Play-off pain for Peterhead as Stenny claim aggregate win
Sat 12 May 2018
PETERHEAD 1-0 STENHOUSEMUIR
By Glenn Moir
It will be another season in Scotland’s bottom tier for Peterhead after Stenhousemuir clung on to win the play-off final and promotion to League 1.
The Blue Toon, after losing the first match 2-0, were up against it for the second leg at Balmoor but they gave it a good shot.
After surviving a ropey first half, Jim McInally’s patched-up team came to life in the second period and Russell McLean gave them a lifeline with a header in the 54th minute.
Even after David McCracken saw red, Peterhead continued to probe but they were unable to force a second goal and Jack Leitch’s stoppage time dismissal just about finished off their chances.
There was plenty of effort on show but it was still a disappointing way to round off a season, which had promised so much.
Whether the target was the title, promotion or both, ultimately Peterhead have come up short.
Nobody can argue with their 76 points haul. Few would have predicted that would not have been enough to top League 2 come May.
But points and positions count for nothing when the play-offs come around – just ask fourth-top Stenny, who finished 22 points behind Peterhead.
Brown Ferguson’s team dropped out of League 1 alongside the Blue Toon last year.
Their swift return, at the Buchan club’s expense, was brought about mainly by what happened in the second half at Ochilview on Wednesday.
Two Mick Dunlop headers had Stenny firmly in command of the tie and, really, they should have been out of sight by half-time in Aberdeenshire.
An unfit McCracken alongside a makeshift partner in Russell McLean meant Peterhead were given a torrid time, especially early on.
Mark McGuigan wasted a glorious third minute chance when he raced clean through on goal but with just Greg Fleming to beat, he blazed wildly off target.
The home rearguard was cut open again in the ninth minute, Martin Scott nodding the ball into the path of Harry Paton, whose goalbound shot was well blocked by Jamie Stevenson.
There were other scary and hairy moments for the Blue Toon supporters but their favourites got a grip and after finishing the half in a more composed fashion, they went on to dominate the second period.
Stevenson should have brought them right back into the tie four minutes after the interval. Willie Gibson stood up a cross to the back post and after Jordon Brown headed back across goal, Stevenson sent a close-range volley over the crossbar.
Moments later, Stevenson tested Chris Smith was a powerfully-struck shot from distance and then the visiting goalkeeper tipped over a Leitch drive as Peterhead began to press.
The hosts were rewarded when McLean, who shook off a tough start to enjoy a fine match, headed in Gibson’s corner from eight yards.
Momentum was broken when McCracken was sent off in the 66th minute, the Peterhead skipper receiving a second yellow card for handball, deemed to be deliberate.
Despite being a man short, Peterhead piled numbers forward in the closing stages and substitute Aaron Norris went close with a fizzing shot before Scott Brown drove straight at Chris Smith.
With seconds left, Leitch cynically chopped down an opponent when chasing back and the game was up. So were Stenhousemuir.
Stevenson McLean McCracken McIlduff
Jo.Brown Gibson Leitch
Blue Toon down but not out after disappointing first leg
Wed 09 May 2018
STENHOUSEMUIR 2-0 PETERHEAD
LEAGUE 1 PLAY-OFF FINAL 1ST LEG
Peterhead have it all to do in their League 1 Play-off final after two second half goals from Mick Dunlop made Stenhousemuir firm favourites.
The Stenny skipper scored with a couple of headers, capitalising on suspect defending from the visitors.
It was a disappointing night for the Blue Toon and for Rory McAllister, who missed a penalty just before half time.
McAllister failed to hit the target from the spot after Allan Smith was brought down by Mark Ferry.
The second half belonged to Dunlop, a player who had netted just once all season. In the space of a quarter of an hour, he managed to score two.
In the 61st minute, Dunlop got on the end of an Eddie Ferns delivery to nod past Greg Fleming and he did the same again in the 76th minute from Alan Cook’s centre.
Despite coming into the Ochilview match off the back of an eight match winning run, Peterhead were off the pace and while there is still time to turn the tie in their favour, the clock is ticking.
Ruthless Peterhead impress to coast past Stirling
Sat 05 May 2018
PETERHEAD 3-0 STIRLING ALBION
Peterhead produced a commanding and convincing display to dispatch Stirling Albion and book their place in the League 1 play-off final.
Mason Robertson, the matchwinner in the first leg at Forthbank, headed the Blue Toon in front before the break to give the Binos an uphill task.
There was no way back for the visitors once Rory McAllister netted in the second half and Jason Brown completed the scoring soon after.
A 4-0 aggregate win was eye-catching but fully deserved and Jim McInally’s men will now try to clinch promotion by defeating Stenhousemuir in a double-header.
Performances similar to the displays against Stirling will certainly give them a great chance.
Taking a one-goal lead into the Balmoor fixture, the Blue Toon had to deal with a strong wind and a fast start from Dave Mackay‘s team.
They handled both admirably with Robertson superb at the heart of the defence.
The former Stenny player was equally as effective in the opposite box and he scored the opener six minutes before half time.
Willie Gibson’s corner was delivered into a good area and Robertson powered in a header off the underside of the crossbar.
Stirling did waste a couple of gilt-edged opportunities to level either side of the interval. Firstly, Greg Fleming’s clearance hit Darren Smith and the ball broke kindly for Ross Kavanagh, who was unable to hit the target.
Then Peter Macdonald sliced a shot wide from 10 yards after a surging run from Ross McGeachie.
Peterhead had chances as well and when McAllister doubled their lead in the 57th minute, the tie was as good as over.
Scott Brown showed awareness and composure at the edge of the box to feed McAllister, who unleashed a 14 yard drive beyond Cameron Binnie.
The Blue Toon were in no mood to ease off and they scored again eight minutes later.
Scott Brown was involved again, this time threading a clever pass through for Aidan McIlduff and his cutback was swept into the net by Jason Brown.
Stirling did well to stop the bleeding through the remainder of the match as Peterhead completely took over.
The Buchan club now prepare for a trip to Ochilview on Wednesday before welcoming Stenny to Balmoor next weekend.
By Glenn Moir
Stevenson Jas.Brown Robertson McIlduff
McLean S.Brown Leitch Gibson
Advantage Peterhead after narrow win at Stirling
Wed 02 May 2018
PLAY-OFF SEMI FINAL 1ST LEG
Stirling Albion 0-1 Peterhead
Peterhead got off to a fine start in their quest to reach the League 1 Play-off Final after a narrow win away to Stirling Albion.
