most of the ball. That was to be expected. But they did not fashion too many chances as Peterhead stood firm.
It was a game of containment for the Blue Toon, who did a fine job of keeping the visitors at arms length.
Substitute Paul McGowan, on early for the Premiership team, had Dundee’s best chance in the 36th minute from Rory Loy’s pick-out but Smith saved well.
As half time approached, the goalkeeper then kept out Darren O’Dea’s header from Greg Stewart’s corner but that was as uncomfortable as it got.
In the second half, after Salim Nassor and Leighton McIntosh were introduced, the hosts pushed higher up the pitch and began to ask questions of the Dens Park outfit.
When Julen Etxebeguren bundled over McAllister in the 63rd minute 20 yards from goal, an opportunity came Peterhead’s way. McAllister made the most of it, smashing his free-kick through an unstable wall and into the net.
Now defending a lead, the Blue Toon were content to soak up the pressure and hit on the break and the tactic worked in the 89th minute as McAllister pounced on a Etxebeguren error to home in on goal and coax Scott Bain into bringing him down.
There was contact. It was a penalty and McAllister did the needful from the spot.
Plain sailing. Well, not quite.
Stewart replied almost immediately to reduce the arrears with a shot, which found its way past Smith.
But Hartley’s men were still in a jam and Peterhead held on to record one of their best results since joining the SPFL in 2000.
In doing so, they blew their section wide open, jumping above their top-seeded opponents into second spot and tucked in behind East Fife, who were beaten at Forfar in their fourth and final game.
It all means if McInally’s charges can win at Dumbarton on Saturday, they will go through to the knock-out stage as group winners.
That would be quite an achievement.
Smith; Ross, Kelleher, Rumsby, Noble, Dzierzawski, Strachan, Redman, Stevenson, Brown, McAllister
PETERHEAD WON 6-5 ON PENALTIES
Sat 30 Jul 2016
DUMBARTON 3-3 PETERHEAD
(PETERHEAD WIN 6-5 ON PENS)
Peterhead advanced to the last 16 of the Betfred League Cup – but only after a marathon penalty shoot-out win against Dumbarton, following a pulsating draw in the central belt.
Nicky Riley netted the decisive spot kick to hand the Blue Toon the necessary bonus point, which lifted them above East Fife on goal difference in Group A.
It was a bizarre shoot-out, with Dumbarton missing their first three penalties and Peterhead scoring their first couple.
It was anything but straightforward though.
On three occasions, Jim McInally’s men had the chance to score from 12 yards and go through. They missed the lot.
Graeme Smith was among the unsuccesful takers but full credit to the big goalkeeper for his performance with the gloves rather than the boot.
He saved several spot kicks and turned in a fine display prior to the penalties.
And if you thought the shoot-out was dramatic, the 90 minutes which preceded were just as eventful.
Kevin Dzierzawski gave Peterhead a 16th minute lead but the Sons had the advantage by the interval thanks to goals from Robert Thomson and David Smith.
Peterhead’s progression prospects looked bleak when Ryan Stevenson made it 3-1 early in the second half but back came the visitors.
Leighton McIntosh pulled one back in the 57th minute before Rory McAllister tucked away a 69th minute penalty to level the scores.
That’s how it finished.
Cue the shoot-out, which both teams did their best to lose.
Had the Championship team come out on top, East Fife would have advanced to the knock-out stage as group winners.
But thanks to the boot of McAllister, Jamie Stevenson, Dzierzawski, Nathan Blockley, Steven Noble and Riley, Peterhead eventually prevailed 6-5 to go through themselves.
A hammer blow for East Fife, who didn’t even manage a best runners-up spot.
Alloa Athletic 4
Sat 06 Aug 2016
Hands up if you saw this result coming?
Peterhead are traditionally slow starters but a heavy 4-0 defeat was not in the script.
In their last seven seasons, the Blue Toon have failed to win any of their league openers.
Generally, they begin with a draw but a share of the points never appeared likely at Alloa, who came flying out of the traps to continue their outstanding start to the season.
The Wasps, like Peterhead, topped their group in the Betfred Cup.
Not only that, they won all of their four games including a victory over Ross County, which knocked out last season’s winners.
They are also 10 unbeaten, continuing from the tail end of the last campaign, so this was always going to be a tough test for Jim McInally’s team.
The bookies have Alloa title favourites and generally they know their stuff.
This game was pretty much done by half time as the hosts took a three goal lead into the interval.
Jordan Kirkpatrick made the breakthrough with a rising shot in the ninth minute and Kevin Cawley struck five minutes later to give Peterhead a mountain to climb.
A sublime Kirkpatrick free-kick just before the break made a comeback even more unlikely and while the visitors made a better fist of it in the second half, Isaac Layne came off the bench to make it four with 20 minutes left.
Pre-match, the Peterhead manager said their visit to Clackmannanshire would be a good guide for his team, regarding the standard of opponent, who will be challenging at the top end of the league.
He now knows.
Tue 09 Aug 2016
When the draw was made, the Betfred Cup tie against Rangers could not come quickly enough.
But there came a point during this Ibrox encounter when you were wishing it was over.
It was a long and tough night for Peterhead as Mark Warburton’s side cruised through to the quarter finals.
The Gers scored five unanswered goals and credit to Graeme Smith, who made a series of saves to keep the score down.
Off the back of Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at Alloa in their League 1 opener, the Blue Toon recalled the fit-again Simon Ferry to skipper the side.
Nathan Blockley came in as well, with Jordon Brown and Kevin Dzierzawski dropping down to the bench.
The visitors fell behind in the 19th minute but there was not too much they could have done about it as Niko Kranjcar rifled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.
It will have disappointed boss Jim McInally that the second goal in the 35th minute came from a corner his team did not defend properly.
Veteran defender Clint Hill eventually prodded in at the far post, after the ball was trapped beneath his feet, from Kranjcar’s delivery.
Trailing by two at the interval, the last thing Peterhead needed was to concede early in the second half. They did.
On loan Celtic youngster Fiacre Kelleher turned the ball into his own net from Michael O’Halloran’s byline cross in the 48th minute.
The game was beyond Peterhead by the time Blockley was sent off in the 55th minute, the former Airdrie midfielder given his marching orders for rashly chopping down Joey Barton about 25 yards out.
Almost immediately, the home team added a fourth goal. Again it was Hill from another set-piece, guiding a header beyond Smith from Kranjcar’s corner.
In the 65th minute, the Balmoor team fell further behind. Ghanian Joe Dodoo scored his first goal at Ibrox with a near post effort from James Tavernier’s cutback.
Peterhead did manage to stop the bleeding in the last part of the match, despite the hosts continuing to pour forward.
It finished 5-0.
A hard shift for Peterhead, who will be pleased to return to Balmoor on Saturday after three tough trips on the road.
East Fife 3
Sat 13 Aug 2016
Jim McInally issued an apology to the Peterhead supporters after watching his team crash to a 3-0 defeat to League 1 newcomers East Fife.
Little wonder the Blue Toon manager was frustrated – his team conceded all three goals from set pieces, not for the first time this season and it’s only mid August.
Peterhead saw as much of the ball as East Fife but they failed to muster much in an attacking sense. In fact, Willie Muir in the visitng goal was a virtual spectator.
The players’ plan, no doubt, was to start on the front foot and try and put a couple of heavy defeats to Alloa and Rangers behind them.
Instead, they found themselves behind after just five minutes and it was avoidable.
Charging off his goal-line, Graeme Smith thought he could deal with Mark Lamont’s corner. However, Jason Kerr beat him to the ball and the big defender steered an eight yard header into an empty net.
Had Jamie Redman levelled in the 15th minute, the outcome might have been different. But his header from Steven Noble’s corner was cleared off the line by Scott Robinson.
One down at the break would not have been a disaster. However, the Blue Toon let in a morale-sapping second just before half time.
They were again vulnerable dealing with Lamont’s corner, which was needlessly conceded by Fiacre Kelleher.
The delivery found its way to the back post for the unmarked Kevin Smith, who nodded past Graeme Smith from close range.
Leighton McIntosh, on early for the injured Jamie Stevenson, had a half chance near the beginning of the second period when he chased down a long Kevin Dzierzawski pass.
McIntosh used his pace to get to the ball before the onrushing Muir, who had come scampering off his line, but he was unable to direct his effort on target.
Jordon Brown and Salim Nassor were introduced from the bench but they were unable to perk up Peterhead, who conceded a third in the 66th minute.
Again Lamont was over the ball. Again it resulted in a goal.
This time, his free-kick from down beside the corner flag flashed past a ruck of bodies and the ball ended up in the net.
The game was up. There was no way back in this match.
There is, however, plenty of time to recover from a shaky start to the season.
Smith; Strachan, Ross, Kelleher, Noble, Stevenson, Ferry, Dzierzawski, Redman, McAllister, Riley.
Brora Rangers 2
Tue 16 Aug 2016
Billy Ocean’s ‘When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Gets Going’ rang out around Balmoor after Peterhead fought back to snatch victory away from Brora in the IRN-BRU Cup.
The Great Escape theme tune would have been a more appropriate choice though.
The Blue Toon appeared down and out against the Highland League team, who must be kicking themselves for passing up a glorious chance to move through to the third round.
Brora deservedly had a two-goal lead and were on course to make their long journey very worthwhile.
But on came substitutes Rory McAllister and Nicky Riley with the guile, and the shovels, to dig Peterhead out of a huge hole.
Up until then, Jim McInally’s men were exiting a competition they reached the final in last season.
“What a terrible performance’ were the post-match comments of the manager, who must have been disappointed that his fringe players failed to grasp their opportunity.
Grant Munro’s men outplayed them for most of the match and they went ahead in the 18th minute, moments after Paul Brindle volleyed over Gavin Morrison’s inswinging free-kick.
The goal was well executed, Zander Sutherland taking a great first touch to kill an Andrew Greig pass and then slot the ball inside the far corner from a tight angle.
There were further opportunities for the visitors and one almost came gift-wrapped from Ryan Strachan, who tried to head the ball back to Fraser Hobday from 25 yards.
Brindle read it and rose to get there ahead of the debutant Peterhead goalkeeper. Scott Rumsby was able to clear the danger though and stop the League 1 side falling further behind.
However, the second half was just three minutes old when the Cattachs doubled their lead and it was route one.
Joe Malin’s long punt forward somehow went all the way through to Brindle, who slotted past Hobday from 12 yards.
Replacements were required and McInally did not muck about in bringing on McAllister and Riley, who injected a much-needed enthusiasm into the team.
From there, Jamie Redman saw a header from Ryan Baptie’s corner well saved by Malin before Jordon Brown gave Peterhead hope in the 75th minute.