Mason Robertson’s first goal separated the sides but the Blue Toon will know they sill have work to do to get past the Binos.
Peterhead’s victory was their third at Forthbank this season, matching the results they recorded in December and March.
Rory McAllister went close to giving Jim McInally’s team a 10th minute lead with an effort, which rattled the frame of the goal. The striker’s shot came back off the crossbar, via a vital touch from Cameron Binnie.
After a bright start from the visitors, they made the breakthrough in the 29th minute. Robertson was able to force Russell McLean’s header over the line to give them a deserved interval lead.
The Blue Toon were forced into a reshuffle early in the second period when skipper David McCracken went off and was replaced by Allan Smith.
But they nearly scored a second in the 62nd minute and again it was Robertson, who saw a header cleared off the line.
From there, Peterhead were able to see the game out to give them the advantage going into Saturday’s return match at Balmoor.
Peterhead come up just short despite City victory
Sat 28 Apr 2018
PETERHEAD 2-1 EDINBURGH CITY
Peterhead’s victory over Edinburgh City was not enough to wrestle the League 2 title away from Montrose, who drew with Elgin to be crowned champions by one point.
A dramatic final day swung to and fro but in the end the Gable Endies did just enough to pip the Blue Toon.
Jim McInally’s men needed to win their match and hope for a Montrose defeat at Links Park and by half time, Peterhead’s prospects were promising.
The Buchan team came flying out of the traps to take a third minute lead against Edinburgh, Pat Scullion putting through his own net from Willie Gibson’s corner.
It could have been two-nil in the 12th minute when Mason Robertson smashed a shot off the crossbar after another Gibson delivery.
After a lull in the play, the home support next got excited when they heard Elgin had taken the lead in Angus seconds before the interval.
All of a sudden the half-time pies tasted even better but by the time they had been properly digested, Montrose had sorted themselves out.
The Gable Endies were back level in their match, ex Blue Toon man Jamie Redman scoring the all-important goal.
Home fans were glued to their handsets hoping for more drama down the road as Peterhead tried to double their lead with Robertson and Rory McAllister going close.
Unable to score a second, the Blue Toon gave Edinburgh hope and the capital club levelled with a rare venture forward with eight minutes left.
Peterhead made heavy weather of clearing a corner and Gareth Rodger profited to stab the ball in from eight yards.
But the hosts kept going right until the end and Scott Brown restored their lead in stoppage time after Jamie Stevenson’s long throw.
However, Montrose held on in their game to ensure a helicopter to take the trophy up to Aberdeenshire would not be required.
Jas.Brown Robertson McCracken Stevenson
S.Brown Ferry Gibson Leitch
Peterhead keep fading title hopes alive with Elgin win
Sun 22 Apr 2018
ELGIN 0-1 PETERHEAD
Jason Brown’s second half header extended Peterhead’s winning run to five matches and ensured the League 2 title race would go down to the final day.
The former Inverness Caley Thistle defender scored the only goal at Elgin, who saw their play-off hopes come to an abrupt end.
The play-off route might yet be what the Blue Toon have to settle for after Montrose won again to remain at the top of the table.
Stewart Petrie’s team defeated Stenhousemuir at Ochilview to leave them needing just one more point to be crowned champions.
Peterhead can only keep winning and hope last day nerves kick in for their title rivals.
Brown’s goal kept their bid alive after he nodded in Willie Gibson’s delivery in the 74th minute to settle the match at Borough Briggs.
It was the tenth time the 21 year old had netted this season.
Whether he has one more fixture, or an additional cluster of season-ending games, to add to his tally will be confirmed next weekend.
Peterhead’s title hopes kept alive by Jordon’s header
Sat 14 Apr 2018
PETERHEAD 1-0 COWDENBEATH
By Glenn Moir
A fourth straight win saw patient Peterhead overcome basement side Cowdenbeath to keep up the chase on title rivals Montrose.
A fine header from substitute Jordon Brown was all it took but it was no more than the Blue Toon deserved.
Prior to the midfielder’s 80th minute goal, Cowden keeper David McGurn had done superbly to keep the scores level with a string of saves, particularly in the first half.
McGurn made a couple of early stops to thwart Allan Smith and then the follow-up effort from Jack Leitch.
Rory McAllister was also denied on two occasions as McGurn threatened to spoil Peterhead’s afternoon.
WIllie Gibson and Simon Ferry continued to dictate the play after the interval, which restricted the visitors’ ability to get up the pitch.
When Jason Brown failed to keep down a close-range 70th minute header, Cowdenbeath must have started to believe it might just be their day.
But Peterhead kept at it and they were rewarded with a quality goal.
Gibson delivered a telling cross from the right and Brown rose to send a bullet header beyond McGurn.
Gary Bollan’s side did have a big chance to level with four minutes remaining but Blair Malcolm was unable to keep his composure with a 12 yard shot, which he wildly blazed over.
The result condemned Cowden to the pyramid play-offs for the second season in a row.
Peterhead’s campaign might yet be extended into May as well but at least if that does happen, unlike the last two years, they will carry momentum and be confident of finishing on a high.
Stevenson Jas.Brown McCracken McIlduff
Another McLean double as Blue Toon win at Berwick
Sun 08 Apr 2018
BERWICK RANGERS 1-3 PETERHEAD
Two more goals from Russell McLean helped Peterhead beat Berwick at Shielfield Park to stay ahead of Montrose on goal difference.
McLean scored in each half while Jason Brown also got on the scoresheet as the Blue Toon won their third game on the trot.
McLean, who netted a double against Clyde last weekend, opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with a close-range effort from Jack Leitch’s assist, not long after David McCracken had seen a header superbly saved by Robby McCrorie.
Jim McInally’s men doubled their lead two minutes before the break when Brown got on the end of Willie Gibson’s corner to send a rising effort into the net.
McLean’s second and Peterhead’s third in the 65th minute effectively wrapped up the points, the big striker stroking in the rebound after McCrorie had done well initially to keep the ball out.
There was a consolation goal for Berwick, Jack Hamilton smashing a shot beyond Greg Fleming with 12 minutes remaining but this was another fine away day for Peterhead, their 13th win on the road this season.
They stay just ahead of Montrose, who managed a 5-0 win at Stirling ahead of playing their game in hand at Cowdenbeath this Tuesday.
McLean double helps Peterhead claim Clyde win
Sat 31 Mar 2018
PETERHEAD 3-0 CLYDE
By Glenn Moir
Clyde marksman David Goodwillie arrived at Balmoor with 15 goals from his last 15 appearances.
But it was Peterhead striker Russell McLean, who was the headline maker to keep the Blue Toon at the top of League 2 on goal difference.
McLean needed just four minutes to get off the mark and the 19 year old stroked in a penalty in the second period before substitute Rory McAllister completed the scoring.
It was an impressive result and a commanding second half showing against an in-form Clyde, who were overpowered in the end.
McLean prodded in the rebound to give Peterhead the lead, after David McCracken’s volley from Willie Gibson’s corner broke into his path.
Danny Lennon’s side shaded the remainder of the first half and Goodwillie saw a shot smothered by Greg Fleming, who then tipped over a dipping Jordan Stewart free-kick before Barry Cuddihy skewed a back-post effort.
The second half, however, belonged to Peterhead and Allan Smith saw a 12 yard drive deflect behind for a corner in the 59th minute.
From Gibson’s centre, Jason Brown rose highest to plant a header towards the bottom corner but Chris McStay hooked the ball off the line.
A Peterhead second rather than a Clyde comeback look likeliest and they duly doubled their lead in the 68th minute.
Jamie Stevenson was barged over by Stewart and McLean confidently slotted past Kyle Gourlay.
The teenager, after collecting a Scott Brown pass, could have completed his hat-trick when he dragged a shot wide.
McLean had done his bit though and his replacement, McAllister, put the seal on the victory with 11 minutes left after his 14 yard effort deflected in off Mark Lamont.
Stevenson Jas.Brown McCracken McIlduff
Dominant Peterhead leave it late to defeat resolute Annan
Sat 24 Mar 2018
PETERHEAD 1-0 ANNAN
By Glenn Moir
It might have been a cross-come-shot or perhaps it was a cracking, curling effort.
But whether or not Jamie Stevenson’s 83rd minute goal was meant is completely irrelevant.
What really matters is that Peterhead eventually got over the line against Annan and the victory was fully merited.
With League 2 title rivals Montrose failing to pick up points against Clyde, it would have been painful had the deadlock not been broken at Balmoor.
The Blue Toon tried everything in the first half but they came up against an inspired Alex Mitchell, who pulled off several excellent saves.
Annan also defended resolutely and they had the woodwork to thank as well for getting into the interval all square.
Jack Leitch saw a half-volley superbly kept out by Mitchell in the 13th minute and midway through the first half, full back Scott Hooper somehow cleared with his head to keep out Allan Smith’s goalbound effort.
Rory McAllister smashed a 14 yard drive off the post and then Stevenson saw a drilled effort tipped around the post by Mitchell.
Other chances came and went for Peterhead and although they continued to dictate the play in the second period, Annan looked as though they might hold out and go back down the road with the unlikeliest of points.
However, Stevenson came up with the winner with seven minutes remaining, curling the ball inside the far corner from the right side of the penalty area.
Violent conduct from Peter Watson saw the Annan defender receive a straight red card with a minute remaining as the Blue Toon used their superior goal difference to go back above Montrose, who still have a game in hand.
Stevenson Jas.Brown McCracken McIlduff
Smith Jo.Brown Leitch
Defensive lapses as Blue Toon suffer damaging defeat
Sat 17 Mar 2018
MONTROSE 3-2 PETERHEAD
If Peterhead end up in a play-off battle rather than a League 2 title party, they will look back at this table-topping clash with huge regret.
The Blue Toon deservedly led twice after controlling much of the match, yet Montrose still had the last laugh.
It was self-inflicted stuff from Jim McInally’s men, who should certainly have left Links Park with at least a point.
Defensive lapses proved costly and the Gable Endies took full advantage to pull three points clear and still with a game in hand.
Peterhead bossed the first half and Willie Gibson swung in a free-kick, which deceived Allan Fleming and the ball cracked off the crossbar.
Chris Johnston was then unlucky not to score with an angled shot, which flashed inches wide after Rory McAllister neatly knocked down Gibson’s pick-out.
The wind was a factor in Peterhead’s dominance and they deservedly went in front in the 37th minute. Jamie Stevenson cut inside and delivered a cross to the back post for Jordon Brown, who stooped to guide a fine 10 yard header inside the opposite corner.
Montrose were probably glad they got in at half time just one down and they were back level on the hour mark.
Terry Masson profited on a dreadful mix-up by Stevenson and Mason Robertson and he was able to slot the ball past Greg Fleming.
But it was an equally poor piece of defending that allowed Peterhead to go back in front just three minutes later. Paul Watson dithered on the ball and Allan Smith pounced to break through on goal and neatly stroke past Allan Fleming.
Montrose got, what appeared to be, a softly-awarded free-kick in the 71st minute but the visitors ought to have defended it better as Lewis Milne’s delivery to the back post found Chris Templeman, who was able to take a touch and then tap in from close range.
With the scores level, a point would not have been the worst outcome for Peterhead but when Milne nodded in with nine minutes left, they were staring down the barrel of a damaging defeat.
Gary Fraser looped over a cross from the left and Milne got in between two Peterhead defenders to send a six yard header underneath Fleming.
The Balmoor team piled on late pressure and were unlucky not to get a penalty when Stevenson went down under a reckless challenge from Watson and then Robertson saw a bullet header superbly saved by Fleming as Montrose clung on to become firm favourites in the race for the title.
By Glenn Moir
Stevenson Robertson Jas.Brown McIlduff
Smith Jo.Brown Johnston
Blue Toon title charge halted by Stenny defeat
Tue 13 Mar 2018
PETERHEAD 1-2 STENHOUSEMUIR
Fleming, Jas.Brown, Robertson, McCracken (Belmokhtar 33) McIlduff, Gibson, Ferry, Stevenson, S.Brown (Johnston 58), Leitch (Jo.Brown 69), McAllister
Unused. Hobday. Adams. Smith. Norris
Peterhead’s League 2 title hopes suffered a jolt after they were beaten by Stenhousemuir, which allowed Montrose to go back level with the Blue Toon at the top of the table courtesy of their win over Annan.
Jim McInally’s men just never got going and the Balmoor manager later admitted the scoreline actually flattered his own team such was their lacklustre performance.
Stenny totally dominated the first half and Greg Fleming had to make a fine save in the seventh minute to deny Mark McGuigan, who broke the offside trap to break through on goal.
However, McGuigan was in no mood to spurn another chance and he gave the visitors the lead in the 17th minute, latching on to Harry Paton’s pass and rounding Fleming before slotting into an empty net.