Brown nodded home from 10 yards after McAllister’s shot was parried by the visiting keeper. The former Aberdeen rookie got clattered in the process, but it sparked the revival.
Two minutes later, the tie was all square when McAllister smashed a low, crisp shot inside the far corner. His well-struck, first time hit gave Malin absolutely no chance.
Then, in the 80th minute, Peterhead incredibly scored again, Leighton McIntosh netting a breakaway goal, which proved to be the winner.
Up the other end, Brora had a corner but Peterhead quickly turned over possession and after Riley picked out McIntosh, the striker composed himself before sliding the ball into the net.
What a turnaround.
Progression for Peterhead but only just.
Hobday; Kelleher, Strachan, Rumsby, Samuels, Blockley, Nassor, Redman, Baptie, Brown, McIntosh.
Albion Rovers 2
Sat 20 Aug 2016
Usually throwing away a two-goal lead would be looked upon as a couple of points dropped.
But considering the amount of oportunities Albion Rovers created at Balmoor, Peterhead should be grateful they came away with something.
This match should have been all over by half time with Blue Toon goalkeeper Fraser Hobday, in for the injured Graeme Smith, quite rightly voted the sponsors’ man of the match.
Had it not been for the on loan Huntly youngster’s saves and some slack Rovers finishing, Peterhead would have been dead and buried.
It annoyed visiting boss Darren Young that his team could not convert but he was even more angry that they trailed at the interval thanks to a well-taken free-kick from Ryan Baptie, who impressed at full-back.
From the off, it was all very shaky from the hosts, who despite stringing five defenders along the back, could not stem the flow.
Paul Willis drove a 16 yard shot over in the first few minutes before Ross Stewart sent a free header off target at the far post.
Hobday did well to push behind a 24th minute Scott McBride free-kick for a corner, from which Baptie cleared a Willis header off the line. The rookie goalkeeper then made a flying save to keep out Stewart’s rising shot from outside the box.
However, against the run of play, Peterhead went ahead after Rory McAllister drew a free-kick 20 yards from goal. Baptie took responsibility and his low effort crept inside the far post. It was one of several dead balls that Baptie executed well, with his corners and deliveries a constant threat.
Hobday was required again before half time when the ball, after a long punt forward, somehow found its way to Stewart but despite having plenty of time, he shot straight at the home goalkeeper.
Another opportunity came the way of the Coatbridge club early in the second half but once more Hobday was up to the task, pushing behind a Willis effort for a corner.
Despite their latest scare, Peterhead were far more dangerous in the second period and they doubled their lead on the hour. McAllister peeled off his marker at the front post to send a neat volley past the helpless Albion goalkeeper from 12 yards.
Going forward, the Blue Toon started to look confident again but they were still unconvincing at the other end and Albion quickly pulled a goal back.
Michael Dunlop’s 22 yard shot was blocked by Scott Rumsby but the ball fortuitously broke the way of Stewart, who made a tidy job of slotting into the net.
Peterhead could not be accused of sitting back on their lead. Instead, they chased a third and new signing Stefan McCluskey took the place of Rumsby for his debut.
But while Jim McInally’s men continued to bomb forward, they got caught with too many players up the park in the 74th minute as Willis crossed for Stewart to score his and Albion’s second.
It finished honours even but at least Peterhead are off the mark and up and running.
Hobday; Strachan, Ross, Kelleher, Rumsby, Baptie, Ferry, Dzierzawski, McIntosh, McAlliste, Brown.
Sat 27 Aug 2016
Peterhead scored nine goals on their two visits to Stranraer last season.
Just one would have done at Stair Park today.
The Blue Toon crashed to their third defeat in four League 1 matches and in those trio of losses, they have failed to find the net.
Not that they did not have chances.
Stranraer were hanging on as Jim McInally’s men piled on second half pressure.
Goalkeeper Cameron Belford, named the hosts’ man of the match, superbly turned a long range effort onto the post and the one time he was beaten, defender David Barron was back on the goalline to make the clearance.
Peterhead new boy Scott Brown, pitched in for his first start less than 48 hours after signing a season-long contract, should have capped his debut with a goal but he blazed over in the closing stages.
Other chances also came and went for the visitors, who threw on Nicky Riley and Leighton McIntosh to add to the attacking threat provided by Rory McAllister and Stefan McCluskey.
But the game’s decisive moment came in the 26th minute. Craig Thomson, on loan from St Johnstone, burst forward and released Mark McGuigan, who beat Fraser Hobday with an angled shot from inside the penalty area.
Brian Reid’s team also hit the woodwork in the first half, Craig Malcolm’s header rattling the crossbar from Willie Gibson’s cross.
Despite Peterhead turning up the heat after the break, they could not respond and this result saw them sink to the foot of the table, on goal difference below Stenhousemuir, who got their first point in a 2-2 draw against Airdrie.
At least, the Blue Toon are, game by game, tightening up at the back. The sequence of conceded goals has gone from four, three, two and one.
Hopefully this means a clean sheet in their next league outing.
Hobday; Blockley, Ross, Kelleher, Strachan, Baptie, Ferry, S.Brown, J.Brown, McCluskey, McAllister.
Dundee United 3
Peterhead 2 AET
Sat 03 Sep 2016
Peterhead bowed out of the IRN BRU Cup but only after pushing Dundee Utd all the way in a gripping third round contest.
The Blue Toon twice came from behind in a frantic first half but there were no more goals until debutant Tony Andreu headed the winner deep into extra time.
It was tough on Jim McInally’s men, who belied their lowly League 1 position to put up a spirited, determined display at Tannadice.
The hosts wore their new flourescent pink away strip but the eye-catcher was Rory McAllister, who showed exactly why Utd tried to sign him last month.
The 29 year old, who rejected their advances to sign a new contract with the Balmoor club, gave home boss Ray McKinnon more than a sample of what he could have had.
Not once but twice McAlliister hauled Peterhead level and he caused the Championship side’s defence all kinds of problems throughout.
Yet the match started horribly.
Utd took less than 60 seconds to open the scoring, Charlie Telfer finding the net with a long range shot.
It could have been a long afternoon but Peterhead did not wilt and they equalised in the 28th minute when McAllister rifled home from the lett side of the penalty area.
Nick Van der Velden restored the home team’s advantage in the 34th minute, his crisp strike finding the bottom corner after slack defending from the visitors.
However, within a minute, the scores were level again. McAllister got on the end of Leighton McIntosh’s centre to send a header past Luis Zwick.
After the interval, Utd hit the woodwork on three occasions.
Substitute Simon Murray rattled the crossbar with a powerful strike in the 72nd minute and then sent a header against the frame of the goal soon after.
As time began to run out, Telfer saw a cross sail over the head of Hobday but the ball clipped the crossbar.
That was a moment of deserved good fortune for Hobday, who was excellent throughout, making numerous key saves.
Peterhead did have one big chance in the second period and it fell for McAllister after substitute Nathan Blockley delivered a fine cross from the right.
On this instance though, the Blue Toon marksman saw his effort cleared off the line by Lewis Toshney and the ball went behind for a corner.
The tie went to extra time and in the 116th minute, as a penalty shoot-out loomed, Andreu came up with the decisive moment.
The former Hamilton creater, signed on loan from Norwich on deadline day, sent a free header past Hobday from Blair Spittal’s delivery.
Utd were still not safe though, as Ryan Baptie sent a free-kick through the defensive wall and straight at Zwick, before McAllister screwed a last-gasp effort off target.
The Tangerines did just enough to avoid a banana-skin but Peterhead’s performance almost made them fall flat on their faces.
Hobday; Rumsby, Kelleher, Ross, Baptie, S. Brown, Strachan, Dzierzawski, McIntosh, McAllister, McCluskey.
Queen’s Park 0
Sat 10 Sep 2016
When the opposition misses an early penalty, you want to take full advantage and make the most of the reprieve.
Thankfully, Peterhead did just that to get the better of Queen’s Park and record a much-needed victory.
At the fifth attempt, this was the Blue Toon’s maiden win in League 1 this season.
In fact, it was their first collection of three points since the 19th March, stretching back to last term when they faded badly towards the end.
Two players, who have been on the fringes so far, Jamie Redman and Nicky Riley, scored the all important goals in the second half.
But the first period was as much of a triumph.
Getting to the interval goalless was as good as Peterhead could have hoped for because they could not get going.
Granted, the breeze was against the Blue Toon but the Spiders were guilty of not making their possession tell, even after being awarded a ninth minute spot-kick.
Kevin Dzierzawski chopped down Paul Woods inside the area but Darren Millar hit the frame of the goal from 12 yards, his effort striking the crossbar.
It was a let-off for the hosts, who then had Fraser Hobday to thank for pulling off a superb save to deny Ross Millen’s back-post effort after the ball had flashed across the face of goal.
At least the Blue Toon stayed compact and restricted their opponents to very few other opportunities and it was a completely different story after the interval.
The half-time cuppa tea might still have been hot but Queen’s Park were definitely cold at the start of the second period.
Just two minutes had been played when Redman rose highest at the far post to score with a bullet header from Steven Noble’s corner.
One goal might have been enough but two certainly was and Riley claimed it in the 61st minute, latching on to a forward pass to neatly loft the ball over the advancing Andrew Murphy from just outside the penalty area.
Peterhead, without being anywhere near their best, comfortably saw the game out, with Hobday a virtual spectator down the other end.
There is definitely more to come from Jim McInally’s team but if you can win in second gear and not concede a goal, who can grumble?
Hobday; Strachan, Kelleher, Ross, Noble, S. Brown, Dzierzawski, Redman, McCluskey, McAllister, RIley.
Sat 17 Sep 2016
A couple of points dropped for Peterhead, who surrendered a two-goal half-time lead to draw against bottom of the table Stenhousemuir.
Goals from Nicky Riley and Kevin Dzierzawski had put the Blue Toon firmly in control at Ochilview.
But back came the Warriors and after Jamie McCormack pulled one back midway through the second period, Fraser Kerr restored parity with 12 minutes remaining.
Deep disappointment for Jim McInally’s team, who slipped a place to ninth in the table, just above their winless opponents.
Content with what he saw in the win over Queen’s Park last week, McInally fielded a near identical starting line-up.
The enforced change was at the heart of the defence as Scott Rumsby took the place of the injured Scott Ross.
Riley, who earlier this week spoke of his desire to get on the scoresheet more often, gave the visitors a 17th minute lead to net his second in as many games.
It was Peterhead’s first away goal of the season in League 1 and before Stenny had time to regroup, they found themselves further behind as Dzierzawski notched soon after.
A two-goal cushion was ample to see off the Spiders last Saturday but it was not enough against Brown Ferguson’s side.
The hosts reduced the arrears in the 68th minute through McCormack and the Balmoor outfit did not heed the warning as Kerr levelled 10 minutes later.