It was not a great surprise when the Warriors went further ahead in the 31st minute. Ross Meechan’s thrown-in somehow found its way to the far post for Colin McMenamin, who smashed in a shot from 10 yards.
The Blue Toon struggled to create chances although Scott Brown did test Lewis McMinn with a 20 yard drive early in the second period before substitute Chris Johnston blazed over in the 73rd minute after a surging run.
With 10 minutes remaining, Rory McAllister gave the hosts hope with a sumptuous free-kick, curling a 20 yard effort into the top corner after he was brought down by Ross Dunlop, but Stenny held on to stay fourth.
By Glenn Moir
Stevenson strike gives Peterhead victory at Stirling
Sat 10 Mar 2018
STIRLING ALBION 0-1 PETERHEAD
Jamie Stevenson was the goal hero as League 2 leaders Peterhead ended Stirling Albion’s winning run to pull three points ahead at the top.
Stevenson’s shot from outside the box in the second half was the decisive moment at a dreich Forthbank.
There were a couple of big scares for the Blue Toon, Darren Smith twice rattling the woodwork. The Binos top scorer was denied by the post in the first period and then the crossbar after the interval.
In-form Peterhead forward Russelll McLean was forced off midway through the first half and his replacement, Aaron Norris, passed up a good chance to make the breakthrough moments later, failing to connect from close range.
But Stevenson struck in the 61st minute with a fine effort, which gave Cammy Binnie absolutely no chance.
Stirling, after five straight wins, could not come up with a reply as the visiting defence held firm.
The Blue Toon victory was made more significant with Montrose’s match at bottom of the table Cowdenbeath postponed.
Peterhead go top after holding off Clyde comeback
Tue 27 Feb 2018
PETERHEAD 2-1 CLYDE
By Glenn Moir
Peterhead held off a Clyde comeback to claim a narrow but deserved victory at Balmoor and move to the top of League 2.
First half strikes from Russell McLean and Jack Leitch saw the Blue Toon climb above Montrose on goal difference, although they had to withstand a nervy finish after David Goodwillie pulled one back in the second period.
It was a welcome win and one that should give Jim McInally’s men a pyschological boost in a title tussle, which could yet go the distance.
A snow flurry prior to kick off meant the match was played on a white surface but Peterhead were not put off by the conditions and their measured approach reaped rewards in the 36th minute.
Willie Gibson’s intelligent pass sent Chris Johnston away and the on loan Dumbarton man, who had a fine night, delivered a low left-wing cross for McLean to claim his fifth goal in his last three outings.
Their lead should have only lasted a matter of moments, however, as Goodwillie wasted a glorious chance to reply immediately when he broke clean through on goal but he could not beat Greg Fleming.
The Blue Toon made the most of the reprieve by scoring again to double their advantage three minutes before the interval.
Jamie Stevenson picked out Leitch, who steadied himself before rifling a rising, angled shot beyond the helpless Kyle Gourlay.
The hardy band of Bully Wee supporters greeted their team at the start of the second half with chants of ‘Mon the Snow’ believing the elements would provide their best hope of a happy ending.
But the visitors certainly did not lie down and after boss Danny Lennon made all three changes, they halved the deficit in the 65th minute.
Goodwillie cut inside from the left edge of the penalty area and after the home defence backed off, the former Scotland striker drilled a low shot into the bottom corner.
Goodwillie moved on to 19 goals for the season and he ought have netted again with 10 minutes remaining but, after unconvincing Peterhead defending, his effort through a ruck of bodies flashed just wide.
That was the Blue Toon’s one big scare and McLean could have put the seal on their win late on but two goals proved enough for three points.
Jas.Brown Robertson McCracken Stevenson
Gibson Ferry Leitch
Norris McLean Johnston
Peterhead eye top spot after vital victory at Cowdenbeath
Sat 24 Feb 2018
COWDENBEATH 0-2 PETERHEAD
A goal in each half gave Peterhead victory at bottom of the table Cowdenbeath as the Blue Toon reduced Montrose’s lead to three points.
Russell McLean kept up his good form by opening the scoring and trialist Karim Belmokhtar sealed the points in the dying embers.
McLean, who netted a hat-trick at Annan on Tuesday, made the breakthrough in the 18th minute, heading past David McGurn from WIllie Gibson’s centre.
The former East Kilbride forward went close again with an effort from inside the penalty area after Jamie Stevenson fired wide in the 31st minute.
Bradley Smith smashed a shot over the crossbar for Cowdenbeath midway through the second half before Peterhead lost full-back Aidan McIlduff to injury.
Mason Robertson nearly made sure of the win with a header, which flashed wide following a set-piece.
However, French-Algerian striker Belmokhtar put the match out of Cowdenbeath’s reach deep in stoppage time with a close-range after a cross from fellow substitute Aaron Norris.
The victory, coupled with Montrose’s 2-2 draw at Berwick, gives Peterhead the chance to go top of League 2 on goal difference with a win over Clyde at Balmoor on Tuesday.
McLean hat-trick not enough as Annan hit back late on
Tue 20 Feb 2018
ANNAN 3-3 PETERHEAD
Russell McLean’s impressive hat-trick was not enough to give Peterhead victory after Annan scored twice in the closing stages to earn a draw in an entertaining encounter at Galabank.
Rory McAllister went off injured in the first half but McLean grasped his opportunity and scored within seconds of coming on.
McLean found the bottom corner with a shot from inside the penalty area to give the Blue Toon a 30th minute lead.
The big striker then sent a header just over moments later, but he was on target again in the 35th minute with a low drive from Scott Brown’s pass.
There was hope for Annan when Blair Henderson pulled one back in the 64th minute with a close-range diving header from Rabin Omar’s cross.
However, McLean restored Peterhead’s two-goal cushion from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute after James Creaney was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.
But the hosts would not lie down and Henderson got his second of the night with an immediate reply to set up a nervy ending.
Peterhead, looking to cut Montrose’s lead to three points, were unable to hold out as Peter Watson headed in the equaliser with six minutes remaining to round off a high-scoring contest.
Peterhead held by Berwick in tale of two penalties
Sat 17 Feb 2018
PETERHEAD 1-1 BERWICK RANGERS
By Glenn Moir
Peterhead came from behind against a battling Berwick but this was two points dropped rather than one gained in their League 2 title push.
It was a tale of two penalties and not too much else as the Blue Toon’s sticky patch continued.
There were some openings for Jim McInally’s team in the first half but they failed to convert meaning they trailed at the interval.
Rory McAllister levelled with 14 minutes remaining but it was an opportunity missed to make up ground on leaders Montrose, who shared four goals with Elgin.
Allan Smith had a chance to give Peterhead an eighth minute lead with a 12 yard shot, which was beaten away by Robby McCrorie.
Then in the 21st minute, McAllister, after cutting in from the left, stung the palms of McCrorie and Jordon Brown failed to direct the rebound on target.
There was a scare for the hosts soon after when Ousmane See was sent through on goal but Greg Fleming was able to force the striker wide after racing off his line allowing Blue Toon bodies to get back and cover.
McAllister ought to have given Peterhead the lead on the half hour after latching on to a sublime Simon Ferry pass but the striker could not beat McCrorie, who spread himself to make a fine save.
The visitors did carry a threat going forward and they went in front in the 33rd minute after See was chopped down by Aidan McIlduff. Fleming dived to his right to save Paul Willis’ spot-kick but Steven Thomson slotted in the rebound.
There was almost an instant Peterhead reply when Jordon Brown struck the crossbar with a sidefoot volley from six yards after good work from McAllister.
After the break, on loan Dumbarton winger Chris Johnston tested McCrorie with a shot from just inside the box but the goalkeeper was seldom called upon as the clock began to tick down.
McCrory was well protected by the Berwick backline, although a clumsy challenge from Robert Wilson gave Peterhead the chance to equalise in the 76th minute.
Mason Robertson whipped in a teasing cross and Wilson wrestled substitute Russell McLean to the ground, allowing McAllister to tuck away the penalty.
Youngsters Aaron Norris and Scott Adams were both introduced from the bench, with Norris delivering a couple of dangerous deliveries, but Berwick held on to collect their fourth point from Balmoor this season.
Jas.Brown McCracken Robertson McIlduff
Johnston Jo.Brown Smith
No capital gains for Blue Toon as Edinburgh hold firm
Sat 10 Feb 2018
EDINBURGH CITY 0-0 PETERHEAD
Peterhead were forced to settle for only their second draw of the season after they were held by Edinburgh at Ainslie Park.
There were no goals in the capital as the Blue Toon slipped six points adrift of League 2 leaders Montrose, who scored late to defeat Stenhousemuir, Jamie Redman’s header creating daylight between the top two.
After losing to the Gable Endies last weekend, boss Jim McInally made three changes to his starting line-up.
Newcomer Chris Johnston, 24 hours aftet signing on loan from Dumbarton, was pitched straight in while Allan Smith and Jamie Stevenson were also recalled.
Jordon Brown, Russell McLean and Simon Ferry dropped down to the bench, although all three were introduced in the second half.
Johnston went close to scoring on his debut with an angled shot, which fizzed wide in the 25th minute, and Scott Brown saw a rising effort go just over moments later.
Veteran City striker Craig Beattie, who came on as a first half substitute, failed to direct a six yard header on target in the 65th minute before Graham Taylor blasted a 14 yard drive wide.
The deadlock would not be broken, however, as Peterhead played out their first 0-0 since March last year.
Blue Toon beaten as Montrose pull four points clear
Sat 03 Feb 2018
PETERHEAD 0-1 MONTROSE
By Glenn Moir
Sometimes a draw is good enough.
That was the point Peterhead boss Jim McInally made to his players after leaders Montrose nicked the win at Balmoor.
The Blue Toon went into the match eyeing top spot in League 2 but it was a cagey contest with few chances created.
Having played the last two midweeks, including a long journey to Berwick, a share of the points would have been a favourable outcome for the Buchan team, given they still have two games in hand.
However, they have become accustomed to winning in recent months and their quest for three points here saw them ultimately end up with none.
Montrose were well aware of Peterhead’s recent exertions, which was why they sat back and offered little as an attacking threat.
Their aim was to stifle, stay in the game and then when the legs of their opponents started to tire, become a bit more adventurous.
That was exactly how the game panned out, with Chris Templeman scoring the winner with 16 minutes left.
Prior to that, the hosts had asked the most questions, although barring an early Russell McLean header which flashed wide and a 29th minute Rory McAllister drive that was saved by Allan Fleming, there was not much to choose between the teams.
It was apparent from quite early on that one goal would be enough in this match and McInally’s men, not willing to settle for a point, thought they could get it.
But it was Templeman, who struck down the other end after a quickly taken free-kick.
Graham Webster, a former Blue Toon loanee, broke into the box and fired a shot against the post and the veteran striker was on hand to dispatch the rebound, despite the best efforts of the sliding Jason Brown.
Moments later, Greg Fleming smashed his attempted clearance off Templeman and it looked like the ball would ricochet into the net until the home keeper scampered back.
McAllister nearly came up with a last-minute leveller after taking a great first touch to control Aidan McIlduff’s cross but he blazed his shot over as Montrose pulled four points clear.
S.Brown Jas.Brown McCracken McIlduff
Gibson Ferry Leitch
McLean McAllister Jo.Brown
Blue Toon overcome Berwick to home in on top spot
Tue 30 Jan 2018
BERWICK RANGERS 2-3 PETERHEAD
Peterhead recovered from a Berwick fightback to claim a narrow win at Shielfield Park and move back to within a point of League 2 leaders Montrose.
The Blue Toon built up a two-goal lead thanks to David McCracken’s header and Rory McAllister’s penalty.
But the home team replied just before half time and early in the second half, the game was back in the balance.
However, Jack Leitch restored the Buchan men’s advantage with a strike, which proved to be the winner.
It was exactly the response boss Jim McInally had hoped for after his side’s defeat to Clyde at the weekend.
Skipper McCracken opened the scoring on the quarter hour mark, nodding in Willie Gibson’s delivery.
McAllister converted a spot-kick in the 41st minute to put Peterhead in command after Jordon Brown, who replaced the injured Jamie Stevenson, was fouled by Steven Notman.
Berwick battled back though and two minutes before the interval, Livingston loanee Jack Hamilton drove a shot beyond Greg Fleming into the bottom corner.
Robbie Horn’s team then drew level in the 52nd minute, Ousman See collecting a Gary Phillips pass and drilling a shot from inside the box into the net.
That could have set Peterhead back but to their credit they regrouped and came up with the decisive goal in the 71st minute.
McAllister was the provider as Leitch tucked the ball home from close range to turn the heat up on Montrose, who visit Balmoor on Saturday.