In the end, it was a familiar tale to the Albion Rovers game last month where Peterhead ended up drawing from a winning position.
Brechin City 2
Sat 24 Sep 2016
By conceding late at Brechin, Peterhead crashed to a fourth defeat of the season in League 1 but the result was cruel on the Blue Toon.
Jim McInally’s men put on their best display of the season so far, yet they still left empty-handed.
To say it was a hard luck story would be inaccurate, given that the two goals they lost were self-inflicted.
However, had this match ended all square, Darren Dods in the home dug-out would definitely have been the happier manager.
Balmoor boss McInally chose to recall the fit-again Graeme Smith in place of Fraser Hobday but the big goalkeeper will want to forget his return to the team.
Smith ought to have done better for both goals, which wiped away Rory McAllister’s well-taken 32nd minute opener.
McAllister collected a neat pass from Simon Ferry and confidently stroked the ball inside the far corner from 12 yards.
Up until then, the contest had been fairly even but Peterhead took control after going in front.
That was until they cheaply let Brechin back in to the match two minutes before half time.
There did not appear to be too much danger when Andy Jackson was in possession of the ball just outside the box.
However, Jackson was able to weave his way past Fiacre Kelleher and drive a low shot at goal. Smith could only palm the ball straight into the path of Ally Love, who tapped in from close range.
A flustered Blue Toon almost conceded another immediately but this time Smith saved at the feet of Jackson after untidy defending.
Peterhead regrouped at the interval and were by far the better team in the second half, with Ferry and Scott Brown orchestrating the play.
Jamie Stevenson saw his powerfully hit 30 yard free-kick spilled by Brechin goalkeeper Graeme Smith and as Ferry looked certain to convert the rebound, Euan Smith made a sliding challenge to keep the scores level.
Silky skills from McAllister had the Brechin defence in a twist in the 58th minute but the ball got caught under the striker’s feet and he could not get his shot away.
The Peterhead talisman then smashed a cleanly-struck volley just over the crossbar and Brown drove a shot wide from outside the penalty area.
Brechin were camped inside their own half as Peterhead threw on Leighton McIntosh, Stefan McCluskey and Jordon Brown.
The attack-minded changes were a sign of intent from the Blue Toon but, on a rare venture forward in the 84th minute, Brechin turned, what would have been, one good point into three bonus points.
Smith came racing off his line to try and close down Jackson, who had latched on to a forward pass. It proved to be the wrong call as the former St Johnstone frontman lofted the ball over the goalkeeper’s head and into an unguarded net.
Peterhead’s good work was undone.
Smith; Stevenson, Kelleher, Strachan, Noble, Ferry, Dzierzawski, S. Brown, Redman, McAllister, Riley.
Sat 01 Oct 2016
Another away win for Peterhead as Albion are beaten
Sun 23 Oct 2016
ALBION ROVERS 0-1 PETERHEAD
Back-to-back away wins moved Peterhead up a place to eighth in League 1 after they edged out Albion Rovers in Coatbridge.
A scrappy game was heading for a stalemate until Jordon Brown struck in the latter stages.
Brown, taking the place of Nicky Riley following last week’s win at Airdrie, made the most of his starting role to net his third goal of the season.
At the other end, Graeme Smith’s contribution was as important, the big goalkeeper twice denying Ryan Wallace.
With the game lacking clear scoring opportunties or flow, the Blue Toon would probably have been content to head up the road with a draw.
But one point turned into three when Brown struck from close range with a rising shot from Riley’s assist in the 78th minute.
Joy for Jim McInally’s men, who enjoyed a first clean sheet on their travels since December.
They will aim to continue their revival and climb up the table when Stranraer visit next weekend, the first of two games in a row at Balmoor.
Stevenson Kelleher Strachan Noble
Redman S.Brown Ferry J.Brown
Stranraer finally beaten at Balmoor as Blue Toon rise to sixth
Sat 29 Oct 2016
PETERHEAD 2-0 STRANRAER
By Glenn Moir
A song called The Fear, by Lily Allen, topped the music chart the last time Stranraer were beaten at Balmoor.
That was way back in February 2009.
But the Stair Park men were unable to put the frighteners on Peterhead today as their long unblemished record in the north east ended.
Ahead of Halloween, Stranraer were spooked by their own player, Willie Gibson, whose daft dismissal swung an even match in the Blue Toon’s favour.
The former Kilmarnock and Dunfermline winger collected a cheap yellow card for mouthing off in the first half.
Failing to heed the warning, he booted the ball away in a show of petulance eight minutes after the interval.
Referee Colin Steven was not in the mood to keep cards in his pocket, although on this instance he did not have much option but to send off Gibson, who ironically had been one of the best performers on the pitch.
Peterhead made the most of the extra man and space, with Rory McAllister scoring the opener 11 minutes after Gibson’s gaffe and Scott Brown putting the seal on a third straight victory in the closing stages.
The Blue Toon did pass up a couple of huge opportunities inside the first five minutes, Stefan McCluskey failing to beat the impressive Cammy Belford, who then dived to keep out McAllister’s close-range effort.
Home manager Jim McInally later admitted he worried those chances might have come back to haunt his team.
Had Gibson kept his cool, they could well have proved costly.
But Peterhead capitalised on his bad-temper in the 64th minute, McCluskey superbly sending McAllister away with a sublime pass and the Blue Toon frontman rounded Belford and rolled the ball into an empty net.
Belford then foiled Jordon Brown, whose volley from another McCluskey pick-out was goalbound, but Scott Brown made sure of the points with four minutes remaining.
With his pace and power, the former St Johnstone midfielder ran half the length of the pitch before drilling the ball inside the far corner.
Another win and another clean sheet.
STEVENSON KELLEHER STRACHAN NOBLE
SBROWN FERRY JBROWN
Off form Peterhead beaten by second top Brechin
Sun 06 Nov 2016
PETERHEAD 1-3 BRECHIN
By Glenn Moir
Peterhead were punished for having too many players off form as Brechin ended the Blue Toon’s three match winning run thanks to Ross Caldwell’s hat-trick.
In wintry conditions at Balmoor, Jim McInally’s side trailed at the interval, despite playing the first period wind assisted.
Any hope of finding a route back into the match was dashed when the visitors scored two more after the break.
Rory McAllister did at least give the home support something to cheer in the latter stages but his third goal in his last four games proved too little too late.
Peterhead boss Jim McInally said: “We were poor.”
“I just went through the players individually and think probably nine out of 11 were not at their standard.”
“It is hard to win a game when you are not at it.”
McInally went on: “Having the wind at our backs in the first half, we played into Brechin’s hands a bit.”
“We needed to try and get the ball down and I know it’s easy for me standing here criticising when the wind was that strong.”
“But we needed to pass through their three centre backs and to fall a goal behind was sore because at least if we went in 0-0 at half time, it gives you more of a chance.”
“I did feel we did okay against the wind but it was disappointing that Brechin did not have to work particularly hard for their goals.”
“The one thing I can say to the players credit is that they never gave in and when it went 3-0, they kept at it and never threw the towel in.”
Peterhead stay sixth in the table and will look to recover when they meet Queen’s Park at the national stadium next weekend, before visiting leaders Livingston.
McInally said: “We have got to get back at it again.”
“We have two good away games coming up at Hampden and Livingston so hopefully we can find our form again.”
“We are miles better than what we showed against Brechin, that is for sure.”
Hampden stalemate as 10-man Peterhead pick up point
Sun 13 Nov 2016
QUEEN’S PARK 0-0 PETERHEAD
No goals and not much action as Peterhead picked up a point against Queen’s Park following a Saturday stalemate at Hampden.
It was a third away game unbeaten for the Blue Toon, who had to do without the services of the injured Rory McAllister.
In McAllister’s absence, Leighton McIntosh led the line but chances were few and far between for the former Dundee forward.
However, in the end, a draw was not the worst result particularly after Simon Ferry’s dismissal in the closing stages.
Nicky Riley tested David Muir with a well-struck shot in the 26th minute but the first half did not produce too much else.
Not that the second period was all that eventful either.
But, the hosts felt agrieved that they were not awarded a penalty when Fiacre Kelleher, after misjudging a high ball, went unpunished for a challenge on Spiders sub John Carter.
Sixth placed Peterhead nearly made the most of the reprieve in the 75th minute, Jamie Stevenson delivering a low cross for McIntosh, whose flick was well kept out by the home goalkeeper.
WIth six minutes remaining, Ferry saw red for bringing down the lively Carter when through on goal.
Thankfully for the Blue Toon and the small band of travelling fans, referee Nick Walsh gave a free-kick just outside the box and not a penalty as the visitors saw out the last phase of the match with minimal fuss.
Not a great deal of highlights from this fixture, but three clean sheets from Peterhead’s last four matches is an encouraging statistic.
No doubt, they will need to be defensively sound again next weekend at leaders Livingston, who have already rattled in 18 goals from their six games at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
Peterhead upset leaders Livi in West Lothian
Sun 20 Nov 2016
LIVINGSTON 1-2 PETERHEAD
By Glenn Moir
Peterhead scored in each half to shock League 1 leaders Livingston and continue their excellent away form.
Leighton McIntosh netted the opener before Scott Brown doubled the visitors’ advantage.
Although Liam Buchanan pulled a goal back for David Hopkin’s team, the Blue Toon held firm to collect their tenth point on their travels from their last four trips.
Rory McAllister was back in Jim McInally’s starting line-up after missing the goalless draw against Queen’s Park at Hampden.
With skipper Simon Ferry suspended, there was a recall for Ryan Strachan, who started on the bench last weekend.
Lethal Livi had scored 18 goals in their six games at the Tony Macaroni Arena prior to the visit of Peterhead, who were impressive in keeping their opponents at bay.
They restricted the hosts to very little and when a chance came along of their own six minutes before the break, they seized it.
The home defence failed to clear the danger as the ball fell into the feet of McAllister in the box and the striker fed McIntosh, who slotted in from close range.
10 minutes into the second half, Peterhead survived a scare when Danny Mullen blazed over from six yards out after Shaun Byrne whipped in a teasing cross.
Livi forward Mullen, who scored twice in the reverse fixture at Balmoor, was denied by the frame of the goal just after the hour mark, his lob over Graeme Smith striking the crossbar.
Getting men behind the ball and hitting on the break was proving an effective tactic for the Blue Toon, who came desperately close to scoring again as McAllister flashed a well-hit shot inches over the crossbar in the 72nd minute.
However, Scott Brown gave Peterhead a two-goal cushion a couple of minutes later, finding the corner of the net with a fine curling effort from outside the penalty area.
They were made to work for all three points though, especially after Buchanan reduced the deficit with 10 minutes remaining.