Clyde score late to end Peterhead’s winning run
Sat 27 Jan 2018
CLYDE 1-0 PETERHEAD
Peterhead’s winning run in League 2 was ended by Clyde, who scored late to pick up a first win at Broadwood since August.
David Goodwillie came up with the decisive strike with five minutes remaining when the game was heading for stalemate.
The result was a setback for the second-top Blue Toon, who slipped four points behind leaders Montrose following the Gable Endies’ victory over Stirling Albion.
Peterhead twice went close in the first half, Jack Leitch just missing the target with a low drive and then Rory McAllister firing narrowly wide with a shot from outside of the box.
Clyde had a couple of efforts from distance after the interval but Peterhead looked comfortable, although they had to replace Mason Robertson through injury with 12 minutes remaining.
Just when it looked like both sides would have to settle for a point apiece, Goodwillie struck from close range.
The former Scotland international was on hand to knock the ball under Greg Fleming from Barry Cuddihy’s assist and claim Clyde’s first home goal since November 11th.
Dumbarton dump unlucky Peterhead out Scottish Cup
Tue 23 Jan 2018
PETERHEAD 2-3 DUMBARTON
By Glenn Moir
Peterhead bowed out of the Scottish Cup but only after giving Championship side Dumbarton a major scare at Balmoor.
The Sons had to withstand plenty of pressure in the second half and had their goalkeeper Scott Gallacher to thank for booking their place in round five.
The outcome was tough on Jim McInally’s men, who never, at any stage, looked beaten despite falling behind twice in a gripping contest.
Calum Gallagher gave the visitors the lead in the 11th minute after Greg Fleming fumbled Dougie Hill’s free-kick.
Peterhead claimed their goalkeeper had been fouled but referee Gavin Ross did not whistle, which was a rarity in this tie, and Gallagher swept into an unguarded net.
The hosts pulled themselves level, however, in the 31st minute with Jason Brown getting on the scoresheet for the eighth time this season.
The big defender notched from close range after good work from Mason Robertson, following Willie Gibson’s free-kick.
The teams went in level at half-time, which was just about right, but Russell McLean passed up a golden opportunity four minutes into the second half to put Peterhead in the driving seat.
McLean got the better of Andy Dowie but after homing in on goal, he failed to beat Gallacher, who pulled off a smart save.
From there, Dumbarton scored twice in quick succession to take maximum advantage of the reprieve.
Iain Russell picked out Gallagher, who slotted past Fleming in the 53rd minute to claim his second of the night.
Before Peterhead could react, Stephen Aitken’s side scored again four minutes later with Russell sending a six yard header into the net from David Wilson’s corner.
The Blue Toon certainly did not throw in the towel though.
Rory McAllister, who was on the bench due to family reasons, was immediately introduced and came within inches of an instant reply.
Even though the clock ticked down, the tie was from far dead especially after Robertson reduced the arrears with seven minutes remaining. Gibson’s inswinging free-kick was expertly taken and Robertson was able to glance a header inside the far post.
It was attack versus defence as Dumbarton desperately tried to cling on and Gallacher pulled off a stunning stop with seconds left to finger-tip David McCracken’s goalbound header over the crossbar.
In the end, Peterhead ran out of time rather than steam but this was still a great effort against opponents from two leagues above.
Robertson McCracken Jas.Brown
Stevenson S.Brown Ferry Gibson McIlduff
McLean’s second half double gives Peterhead another victory
Sat 13 Jan 2018
PETERHEAD 4-3 STIRLING ALBION
By Glenn Moir
Peterhead boss Jim McInally labelled his team’s latest win as their best of the season so far, after the Blue Toon edged out Stirling Albion at blowy Balmoor.
Given the windy conditions and the way the game panned out, he was probably right.
Playing with a gale behind them in the first half, the Blue Toon would have wanted to build up some kind of lead.
Instead four goals were shared and it should have been advantage to the Binos after the break.
But McInally’s men restricted Stirling to few chances in the second half and scored another couple of their own.
It was a bizarre contest right from the off, with Rory McAllister trying an audacious attempt from the kick-off and his 50 yard deflected effort went just over.
From the resulting corner, Willie Gibson’s inswinging delivery deceived Cameron Binnie and went straight into the net.
Their lead did not last long with Stirling drawing level in the sixth minute when Willie Robertson prodded in from close range at the back post.
Back came Peterhead after McAllister won and converted a penalty to restore the home team’s advantage in the 23rd minute. Former Blue Toon defender Ross Smith got too close to the striker, who drew the foul and sent Binnie the wrong way from the spot.
How the visitors’ second equaliser came about in the 32nd minute was a right shambles. A Mason and Jason mix-up saw Robertson’s attempted clearance hit off Brown and Darren Smith rolled the loose ball into the net.
“Wind of Change” was belted out by the Public Address Announcer at half time and that should have been music to the ears of Stirling for the second period.
It was the turn of Dave Mackay’s side to have the benefit of the conditions and they would have gone in front 11 minutes after the restart had it not been for a fine save from Greg Fleming, who flung himself to his right to beat away Ross Kavanagh’s goalbound header.
At this point, Peterhead introduced Russell McLean from the bench and the teenager’s contribution was tremendous and telling.
The 19 year old scored twice in four minutes to effectively hand the hosts the points.
In the 68th minute, McLean brought down Simon Ferry’s cross to lash an angled drive inside the far corner and, before Stirling had time to recover, he banged in another, this time from McAllister’s pick-out, displaying great composure and ability to beat his marker and sidefoot past Binnie.
Stirling did pull a goal back deep in stoppage time, Smith profiting on David McCracken’s misjudgement to claim his second of the afternoon, but Peterhead had done enough to chalk-up an eighth straight victory in all competitions.
Jas.Brown Robertson McCracken McIlduff
Stevenson Ferry Gibson
Stenny hoodoo over as Peterhead stretch winning run
Sat 06 Jan 2018
STENHOUSEMUIR 1-4 PETERHEAD
In-form Peterhead ended their wretched record against Stenhousemuir by rallying from a goal behind to continue their excellent run in League 2.
Rory McAllister scored twice more to take his terrific tally to 26 for the season before Mason Robertson and Russell McLean notched.
The victory shifted the Blue Toon eight points clear of third-placed Stenny and still within a point of current leaders Montrose.
It was not the best of starts for the visitors at Ochilview, Robertson penalised for a 28th minute foul on Alan Cook and Mark McGuigan tucked away the spot-kick.