The much-travelled 31 year old striker sent a header beyond the advancing Smith but Peterhead saw out the closing stages to record an impressive victory and avenge a harsh defeat when the teams last met.
McInally’s men stay sixth going into a trio of home matches, starting with Alloa next weekend.
Longworth provides Scottish Cup knock-out again
Sat 26 Nov 2016
PETERHEAD 0-1 ALLOA
By Glenn Moir
Two years ago, Peterhead exited the Scottish Cup at the third round stage to a solitary Jamie Longworth strike at Balmoor.
Well, the exact same thing happened today as Alloa, rather than Stranraer in 2014, scraped a 1-0 victory.
The Blue Toon had chances to come out on top in this tie but after failing to convert any of them, the writing was on the wall.
No question, Jim McInally’s team will produce worse performances this season and win, although the former Morton boss later admitted his players need to be more ruthless in front of goal.
“Has it always got to be Rory?” said Jim, who wants others to take more responsibility in the final third.
Actually, McAllister did have one early sighter but the angle was very tight as he took the ball around Neil Parry and directed his effort into the side-netting.
Simon Ferry, at the back post, then saw a 27th minute shot blocked on the line by Ryan Hoggan and when the ball broke out to Nathan Blockley at the edge of the penalty area, his low drive was too hot to handle for Parry.
Graeme Smith was called into action to keep out Iain Flannigan’s shot in the 36th minute before Greig Spence sent a free header straight at the home goalkeeper.
As half time approached, Leighton McIntosh ought to have given Peterhead the lead when he pounced on a mix-up in the visiting defence but Parry spread himself to block at the former Dundee forward’s feet.
If that stop was impressive, his save two minutes after the interval was even better, diving at full-stretch to touch a 12 yard McAllister effort behind for a corner.
Parry’s opposite number was as effective down the other end in the 63rd minute, tipping Jordan Kirkpatrick’s clip around the post and from the resulting corner, Andy Graham glanced a header over.
Midway through second half, Mcinally was sent to the stand for talking out of turn.and his mood did not improve as subtitute Longworth came up with the key moment in the 74th minute.
The striker had only been on the pitch a short period of time when he drove a crisp 20 yard shot through the legs of a Peterhead defender beyond the outstretched Smith.
After a scramble in the box, the hosts thought they had levelled but Scott Brown’s close-range shot hit McIntosh and somehow ended up over the crossbar.
Towering defender Fiacre Kelleher was thrown up front in the closing stages and the on loan Celtic youngster so nearly forced a replay, his effort deflecting behind for a corner after a neat turn in the box.
In the end, no goals for the home support to salute although a bizarre first half incident gave them something to cheer…a mid-air seagull being struck by the ball.
It was fine afterwards, the yellow Mitre that is.
Not entirely sure about the state of the bird though!
Stevenson Kelleher Ross Noble
Blockley Ferry S.Brown
McIntosh McAllister Riley
Lights go out on Blue Toon’s chances as Airdrie win thriller
Sat 03 Dec 2016
By Glenn Moir
Peterhead forced to settle for Alloa point
Sun 11 Dec 2016
PETERHEAD 1-1 ALLOA
By Glenn Moir
Failure to hold on to a lead meant Peterhead had to accept a share of the points against Alloa in League 1.
Fiacre Kelleher’s strike midway through the second half looked as though it might have been enough to give Jim McInally’s team victory.
Alloa, however, hit back following indecision in the Blue Toon penalty box to keep the Buchan team seventh in the table.
The Wasps’ reply was disappointing from a Peterhead perspective but in a match of few clear goalscoring opportunities, the outcome was about right.
Like in most games, the Blue Toon started well and the tempo in their play pinned their opponents back.
Scott Ross nearly gave them an 11th minute lead with a downward header from a Steven Noble corner but Neil Parry made an impressive stop.
Almost immediately, following a long punt forward, Alloa got in far too easily as Greig Spence drew a good save from Graeme Smith and Kelleher blocked Jamie Longworth’s rebound.
A couple of half chances followed at either end but a contest which, promised so much in the opening stages, turned in a scrappy affair.
Peterhead were just about shading it when Leighton McIntosh fizzed a 16 yard shot just wide on the hour mark.
Alloa were not exactly on the ropes but they fell behind in the 67th minute from a set-piece.
In one of his quietest games, Rory McAllister, from a tight angle, smashed a driven free-kick towards goal and after his effort was blocked, Kelleher reacted quickest to prod home the loose ball.
It was another example of the Irishman’s usefulness in the opposition penalty area although he was involved in a communication mix-up with Smith, which led to Alloa’s leveller less than 10 minutes later.
Scott Taggart’s right wing cross should have been comfortably dealt with, but Kelleher let the ball float over his head following a shout from Smith, who dithered and substitute Jordan Kirkpatrick swept his back post volley into the net.
In an attempt to regain the advantage, Simon Ferry, central to everything that was good in Peterhead’s play, picked out McIntosh with an inventive chip but the forward ran out of room after rounding the visiting goalkeeper and the ball went behind for a corner.
There was almost a Wasps winner with five minutes remaining when Kirkpatrick’s 18 yard shot spun off Ross and Smith, at full stretch, superbly tipped the ball over the crossbar.
The final chance fell the way of the Blue Toon as, deep in stoppage time, substitute Ryan Baptie delivered a deep free-kick, which Kelleher knocked back across goal but Jordon Brown, another replacement, could not divert the ball in.
S.Brown Kelleher Ross Noble
McIntosh Dzierzawski Ferry Redman
Goal-shy Peterhead beaten at East Fife
Sat 17 Dec 2016
EAST FIFE 2-0 PETERHEAD
By Glenn Moir
Two second half goals condemned Peterhead to defeat as new East Fife boss Barry Smith got off to a winning start in League 1.
Jason Kerr gave the Fifers the lead minutes after the interval and Kevin O’Hara struck soon after.
The Blue Toon had their moments in Methil but their lack of firepower again proved costly.
Peterhead are the second lowest scorers in the division with just 20 goals from 17 games. Leaders Livingston have 41.
The headline team selection saw Fraser Hobday replace Graeme Smith in the Blue Toon goal.
However, it was his opposite number Ryan Goodfellow, who was nearly beaten in the seventh minute, Jordon Brown directing a header against the upright.
The visitors shaded a cagey first half but they trailed three minutes after the restart. Scott Mercer’s free-kick was headed on by Jonathon Page and Kerr tucked the ball away at the back post.
In the 56th minute, East Fife were well on their way to their third win of the season against the Aberdeenshire team in all competitions when Tony Wallace slipped in O’Hara, who drove a shot beyond Hobday.
Nicky Riley tried to launch a Peterhead fightback but his 79th minute effort rattled the frame of the goal.
Jim McInally’s men tumble to eighth with this latest setback, two points ahead of second bottom Stranraer, who were beaten by Brechin. Peterhead-based Connor McLennan, on an emergency loan from Aberdeen, netted for the Hedgemen to claim his first senior goal.
At least someone from the Buchan town has a smile on their face.
Blue Toon’s Boxing Day body blow
Mon 26 Dec 2016
PETERHEAD 0-2 STENHOUSEMUIR
A Boxing Day body blow for Peterhead as Stenhousemuir won the battle of the strugglers to climb off bottom spot.
Rory McAllister scored an own goal in the 71st minute and the Warriors doubled their lead soon after to wrap up the victory.
The outcome saw Stenny leapfrog Stranraer in the table and move to within a point of the Blue Toon, whose miserable Balmoor record continued.
Jim Mcinally’s men have won just twice at home in League 1 all season, which has now reached the half way stage.
It’s unlikely you would want to watch a re-run of this contest, which was anything but a Christmas cracker.
It was spoiled by the ferocious swirling wind, although the overhead conditions were as tricky for one team as the other.
The frustration for Peterhead was that, in failing to find a breakthrough, they could not keep their opponents out at the other end.
In a game of such importance, if you can’t win then make sure you don’t lose.
There were no real signs that Peterhead would end up on the receiving end here though.
They were, however, given an 11th minute scare when Fraser Hobday pushed out Alan Cook’s shot and the rebound from Furtado Willis was superbly blocked by the outstretched Fiacre Kelleher.
Peterhead carved out a couple of good opportunities as half time approached. Firstly, McAllister shrugged off the challenge of David Marsh to tee up Jamie Redman but the midfielder delayed getting his shot away and Colin McCabe made a comfortable save.
That was followed by a curling 18 yard Scott Brown effort, which flew just wide of the target.
The big moment of the match came and went in the 53rd minute, Nicky Riley fluffing his lines with the goal gaping. The former Dundee man ran on to Redman’s pass but after taking the ball round the Stenny goalkeeper, he failed to slot into an empty net.
The miss looked even more crucial when the visitors broke the deadlock in the 71st minute. Cook’s inswinging corner had pace and bend as the ball skimmed off McAllister’s head and flew into the far corner of the net.
Immediately, Jordon Brown replaced Ryan Baptie and the former Aberdeen youngster nearly scored with his first touch but McCabe saved well to keep out his near post effort.
Any chance Peterhead had of salvaging something vanished 11 minutes from time. Cook’s free-kick from distance was parried by Hobday and the ball broke out for Jamie McCormack to stroke home the rebound.
For long spells, it looked like the weather would be the winner in this match. In the end it was Stenhousemuir.
Peterhead start the New Year with a bang at Brechin
Mon 02 Jan 2017
BRECHIN 0-1 PETERHEAD
A happy New Year for Peterhead, who started 2017 with a morale-boosting win at third top Brechin.
Rory McAllister’s second half goal separated the sides at Glebe Park as the Buchan team climbed out of the relegation play-off zone.
New signing Aaron Comrie, on loan from St Johnstone, was pitched straight into the team for his debut.
The youngster, operating in the problem right back position, played his part in helping Peterhead keep a welcome clean-sheet.
Keeping the opposition at bay gave the visitors a platform and they turned one point into three thanks to McAllister’s 77th minute header.
The Blue Toon striker found the net to claim his first goal since notching against the same opponents in a 3-1 Balmoor defeat.
Drought over for McAllister as Peterhead ended their winless run, which stretched back to the 19th November.
Back then they beat leaders Livingston, who visit the north east on Saturday.
COMRIE KELLEHER ROSS NOBLE
STEVENSON S.BROWN FERRY RILEY
Blue Toon edged out in thriller
Sat 07 Jan 2017
PETERHEAD 2-3 LIVINGSTON
Five goals, a penalty save, the woodwork rattled and one of the worst decisions you are ever likely to see.
Peterhead and League 1 pacesetters Livingston brought the best out of each other in an action-packed contest at Balmoor.
Shaun Byrne’s clever backheel in the 78th minute eventually separated the sides after the Blue Toon had twice come from behind.
Livi had the ball in the net early on but Graeme Smith was adjudged to have been fouled by Danny Mullen when trying to deal with Sean Crighton’s looping header.
Smith was certainly responsible for ensuring the scores were still level at the break after saving Liam Buchanan’s 44th minute penalty.
Scott Rumsby hauled down Mullen on the left edge of the box but Buchanan’s spot-kick was weak as Smith dived to his left to keep the ball out.
Now on to the madness of the second half..
Towering defender Declan Gallagher broke the deadlock in the 50th minute by powering home a backpost header from a corner.
Livi’s lead lasted just two minutes as Jordon Brown dug out a cross from the right and Nicky Riley stooped to nod past Liam Kelly from close range.
The home fans were still smiling by the time David Hopkin’s team immediately reclaimed their advantage, Buchanan going straight down the other end to tuck the ball beneath Smith.
Back came Peterhead again, this time Rory McAllister lashing in a six yard shot from substitute Leighton McIntosh’s cutback, moments after Mullen had smashed the Peterhead post.
Could the hosts hold on this time or even nick a winner?
Well when Livi were ridiculously denied a 71st minute goal, it appeared as if Jim McInally’s troops would get something.
Simon Ferry’s short backpass was never reaching Smith and Buchanan nipped in to round the goalkeeper and slot into an empty net.
But bizarrely, the assistant referee claimed to have spotted a Livi player getting a touch on the ball so flagged for offside.
It was a poor call and the decision of referee David Lowe to back his colleague was even worse.
Feeling a sense of injustice, Livi upped the tempo in the closing stages, aided by their superior full-time fitness levels.
They got their rewards when Byrne flicked in Nicky Cadden’s left wing cross from a few yards out.
This time there was no way back for Peterhead but they can definitely take encouragement from their contribution to this super spectacle.
10-man Peterhead notch away win for second successive game
Sun 15 Jan 2017
ALLOA 0-1 PETERHEAD
Peterhead were rewarded for their battling qualities after claiming all three points at second top Alloa.
The statistics were all in favour of the hosts in this match aside from the key one, the scoreline, which came courtesy of Leighton McIntosh’s strike early in the second half.
It turned out to be an eventful afternoon for the strikers.
Rory McAllister was forced off in the first period due to illness.
His replacement, McIntosh, netted the decisive goal but he made his team-mates sweat for the victory after getting sent off in the 75th minute.
One of the highlights was the debut of Partick defender Michael McMillan, the teenager playing his part in a resolute display less than 24 hours after signing on loan for the rest of the season.
McMillan was pitched straight into the team, with fellow loanee Liam Gordon still not quite ready to feature.
The 19 year old slotted in well but Peterhead’s chances of turning over the Wasps appeared to lessen when McAllister, who had netted in each of his last two matches, had to come off in the 34th minute.
However, Jim McInally’s men stayed organised and when a chance came along in the 49th minute, they seized it.
McIntosh drove a shot into the corner of the net from the left side of the penalty box from Nicky Riley’s assist.
The former Dundee man then picked up two cards in the space of a minute, the second a harsh straight red for apparent violent conduct following a sliding challenge on Jason Marr.
Another forward down, Peterhead had to cling on in the closing stages but they got over the line to come away with a second successive 1-0 win on their travels.
Impressive Peterhead record biggest win of the season
Sat 28 Jan 2017
PETERHEAD 4-0 QUEEN’S PARK
A new-look Peterhead produced a dominant display to cruise past Queen’s Park and record their biggest win of the season.
Grant Anderson’s debut goal was the highlight, the winger scoring a sublime volley after Ryan Strachan had given the Blue Toon the lead.
Rory McAllister then helped himself to a double either side of the interval as Jim McInally’s freshened-up team highlighted their potential.
It turned out to be a long afternoon for Gus MacPherson’s troops, who played nearly an hour with a numerical disadvantage following the dismissal of former Peterhead loanee Ryan McGeever.
The warning signs were there for the Spiders within 60 seconds, Anderson seeing a low cross cleared off the line and then Scott Brown’s follow-up was well blocked by Willie Muir.
Neat play in the 10th minute saw Jamie Stevenson crossing for McAllister, whose cushioned lay-off fell invitingly for Brown but his rising shot was superbly tipped over by the busy Muir.
However, from the resulting corner, Peterhead made the breakthrough as the fit-again Strachan got on the end of Steven Noble’s corner to send an eight yard header into the net.
Midway through the half, from Aaron Comrie’s cross, McAllister went close with a cleanly-hit volley, which was netbound but for a deflection, which bizarrely the referee did not spot.
Talking of volleys, you will not see too many better than Anderson’s strike, which came from his weaker left foot. Keeping his eye on the ball, the 30 year old’s technique was impressive as he sent his effort from the edge of the penalty area inside the far corner.
Things threatened to get messy for Queen’s Park when McGeever brought down McAllister as the striker went through on goal in the 32nd minute.
Under the new directive, the big defender avoided a straight red card, as would have been the case in previous seasons, but because he had been cautioned beforehand, he was sent packing in any case and McAllister made a tidy job with the spot-kick that followed.
There was more good football in the second period, including a succession of passes in the 54th minute, which eventually saw Brown feeding Nathan Blockley but Muir pulled off another good stop.
McAllister completed the scoring and the misery of Queen’s Park with a well-taken goal in the 63rd minute. Collecting a pass just inside in the penalty area, he sidestepped a visiting defender and flashed a curling shot into the net.
Peterhead stay eighth in the table with this eye-catching victory – but they are just three points outside the top four.
By Glenn Moir
COMRIE STRACHAN McMULLIN NOBLE
S.BROWN FERRY. BLOCKLEY
ANDERSON. McALLISTER. STEVENSON
Costly second half for Peterhead as Airdrie hit four
Sat 04 Feb 2017
AIRDRIE 4-1 PETERHEAD
Airdrie pounced on a second half collapse from Peterhead, who missed the chance to make up ground on the teams above them.
It had looked promising for the Blue Toon after Rory McAllister had given them an interval lead.
However, the hosts turned the match in their favour by scoring three goals in quick succession and they added a fourth in stoppage time.
Chasing a third straight win, Jim McInally’s men were unchanged after winning so impressively against Queen’s Park and they were on course for a second victory of the season at New Broomfield thanks to McAllister’s 36th minute strike.
Holding off a challenge from Diamonds’ recent recruit Simon Mensing, McAllister unleashed a shot, which flew past Rohan Ferguson and went in off the post.
Jack McKay, on loan from Leeds where his twin brother Paul also plays, came close to restoring parity in the 62nd minute when he rattled the upright.
The hosts nearly fell two goals behind in the 67th minute, Grant Anderson blazing a great chance over the crossbar and it proved to be a turning point.
Instead of being two-up, Peterhead were pegged back just a couple of minutes later. McKay beat Graeme Smith with a close range shot after the visiting defence failed to clear Sean McIntosh’s cross.
Mark Wilson’s team then gained the upper hand in the 71st minute. Adam Brown rattled the post with a crisp effort and Ryan Conroy was on hand to tuck home the rebound.
Peterhead’s chances of finding a route back into the match were effectively over when Andy Ryan netted in the 76th minute. The former Forfar frontman collected a Brown pass and from the left side of the box, he rifled a shot inside the far corner.
The suffering was not quite over for the visitors as substitute Scott Stewart added Airdrie’s fourth deep in added time with a fine solo goal.
With only bottom of the table Stranraer managing a win from the other four League 1 fixtures, this was a chance missed for the eighth placed Blue Toon to climb a congested table.
Blue Toon forced to settle for Balmoor draw
Sun 12 Feb 2017
PETERHEAD 1-1 ALBION ROVERS
By Glenn Moir
A point apiece was not a great outcome for Peterhead or Albion Rovers, who remain eighth and seventh respectively in League 1.
Reeling in the chasing promotion play-off pack was a realistic prospect for the Blue Toon at half time thanks to Rory McAllister’s opener.
But by full-time, following Ross Stewart’s equaliser, Jim McInally’s men were more concerned by the results of the bottom two clubs, Stranraer and Stenhousemuir.
What frustrated the Balmoor manager most was how his team tailed off after letting slip their lead, much like last week at Airdrie.
Before the break, Peterhead were in relative control and deservedly went in front through McAllister’s calm and composed finish.
But Darren Young’s men were much better in the second period and, going on chances, ought to have gone back down the road with all three points.
Scott Ross spurned a great opportunity in the 20th minute, the defender, operating at full-back, getting on the end of Jamie Stevenson’s corner only to send his free header wide of the target.
Without testing the visiting goalkeeper too often, Peterhead had the upper hand and they made the breakthrough in the 37th minute. Scott Brown’s throughball was not dealt with by the Rovers rearguard and McAllister kept his cool to slot in his 18th goal of the season.
Back came Albion though. The Coatbridge club levelled in the 56th minute through Stewart, who swept in Ross Davidson’s cutback from close range after the home defence had failed to clear the danger.
Although Ryan Strachan tested the Rovers goalscorer’s namesake with a shot from distance, Peterhead had plenty of defending to do in the last half hour.
Not long after equalising, Stewart rattled the woodwork with a shot from just inside the penalty area and then on loan Celtic teenager Theo Archibald, who was a Peterhead signing target last month, tested Graeme Smith with a well-struck 25 yard shot.
Michael McMullin had another steady game at the heart of the Blue Toon defence but a moment of inexperience from the Partick youngster in the 81st minute presented a great chance for Stewart, who was thwarted by the diving Smith.
With time running out, Peterhead substitute Allan Smith saw an effort comfortably saved by the Albion goalkeeper before Mick Dunlop, down the other end, powered a back post header from Archibald’s corner wide of the target.
A share of the spoils means both teams stay level on points but Albion, perhaps crucially, have two games in hand.
ROSS GORDON McMULLIN NOBLE
BLOCKLEY STRACHAN S.BROWN
ANDERSON McALLISTER STEVENSON
Peterhead and Stranraer serve up six goal thriller
Sat 18 Feb 2017
STRANRAER 3-3 PETERHEAD
In front. Behind. In front. Draw
It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Peterhead at Stranraer as the teams shared six goals in this League 1 cracker.
Rory McAllister and Willie Gibson both scored two each but it ended all square on the south west.
The result keeps the Blue Toon eighth in the table, four points clear of the relegation play-offs and four points adrift of the top four.
Unpredictable Peterhead but predictable McAllister, who continues to find the net with regularity.
The 29 year old has scored six goals in his last four matches and his 12th minute opener at Stair Park was a well-struck effort from just outside the penalty area, which flew into the top corner.
Back came the hosts, however.
They levelled in the 19th minute thanks to a Ryan Thomson header and then Gibson’s sumptous free-kick in the 33rd minute meant Peterhead trailed at the interval.