Stenny would have hoped to get to half-time ahead but they conceded a penalty of their own seconds before the interval when McGuigan upended Jason Brown and McAllister did the rest from 12 yards.
McAllister caught the Warriors freezing cold right at the start of the second period, the prolific marksman lashing a left-foot shot beyond Chris Smith.
It was quite a turnaround for Peterhead, who netted again in the 72nd minute through Robertson’s close-range header from WIllie Gibson’s corner.
Substitute Russell McLean, who came on for Allan Smith near the end of the first half, guided home a header with 10 minutes left to put the seal on a sixth straight league victory.
Magnificent 7 for free-scoring Blue
Tue 02 Jan 2018
PETERHEAD 7-0 ELGIN CITY
A stunning second half display saw Peterhead rip Elgin apart and start the New Year with a resounding bang.
The Blue Toon took a slender one goal lead into the interval but the Borough Briggs team completely imploded after the break as Jim McInally’s men added six more.
Rory McAllister began the rout from a 27th minute free-kick but it was not until Jordon Brown netted in the 54th minute that the floodgates opened.
Substitute Nicky Riley added a third in the 65th minute before Jamie Stevenson flighted in a free-kick six minutes later.
Stevenson scored again in the 76th minute and then Mason Robertson claimed Peterhead’s sixth in the 84th minute.
Russell McLean, who came off the bench, tapped in with three minutes remaining to round off Elgin’s misery.
The emphatic home victory came just days after the Blue Toon hit League 2 title rivals Montrose for six at Links Park.
With Montrose forced to settle for a draw against Cowdenbeath, it means Peterhead, who still have two games in hand, have managed to whittle down the Gable Endies’ advantage at the top to just a point.
Prolific Peterhead hit Montrose for six in table-topping clash
Sat 30 Dec 2017
MONTROSE 2-6 PETERHEAD
Relentless Peterhead turned on the style to register an emphatic win at League 2 title rivals Montrose, who saw their 10-match unbeaten run abruptly ended.
In front of a crowd of just under 1,000, the Blue Toon took a lead into the interval thanks to Jason Brown’s double and Jim McInally’s men scored four more goals in the second half.
Brown headed the visitors in front in the fifth minute and he was on hand from six yards to slam home his and Peterhead’s second in the 17th minute.
Montrose could have fallen further behind before they gave themselves a lifeline in the 41st minute, Sean Dillon nodding in an Iain Campbell corner to reduce the deficit.
However, Stewart Petrie’s team failed to exert any more pressure on Peterhead, who scored twice in quick succession early in the second half to effectively kill the contest.
The second period was barely a couple of minutes old when Allan Smith netted with a close-range finish and that was followed by Mason Robertson’s goal five minutes later.
Willie Gibson then got in on the scoring act with a well-taken 58th minute free-kick before a delightful Rory McAllister volley from Jamie Stevenson’s 69th minute pick-out made it six.
Shellshocked Montrose just wanted to hear the final whistle, although Kerr Hay did manage a consolation strike for the Gable Endies with 15 minutes remaining.
Aaron Norris was then introduced from the bench for his maiden Peterhead appearance as the Balmoor team moved to within three points of their opponents and still with two games in hand.
Jordon’s late strike hands Peterhead Christmas bonus
Sat 23 Dec 2017
PETERHEAD 3-2 COWDENBEATH
By Glenn Moir
There is nothing quite like a late winner to send the fans home happy.
Jordon Brown netted with seconds remaining to give Peterhead a vital victory against bottom of the table Cowdenbeath.
For long spells, there appeared to be a rustiness in the Blue Toon’s play, which was perhaps understandable after a fortnight’s inactivity.
But the supporters will not care one jot about what was served up during the 90 minutes after their team snatched the points at the death.
In all honesty, even though five goals were scored at Balmoor, this was far from a Christmas cracker.
Cowdenbeath were better than their league position suggested and were worthy of their first half lead.
After going very close through Cameron Muirhead in the 31st minute, the young striker made the breakthrough moments later.
Robbie Buchanan got in behind the home defence and squared for the 19 year old to tap home from close range.
Russell McLean wasted a chance to equalise immediately when he latched on to Simon Ferry’s pass but failed to beat the alert David McGurn, and then Rory McAllister had a strong claim for a penalty turned down after he was wrestled to the ground by Jamie Pyper.
However, two Peterhead goals in quick succession, at the start of the second half, stunned the visitors.
McAllister guided a neat header past McGurn from Jamie Stevenson’s cross in the 48th minute before Jason Brown slotted in David McCracken’s knockdown in the 53rd minute.
The referee had barely sketched the score in his notebook when Gary Bollan’s men replied straight away, Buchanan running on to Bradley Smith’s pass and rolling the ball into an empty net after rounding Greg Fleming.
In a bid to regain the initiative and the lead, Nicky Riley and Paul Cairney were both introduced from the Blue Toon bench but it was another substitute, Jordon Brown, who was the eventual hero.
This was after Buchanan was shown a straight red card for violent conduct in the 87th minute, for allegedly directing an elbow in Willie Gibson’s direction.
Cowdenbeath were unable to hang on with a man down, as Brown tucked away McAllister’s stoppage-time set-up to net for the third home game in a row and keep Peterhead tucked in behind their next opponents, Montrose.
Jas.Brown McCracken Robertson
Stevenson Gibson Ferry Leitch McIlduff
McAllister sends Peterhead top with solitary strike at Stirling
Tue 05 Dec 2017
STIRLING ALBION 0-1 PETERHEAD
Red-hot Rory McAllister was on the scoresheet again as Peterhead defeated League 2 title rivals Stirling Albion to climb to the top of the table.
McAllister, Scotland’s leading marksman for the season so far, notched four minutes before half time with a deflected effort, which proved decisive.
Victory at Forthbank saw the Blue Toon leapfrog the Binos and edge above Montrose on goal difference.
Jim McInally’s team began brightly and Mason Robertson sent an early header wide of the target before McAllister did likewise soon after.
Stirling survived a scare in the 26th minute when Jack Leitch prodded towards goal but the home defence managed to scramble the ball off the line.
The Blue Toon, however, made the breakthrough in the 41st minute as McAllister claimed his 14th goal from his last eight outings .
The striker’s shot from the corner of the penalty area hit a home defender and the ball looped up and over goalkeeper Cammy Binnie for his 21st goal of the campaign.
Jason Brown was denied by the woodwork in the 52nd minute, the big defender rattling the crossbar with a header from Willie Gibson’s corner.