McAllister levelled 10 minutes into the second half with a bullet header to claim his 20th goal of the season and when Grant Anderson slotted home from close range in the 67th minute, it looked as if the Blue Toon’s long trip would be worthwhile.
But Gibson’s low drive five minutes later ensured Stevie Farrell’s unbeaten start as Stranraer boss stretched to four games.
Third straight draw for Peterhead as East Fife go 10 unbeaten
Sat 25 Feb 2017
PETERHEAD 1-1 EAST FIFE
By Glenn Moir
A third straight draw for Peterhead, who came from behind to deny in-form East Fife at Balmoor.
Jordon Brown levelled for the Blue Toon, moments after coming on as a substitute, to cancel out Kevin Smith’s opener.
Picking up a point here and there wont get Peterhead into top four contention but it might stop them being sucked into a relegation dogfight.
Second bottom Stranraer, who defeated Brechin, have moved to within two points of the Blue Toon. Albion Rovers are down there as well but they have three games in hand.
Yet in a bizarre, tightly-bunched table, Jim McInally’s men are still just four points outside the promotion play-off zone, albeit matches are starting to run out.
Today’s opponents East Fife are likely to be in the mix until the end of the campaign after stretching their unbeaten run to 10 matches.
Not that they were up to much at Balmoor. Mind you, Peterhead were not any better and the first half was completely forgettable.
Cast your mind back to the poorest 45 minutes you have seen and the chances are this was worse.
It was desperately devoid of entertainment although as the interval approached, Scott Brown did test Ryan Goodfellow with a 22 yard effort from Rory McAllister’s short free-kick.
During the half-time cup of tea, the home manager apparently asked his players why they were so nervous. Instead, he wanted them to get on the ball and not rely on McAllister to come up with something on his own.
The second period was just four minutes old when the Fifers broke the stalemate. Jamie Penrice swung over a cross from the left and Kevin Smith powered in an eight yard header to give the Methil men the lead.
McAllister was very unlucky not to restore parity not long after. When Jamie Stevenson was upended just outside the box, McAllister smashed his powerfully struck free-kick off the far post.
The Blue Toon began to dictate proceedings and within two minutes of Jordon Brown replacing Nicky Riley, the former Aberdeen youngster levelled in the 65th minute.
The goal was as much down to Grant Anderson, whose inswinging left foot delivery was right on the money. Brown, from close range, stooped to nod past Goodfellow.
Well that was what you had hoped. But it petered out and finished all square, which was just about right.
Comrie Gordon Strachan McMullin
S.Brown Ferry Stevenson
Anderson McAllister Riley
Rory off as Blue Toon beaten by bottom placed Stenny
Sat 04 Mar 2017
STENHOUSEMUIR 3-1 PETERHEAD
The pressure is building on Peterhead after they were beaten by bottom of the table Stenhousemuir in League 1.
In a nightmare start for the Blue Toon, Stenny were two goals ahead early on thanks to an Alan Cook free-kick and Mason Robertson’s header.
Rory McAllister was then sent off for Jim McInally’s men, who did manage to half the deficit through a Jordon Brown effort at the start of the second period.
However, Colin McMenamin added a third for the Warriors, which was more than enough to seal victory and move to within two points of Peterhead.
Going into the last quarter of the season, the Aberdeenshire team lie eighth in a congested table, although they are sitting very uncomfortably having played more games than the teams below them.
Another concern is that, for at least one match, they will be without their leading goalscorer McAllister, who was dismissed for foul and abusive language.
Frustration clearly got the better of the 29 year old, with the Blue Toon already facing an uphill battle by the time he was red carded.
Cook, the outstanding player when the teams met at Balmoor on Boxing Day, scored a free-kick in the 10th minute and six minutes later, the visitors fell further behind when Robertson nodded home from a corner.
Hopes of a comeback were dashed when McAllister was sent up the tunnel in the 34th minute for saying something that referee David Munro clearly did not like.
It was not all plain sailing for the basement side though, especially when Brown pulled a goal back two minutes after the restart to score his second goal in as many games.
But veteran striker McMenamin beat Graeme Smith in the 64th minute to ensure there would be no way back for Peterhead, who have taken just one point from their three matches against Stenny this season.
Trouble brewing as Peterhead stay in mire with Brechin loss
Sat 11 Mar 2017
PETERHEAD 0-1 BRECHIN
By Glenn Moir
The last time Peterhead were on a morale-sapping winless run, they beat Brechin to get back on track.
That was in the New Year fixture, when they ended a five game streak without a victory.
However, they could not repeat the trick today as Darren Dods’ team came out on top to increase the pressure on the out-of-form Blue Toon.
The only positive in defeat was that fellow strugglers Stenhousemuir and Albion Rovers were both beaten as well but it is getting way too close for comfort at the bottom.
This game produced little in the way of goalscoring chances but Brechin will argue they did enough to go back down the A90 with the points.
They would have a decent case because Peterhead’s top two performers were their centre-backs.
One of them was pitched straight into the team for his debut, Craig Reid, who has spent time in Iceland playing for Keflavik, having previously been at Dunfermline, Motherwell, Morton and Queen of the South.
Considering he had not played competitvely since September, the 31 year old was solid and steady and his partner at the heart of the Blue Toon rearguard, Liam Gordon, was impressive throughout.
Peterhead had to contend with a couple of scares in the first half as Michael McMullin, on early for the injured Steven Noble, cleared an Ally Love effort off the line while Graeme Smith superbly kept out a Finn Graham drive.
The Blue Toon did fashion a big chance in the 36th minute when Nicky Riley chose to square for Jordon Brown, whose shot was blocked and when the ball broke out to Jamie Redman, the midfielder’s goalbound strike was desperately cleared by the visiting defence.
In truth, it was untidy from both teams prior to the interval and although the hosts began to settle early in the second period, they fell behind on the hour mark.
A Brechin corner was only partially cleared to Willie Dyer, whose shot was anything but cleanly struck. However, the ball landed at the feet of Andy Jackson and the former St Johnstone striker was not going to miss from close range.
Substitute Leighton McIntosh had the Blue Toon’s best chance for an equaliser but his header from a deep Grant Anderson delivery lacked power and conviction.
Had it not been for some smart Smith saves, Brechin could actually have added to their lead in the closing stages as Jim McInally threw extra players forward leaving space for the Glebe Park outfit to exploit.
However, Peterhead were always going to find it hard to get back into the match.
The statistics would prove that because in their previous three meetings with the Hedgemen this season, only Rory McAllister had netted for the Blue Toon.
Sadly, he was sitting in the stand serving a suspension.
Comrie Gordon Reid Noble
Anderson S.Brown J.Brown Redman
Goalless between Albion and Peterhead in Coatbridge
Sat 18 Mar 2017
ALBION ROVERS 0-0 PETERHEAD
Neither Albion Rovers or Peterhead can buy a win lately so it was hardly a big surprise that this contest between the strugglers finished all square.
There were just four goals all afternoon between the 10 teams in League 1 so it was not the worst point to pick up with seventh placed Stranraer and basement side Stenhousemuir both suffering narrow defeats.
Peterhead brought back Rory McAllister after a one match ban while Ryan Strachan and Michael McMullin also came into the starting line-up.
Dropping out were Nicky Riley, Jordon Brown and the injured Steven Noble.
McAllister did go close on more than one occasion while Grant Anderson sent a shot just wide early on.
Albion’s attacking threat was blunted by the absence of their top scorer Ross Stewart, who had netted three goals against the Blue Toon this season.
Keeping a clean sheet was a Peterhead positive, their first since January against Queen’s Park, which was the last time they won a match.
This stalemate keeps Jim McInally’s team sitting nervously in eighth in the table, just ahead of today’s opponents, who play the first of their two games in hand against East Fife on Tuesday.
Redman’s stoppage time equaliser stuns Stranraer
Sat 25 Mar 2017
PETERHEAD 2-2 STRANRAER
By Glenn Moir
Only time will tell the significance of Jamie Redman’s stoppage time equaliser against Stranraer.
The goal was fortuitous and timely but it was necessary to keep Peterhead in with a fighting chance of remaining in League 1.
Stranraer were quite rightly aggrieved that a corner was given the home team’s way after Grant Anderson’s initial set-piece appeared to go out off a colleague.
It was not an outright goal though and the visitors still had a chance to defend the second delivery.
They failed to do so as Redman got across his marker to head past Cammy Belford at the near post.
The celebrations from the home support were probably more of relief than joy or jubilation.
But the result still saw Peterhead plummet a place to ninth and, certainly prior to kick-off, a home draw against another team scrapping for survival would have been looked upon as another slip-up.
Wins, not draws, will keep Jim McInally’s men up and they have six games remaining to muster enough points.
They got off to a positive start through Rory McAllister’s eighth minute free-kick. From about 30 yards out, he smashed a low shot past Belford, who won’t want to watch BlueToonTV for a re-run.
The shot was almost straight down the middle of the goal but Peterhead were guilty of not building on their opener.
Stranraer quickly set about getting back on level terms and they did so in the 18th minute when Craig Malcolm chased Liam Dick’s long ball forward and clipped the ball past Graeme Smith.
Heads dropped and the confidence disappeared – and that was just the fans.
Therefore, it did not come as a major surprise when the Stair Park club scored again in the 24th minute and this time it was a well-worked goal.
Malcolm and the clever Scott Agnew combined and when the ball eventually found Scott Robertson on the right side of the penalty box, the full-back’s 12 yard effort beat Smith and nestled into the net.
Peterhead survived a couple of scares to get to the interval at just one behind and they were better in the second period after a half-time dressing down from the management team.
That said, there were not too many signs of a leveller although Anderson was desperately unlucky with a shot from the edge of the penalty area that was blocked on the line by Steven Bell.
Just when Stevie Farrell’s side thought they had done enough to make their long trip worthwhile, referee Graham Beaton awarded the home team a contentious corner with seconds remaining.
From Anderson’s inswinger, Redman did well to meet the ball and guide it into the net to stop seventh-placed Stranraer pulling four points clear.
Reid Gordon Ross Comrie
Anderson S.Brown Strachan Redman
Another draw for Peterhead as Airdrie hit back
Sat 01 Apr 2017
PETERHEAD 1-1 AIRDRIE
By Glenn Moir
McAllister scores early, Peterhead cannot build on their lead and end up with a share of the points after being forced into a defensive switch.
This could actually have been the opening script for the Stranraer draw last Saturday rather than today’s match against Airdrie, which again ended all square.
Except the Blue Toon did not need a stoppage time goal to save themselves this week. Instead, they were rueing the Diamond’s equaliser and whether or not it should have stood.
Kyle Hutton lofted a ball into the box, Graeme Smith dropped it and Sean McIntosh pounced to fire into an empty net. Peterhead’s grievance was that there were Airdrie players, including Simon Mensing, in an offside position putting pressure on the big goalkeeper.
The argument is a valid one, although Smith should still have caught it anyway and there would have been no drama.
Ironically, Smith had been the hero prior to McIntosh’s 35th minute leveller with a superb penalty save to deny Iain Russell, after Jack Leitch went down under a challenge from Steven Noble.
The spot-kick award was of the soft variety but Smith threw himself to his right to make a great stop.
At this point, Peterhead were in front courtesy of McAllister’s customary goal in the eighth minute. The 29 year old showed his strength to shrug aside McIntosh and then expertly steer a shot inside the far corner from 10 yards.
Just before the opener, the hosts had been forced into a change at the back with Craig Reid suffering a hamstring injury and Michael McMullin, who himself had to be substituted last weekend, taking his place.
Chances were at a premium in the second half and although Peterhead tried to up the ante, they had Aaron Comrie to thank twice for keeping them level.
The on loan St Johnstone defender cleared off the line to thwart McIntosh and he was handily placed again to block a goalbound Mensing effort with a few minutes remaining.
Joint fourth Airdrie, who have lost more games than Peterhead despite the positions of the teams in the table, were given a slight scare in injury time when McAllister went relatively close with a sweetly-struck volley from Grant Anderson’s cross but a draw was just about right.
Whether it will be good enough by the 6th May remains to be seen.
Comrie Reid Strachan Noble
Anderson S.Brown Ferry Redman
Hampden humbling piles pressure on Peterhead
Sat 08 Apr 2017
QUEEN’S PARK 2-0 PETERHEAD
On the second weekend of April last year, Peterhead faced Rangers in the Challenge Cup final at Hampden.
Exactly 12 months on, the Blue Toon were back at the national stadium but they will not remember their latest visit with much fondness.
A 2-0 defeat against Queen’s Park sunk Jim McInally’s men deeper in the League 1 mire.
The Spiders scored in each half to pile the pressure on the Buchan team, whose winless run of matches extended to double figures.
Fraser Hobday was recalled in goal while Scott Ross took the place of the injured Craig Reid. The other changes from the Airdrie draw saw Jamie Stevenson coming in for Aaron Comrie and Jordon Brown preferred to Nicky RIley.
Despite the switch between the sticks, there was absolutely nothing Hobday could have done about the hosts’ opener in the 29th minute.
On loan Hearts forward Dario Zanatta powered a superbly struck shot into the net from outside the box.
Rory McAllister had a decent opportunity prior to the goal and the Blue Toon top scorer went close twice more before the interval.
Scott Brown nearly drew the visitors level three minutes into the second half but their hopes of salvaging something from the match vanished in the 72nd minute.
Queen’s Park doubled their lead through former Balmoor loanee Ryan McGeever, who was sent off when the teams last met. The big defender slotted in at the back post after Kalvin Orsi drilled a shot towards goal.
On a day of home wins in League 1, there was a crumb of comfort for Peterhead in that eighth-placed Stranraer were also beaten.
However, basement side Stenhousemuir cranked up the heat on the Blue Toon with a victory to cut the gap at the bottom to just two points.
Peterhead end winless run to boost their survival hopes
Sat 15 Apr 2017
EAST FIFE 1-2 PETERHEAD
Goals from Jamie Redman and Craig Reid saw Peterhead return to winning ways at the eleventh attempt as East Fife’s top four push took a dent.
Redman opened the scoring midway through the first half but his goal was cancelled out by Jason Kerr before the break.
However, Reid, restored to the team after recovering from a hamstring strain, notched the winner 10 minutes after the interval to give the Blue Toon a much-needed victory.
The three points were significant in their quest to beat the League 1 drop with basement boys Stenhousemuir going down 1-0 to newly crowned champions Livingston.
Stranraer, though, ensured Jim McInally’s men remain ninth in the table after their win over Airdrie going into the remaining three fixtures.
Following last week’s defeat to Queen’s Park, Reid was back in the starting line-up along with Aaron Comrie and Nicky RIley as Jordon Brown, Grant Anderson and Steven Noble made way.
Having lost on both visits to Methil this season, once in the league and the other in the League Cup group stage, it was imperative Peterhead got off to a good start.
They did just that by making the breakthrough in the 25th minute. Rory McAllister laid the ball into the path of Redman, who slotted home from close range.
But the Fifers were behind for just six minutes as Kerr got on the end of a Nicki Paterson corner to send a header past Hobday.
Peterhead hit back with a set-peice of their own in the 55th minute with a goal, which proved to be the winner.
Jamie Stevenson swung in a corner and Reid reacted quickest to send the ball past Mark Hurst to revive his team’s survival chances.
Pressure on Peterhead after Warriors win basement battle
Sat 22 Apr 2017
PETERHEAD 0-1 STENHOUSEMUIR
By Glenn Moir
If Peterhead surrender their League 1 status at the end of the season then a key reason will be their wretched results against bottom of the table Stenhousemuir.
They have taken just one point off the Warriors from their four battles, their latest a disappointing and potentially crucial 1-0 defeat at Balmoor.
The solitary goal, which was a deflected 10th minute effort, was in keeping with the rest of the game – very untidy.
Post-match, Blue Toon boss Jim McInally spoke of his frustration at losing to a team that offered nothing.
Mind you, Stenny were never going to go hammer and tongs, particularly after their early opener. It was a perfect game plan for them. Score, sit in, restrict the space and frustrate.
Sadly, Peterhead could not come up with the answers.
The home team started well enough and Scott Brown forced Graham Bowman into a smart save before Simon Ferry drove a shot just over the crossbar.
But after falling behind, they faded and never really looked as though they could turn things around.
On loan Hibs rookie Oliver Shaw took aim from outside the box. His shot, aided by a big deflection off Craig Reid, wrong-footed Fraser Hobday and the ball nestled into the net.
The teenager’s enthusiasm was evident and he nearly scored again as half time approached with a shot from the right side of the penalty area, which flew wide.
Prior to that chance, Rory McAllister, isolated for much of the match, failed to hit the target with a 12 yard shot after Aaron Comrie’s shot-come-cross fell into the path of the striker.
It was only when the hosts brought on their three substitutes in the second period that an urgency was shown.
One of the replacements, Jordon Brown, saw a sidefooted effort clawed away by Bowman and another, Allan Smith, did his best to unsettle the Stenny defence with his pace and movement.
But by no means were the visitors hanging on and they safely saw the match out to crank up the pressure on Peterhead and cut the gap to just a couple of points with two games remaining.
A home defeat lessened the need to look out for the result of eighth-placed Stranraer. But, for anyone interested, they played out a goalless draw at Brechin.
COMRIE STRACHAN ROSS REID
S.BROWN FERRY REDMAN
ANDERSON McALLISTER STEVENSON
Peterhead sink to bottom of League 1 after Livi loss
Sat 29 Apr 2017
LIVINGSTON 4-1 PETERHEAD
Peterhead’s dreadful season hit a new low at Livingston. Literally.
A heavy defeat in West Lothian saw the Blue Toon sink to the foot of League 1, beneath Stenhousemuir, who beat Queen’s Park.
It all means Jim McInally’s men have just one game left to try and save themselves from demotion to Scottish football’s bottom tier.
But their fate is out of their own hands because even if they manage a win over Alloa next week, it will not be enough to avoid the drop should Stenny see off Brechin.
What a mess.
The optimists would have said this was an ideal time to face Livi – already champions, seemingly little to play for, the trophy to come post-match and bubbly to crack open.
The contest was truly done and dusted by half time though.
David Hopkin’s team raced into a three goal interval lead and the Blue Toon were never coming back from that.
Liam Buchanan, on the shortlist for the League 1 Player of the Year award, had the hosts ahead in the 12th minute with a close range finish.
Raffaele De Vita then laid on Scott Pitman, who doubled Livi’s lead in the 21st minute to give Peterhead a mountain to climb.
The points were in the bag by the break, Josh Mullin adding a third for the champions in the 42nd minute with a shot from outside the box.
At least Peterhead’s hardcore band of supporters had something to cheer just after the hour mark when Jamie Redman found the bottom corner with a fine effort.
It was a merely a consolation strike, with Livingston’s Danny Mullen, another contender for the league’s top player prize, completing the scoring with a rising shot with nine minutes remaining.
So it’s on to next week.
A Peterhead win, coupled with a Stenhousemuir draw or defeat, is required…just to make the relegation play-offs.
Peterhead escape automatic relegation after comeback victory
Sat 06 May 2017
PETERHEAD 3-2 ALLOA
By Glenn Moir
R for Redemption rather than Relegation?
It’s possible after a plucky Peterhead fightback, which saw Jim McInally’s team defeat Alloa and narrowly escape the automatic drop from League 1.
The Blue Toon had to better the result of Stenhousemuir to clamber off bottom spot.
Credit to the players for digging deep to come from behind on two occasions and get the win they required. Stenny, on the other hand, could not beat Brechin.
This was never going to be straightforward. It was a bumpy rollercoaster ride but it was worth it in the end.
Yes, Alloa did not bother playing their shining lights Greig Spence and Jordan Kirkpatrick, with their promotion play-off just around the corner, but they still made life very tough for Peterhead.
Twice they took the lead, with their opener coming in the 29th minute. Steven Hetherington’s drive from outside the box was well-saved by the diving Graeme Smith and Iain Flannigan was on hand to tap in the rebound.
The Blue Toon nearly got back level five minutes before half time when Rory McAllister’s free-kick was pushed out by Craig McDowall but Jamie Redman could not direct his follow-up effort on target.
However, McAllister led a rally from the hosts in the second period and he came up with the equaliser in the 53rd minute. Jim Goodwin’s men failed to deal with Jamie Stevenson’s long throw and McAllister smashed a 12 yard shot into the net.
When Alloa re-took the lead six minutes later through Adam Martin’s close range finish from a Flannigan assist, Peterhead had it all to do, particularly with Stenny drawing level at Ochilview.
They needed two goals and they duly delivered.
Grant Anderson, moments after coming on as a substitute, found space at the far post to slot past McDowall in the 68th minute and then with nine minutes remaining, Jordon Brown provided the decisive moment.
It came from a free-kick that never was, but McDowall should have done an awful lot better.
The visiting goalkeeper made heavy weather of dealing with Stevenson’s set-piece from 25 yards and Brown bundled in the rebound.
Then there was almost the ultimate sting from the Wasps with seconds left.
Martin turned his marker in the box but Smith, who made a fine return to the team, pulled off a great stop to effectively save Peterhead from relegation and set up a play-off semi final against Montrose.
Deep breaths…until Wednesday.
Reid Ross Strachan Noble
Stevenson S.Brown J.Brown Redman
Peterhead all square with Montrose after play-off 1st leg
Wed 10 May 2017
MONTROSE 1-1 PETERHEAD
By Glenn Moir
Peterhead will be content with their night’s work after a hard-fought draw in the first leg of their League 1 play-off semi final against Montrose at Links Park.
In front of a very healthy attendance of 1251, Ryan Strachan gave the Blue Toon an early lead with a spectacular goal from distance, although it was quickly cancelled out by Chris Templeman.
The outcome was fair though and it leaves the tie very finely poised for the return match at Balmoor on Saturday.
Following their dramatic comeback win over Alloa, which saved them from automatic relegation, Peterhead made just one change from last weekend’s starting line-up with Grant Anderson taking the place of Leighton McIntosh.
Jim McInally’s men carved out a half chance in the fourth minute when Craig Reid clipped a ball forward for Anderson. The former Raith winger acrobatically sent an effort towards goal and in doing so, collided with home goalkeeper Allan Fleming, as the Gable Endies defence cleared the danger.
But Strachan made the breakthrough with a superb long range strike in the 10th minute. There appeared to be absolutely no danger when Montrose defender Cammy Ballantyne cleared the ball upfield. It landed at Strachan’s feet about 10 yards inside the home half and he thundered a shot in off the upright for a simply stunning goal.
Montrose nearly hit back immediately when Liam Callaghan stood up a free-kick to the far post for Matty Allan, whose downward header was clawed by Graeme Smith.
However, the hosts were level in the 15th minute and it was a well-taken effort by Templeman. The giant striker showed neat skill to jink past Strachan in the box and slot a low shot into the net.
By no means was this a cagey affair as Peterhead broke forward again, this time Anderson dragging a left foot drive just past the post.
The Blue Toon did have the ball in the net in the 33rd minute when Jordon Brown forced in the rebound after McAllister’s free-kick was spilled by Allan Fleming but the far side assistant referee flagged for offside.
Graeme Smith pulled off a fine save just before half time to stop Montrose going in front. Templeman’s knockdown fell invitingly for Graham Webster, whose powerfully struck shot was turned behind for a corner by the outstretched Smith.
The big keeper was called upon moments after the interval to keep out Gary Fraser’s near post effort.
Just before the hour mark, Smith made a crucial stop to thwart Fraser again. The effective Templeman slotted the ball through for Matty Smith and as the winger homed in on goal, Fraser nipped in ahead of him to take the shot but Smith stood firm to made a great block.
Montrose were determined to try and take a lead into the Aberdeenshire fixture and they nearly went in front in the 65th minute when Callaghan swung in a corner, which was glanced by Paul Watson but there were enough visiting bodies on the line to make the clearance.
Peterhead were not sitting back either and after they replaced Anderson and Jordon Brown with Nicky Riley and McIntosh, McAllister tested Fleming with a low angled shot from inside the penalty area, which the keeper had to watch closely.
With nine minutes remaining, McIntosh nodded wide at the far post and then there was a glorious chance for McAllister in stoppage time as he bore in on goal but Fleming made a key save.
For a finisher of McAllister’s calibre, it was a big opportunity squandered, although the draw still gives the Blue Toon a very realistic chance of progressing to face either Forfar or Annan.
It’s all to play for going into Saturday.
Reid Strachan Ross Noble
Stevenson J.Brown Anderson
Peterhead comfortably progress to League 1 play-off final
Sat 13 May 2017
PETERHEAD 3-0 MONTROSE (4-1 aggregate win)
By Glenn Moir
A season of lows could yet end on a high after Peterhead dispatched Montrose to book their place in the League 1 play-off final.
Rory McAllister celebrated his 30th birthday with a couple of goals and then laid on another for Jordon Brown.
It was very straightforward in the end, but the do-or-die double-header against Forfar might not be, particularly with McAllister banned for the second leg.
The Balmoor talisman is facing a two-match suspension but lets look no further than Wednesday’s match at Station Park.
It’s ironic that Peterhead’s first game of a long campaign was way back in mid July against Forfar in the League Cup and their last will also be against the Loons.
Jim McInally’s men came out on top back then and if they do so again, they will escape demotion to Scotland’s lowest tier.
Montrose never really looked like sending Peterhead down to be honest, despite a 1-1 draw in the first leg, although Matty Allan should have done better with an early chance that he screwed wide from a set-piece.
Once the Blue Toon went in front in the 34th minute, the hosts got better and the visitors worsened. Jamie Stevenson, who saw a header cleared off the line, delivered a corner and when the ball fell for Nicky Riley, he found McAllister, who buried an eight yard header into the net.
Stevenson should have made it two right at the start of the second half after McAllister squared from the left but the former Mallorca man smashed over the crossbar.
As the game progressed, Peterhead, who freshened up their line-up after the first leg, definitely had more energy than their weary opponents, who conceded a penalty in the 51st minute.
Allan upended Riley in the box and McAllister, as cool as you like, sent Allan Fleming the wrong way for his 25th goal of the season.
Frustration got the better of Montrose forward Matty Smith in the 69th minute. He foolishly lunged in on Riley near the touchline and got a card colour to match his jersey. Red.
The tie was over but the scoring wasn’t as Brown netted for the second Balmoor match in a row. The attacking midfielder peeled off at the back post to get on the end of a neat McAllister pick-out.
A job well done by the players but no pats on the back from the manager, who knows the salvation mission is only half done.
One Angus club dealt with. Another to go.
REID STRACHAN GORDON MCMULLIN
STEVENSON S.BROWN FERRY J.BROWN
10-man Peterhead beaten by Forfar in play-off final first leg
Wed 17 May 2017
LEAGUE 1 PLAY=OFF FINAL 1st leg
FORFAR 2-1 PETERHEAD
by Glenn Moir
Peterhead will need to overturn a deficit to stay in League 1 after letting slip a first half lead at Forfar in the Play-off Final 1st leg.
Rory McAllister gave the Blue Toon the perfect start with an early goal but they lost control of the match when Michael McMullin was controverisally sent off five minutes after the interval.
The on loan Partick youngster went down under a challenge in the box but referee Stephen Finnie cautioned the defender for simulation and, having already been booked in the first period, was dismissed.
Forfar midfielder Martyn Fotheringham made Peterhead pay moments later by netting a stunning equaliser and then Michael Travis headed Gary Bollan’s team in front with 15 minutes remaining.
The official’s decision to send off McMullin was, without question, the turning point and it leaves Jim McInally’s men with an uphill task on Saturday.
There were a couple of changes from the Blue Toon team that won comprehensively against Montrose, with the artificial surface in Angus dictating that SImon Ferry and Nicky RIley dropped down to the bench. In came Jamie Redman and Grant Anderson.
It did not take long for Peterhead to go in front. Three minutes in fact. McAllister with a close range finish after Forfar switched off at a corner. Jamie Stevenson delivered it and McAllister got to the ball ahead of his marker to sweep home a volley from just a few yards out.
Stevenson nearly put the visitors two goals up in the 10th minute with a well-taken 25 yard free-kick, which was curling into the top corner until Grant Adam clawed the ball to safety.
Another Stevenson corner caused mayhem in the Forfar box in the 15th minute and as the ball found its way to the back post, Chris McLaughlin was able to scramble clear just ahead of Grant Anderson, who was ready to prod in.
Forfar did conjure up a chance from a set-piece in the 20th minute, Danny Denholm sending in a free-kick for Thomas O’Brien, who could not direct his back post header on target.
Peterhead goalkeeper Graeme Smith had to pull off an excellent save to deny David Cox an equalising goal against his former club in the 36th minute. Cox swivelled and hit a left foot shot from the edge of the box but Smith dived to his left to keep the ball out.
It was a comfortable first half for the visitors but it all changed when they were reduced to 10 men five minutes into the second half after McMullin was harshly red carded.
After being cautioned in the first period for pulling back Cox, the 20 year old picked up a second yellow card for simulation after falling in the penalty area under pressure from Jamie Bain. There appeared to be contact but the whistler was having none of it and gave McMullin his marching orders.
Forfar did not take long to cash in on their numerical advantage as Fotheringham smashed in a sublime leveller in the 54th minute. The Loons midfielder received a pass about 25 yards out and unleashed a superb strike past Smith and into the top corner.
It was a rearguard action from Peterhead afterwards as the hosts looked for a second.
Smith did well to turn behind an O’Brien drive but Forfar would not be denied in the 75th minute. O’Brien curled in a cross to the back post and Travis stooped to head home from six yards.
There were further chances for Forfar in the closing minutes as substitute Josh Peters volleyed over from a tight angle and then Cox drilled wide but Peterhead prevented further bleeding to stay in the tie.
Peterhead relegated after heavy Forfar defeat
Sat 20 May 2017
PETERHEAD 1-5 FORFAR (Forfar win 7-2 on aggregate)
By Glenn Moir
“A horrific way to end a horrific season.”
Jim McInally’s assessment after Peterhead suffered a heavy, hurtful and humiliating defeat to Forfar to tumble down to Scotland’s bottom tier.
The Blue Toon thought they were on the road to recovery after dodging relegation on the final day of the League 1 season a fortnight ago.
But this play-off route was still littered with potholes and failure to get out of first gear stalled their salvation bid.
Forfar, 2-1 ahead from the first leg, looked like scoring every time they got near the box at Balmoor. Actually they just about did.
They might be nicknamed the Loons but we will steer clear of the Men versus Boys stuff.
Peterhead, perhaps predictably, sorely missed Rory McAllister, who you have to feel some sympathy for. A player with 26 goals to his name, the bulk of them in the league, yet still not enough for his team to stay up.
The feeling going into this decisive match was that the Blue Toon needed to score first. Instead, they trailed after just five minutes.
Ryan Strachan let a Jamie Bain throw-in sail over his head and Lewis Milne pounced to slot past the advancing Graeme Smith.
A bad start became a disastrous one when Gary Bollan’s team netted again in the 17th minute, moments after Martyn Fotheringham blazed over from close range.
Milne turned provider, squaring for David Cox and the former Peterhead man, who was a constant menace, provided a neat eight yard finish.
Peterhead then went on to have a good spell of possession and created three or four very good openings, all of which were spurned.
The writing was on the wall when Forfar added a third goal six minutes into the second half and again Cox was involved, this time feeding Danny Denholm, who expertly curled in with the outside of his boot.
By this point, the Blue Toon were in need of the final whistle but there was further agony in the 68th minute as Aiden Malone back-heeled past Smith from a few yards out.
Scott Brown did manage a consolation strike in the 78th minute with a fine run and shot but Forfar substitute Josh Peters completed the scoring with seven minutes left, seconds after being introduced, to cap a calamitous campaign for the Blue Toon, who suffer relegation for the first time in six years.
Ross Strachan Gordon
Redman Ferry S.Brown