Stirling’s hopes of finding an equaliser were hindered by the dismissal of Andy Black with 15 minutes remaining. The midfielder was red carded for a high tackle on Gibson.
Substitute Jordon Brown saw a header saved as the match entered the latter stages but one goal was enough for Peterhead to lead the table for the first time this season.
Peterhead defeat 10-man Edinburgh to continue fine form
Sat 02 Dec 2017
PETERHEAD 3-0 EDINBURGH CITY
Peterhead capitalised on their extra man to defeat Edinburgh City at Balmoor and continue their fine form.
Rory McAllister took his scoring tally to 20 for the season by bagging a double while Jordon Brown came off the bench to net for the second game in a row.
All that after Chris McKee was red carded for the visitors, who gave a decent account of themselves, particularly in the first half.
McKee, two minutes after the interval, pulled down McAllister when the striker was clean through on goal. The spot=kick was dispatched by the Blue Toon top scorer and from there, the game was much more straightforward for Jim McInally’s men.
McAllister will feel he should have added another in the 63rd minute when he intercepted a short backpass from Craig Beattie. The 30 year old opted to try and clip the ball over Calum Antell but the visiting goalkeeper read his mind and made the save..
That was the second one-on-one opportunity that McAllister had passed up, having done so in the first period as well, but he was clinical in the 72nd minute, stabbing home from close range to put Peterhead two-up.
Moments later, Brown got in on the scoring act, picking up the pieces after Jack Leitch’s shot broke the way of the substitute six yards out.
There were further chances in the closing stages but this was a good day for the Aberdeenshire team, with the top two, Montrose and Stirling Albion, failing to win their games.
It means that victory over Stirling on Tuesday would see the Blue Toon become the new league leaders.
Raith rocked as Peterhead progress in Scottish Cup
Sat 18 Nov 2017
PETERHEAD 3-0 RAITH ROVERS
By Glenn Moir
Part-time versus full-time, League 2 up against League 1.
It might have pointed to an away win before kick off.
But given Peterhead’s excellent home record in the knock-out competitions, it was not a big surprise that they dumped Raith Rovers out of the Scottish Cup.
The Blue Toon made it five out of five at Balmoor this season, with a commanding and fully-deserved 3-0 win.
Jordon Brown scored his first goal of an injury-hit campaign with a superb header before Rory McAllister helped himself to a double.
This was after Peterhead had dominated the first period, aided by the wind, racking up 10 corners, some of which resulted in headers missing the target.
Greg Fleming did have one important save to make just after the re-start, foiling Jonathon Court from close range after Liam Buchanan’s initial shot was blocked.
But that was the only uncomfortable moment from a home perspective and when Jim McInally’s men did make the breakthrough in the 55th minute, a home win seemed inevitable.
Jamie Stevenson clipped in a cross from the right and Brown, on as a first half sub for the injured Simon Ferry, rose eight yards out to nod past former team-mate Graeme Smith.
Two minutes later, Brown picked out McAllister, who got in behind the Raith defence to bury a shot inside the far post.
There were further opportunities for the hosts to extend their lead with the front two, Russell McLean and McAllister, a constant threat and the latter netted a sublime solo effort with five minutes remaining.
Peterhead broke rapidly from a corner and McAllister ran from the half-way line down the left channel. There were options for the striker to pass but he opted to go alone, skipping past Jamie Watson and smashing an angled left foot drive into the top corner.
The Blue Toon safely into round four and they will learn their next opponents on Monday.
Ja.Brown Robertson McCracken McIlduff
Stevenson Gibson Ferry Leitch
Late penalty costly for Blue Toon as Stenny win at Balmoor
Sat 11 Nov 2017
PETERHEAD 2-3 STENHOUSEMUIR
By Glenn Moir
Twice Peterhead came from behind but a penalty in the closing stages meant their wretched record against Stenhousemuir continued.
Mark McGuigan won and converted the spot-kick in the 81st minute to end the Blue Toon’s three-match winning streak in League 2.
What made the outcome more frustrating for Jim McInally’s team was the results elsewhere, with the top two – Stirling Albion and Montrose – both dropping points.
Stenny, who went level with third-top Peterhead in the table, opened the scoring in the 13th minute.
Eddie Ferns skipped Jason Brown and stood up a cross to the back post for McGuigan, who stooped to head in from close range.
Midway through the half, Rory McAllister was unfortunate with a superbly-taken 25 yard free-kick, which rattled the frame of the goal. The ball hit the underside of the crossbar, rebounded off goalkeeper Chris Smith and went behind for a corner.
Jack Leitch was also denied by the woodwork at the start of the second half, the midfielder’s low shot from the left side of the penalty area striking the post.
But the lively Leitch did come up with the equaliser in the 53rd minute with a drive from just inside the penalty area, which squirmed under Smith.
Peterhead trailed again in the 71st minute after conceding another back post header. Jamie Longworth flighted a telling delivery for Mick Dunlop, who nodded past the helpless Greg Fleming.
Back came the hosts again seven minutes later. This time Willie Gibson swung over a fine free-kick and Jason Brown found himself unmarked to bury a six yard header into the net.
At that point, a win rather than a draw looked likely for Peterhead but a clumsy David McCracken challenge in the 81st minute put paid to their hopes. The Blue Toon skipper hauled down McGuigan, who dusted himself down to convert the resulting penalty.
Slack defending dearly cost Peterhead, who were not helped by some questionable calls by referee Scott Millar.
McAllister was denied, what appeared to be, a blatant penalty in the second period after a foul by Harry Paton, while Stenny’s Smith made a great finger-tip save and got a goal-kick for his troubles!
Ja.Brown Robertson McCracken McIlduff
S.Brown Ferry Gibson Leitch
McAllister double gives Peterhead victory at Elgin
Sat 04 Nov 2017
ELGIN 0-2 PETERHEAD
Rory McAllister’s double at Elgin gave Peterhead their third straight win in League 2 to consolidate third spot and stay three points behind leaders Stirling Albion.
The Blue Toon travelled to Moray having already defeated the Black and Whites twice this season, without conceding a goal, in the Betfred Cup and the league.
The Balmoor men were without skipper David McCracken so Allan Smith came into the team with midfielder Scott Brown slotting back into the defence.
McAllister, wearing the captain’s armband, kept up his rich vein of form by opening the scoring in the 24th minute with a shot from inside the penalty area, which found the bottom corner.
Elgin, whose new boss Gavin Price was named Manager of the Month for October prior to the fixture, tried to find a route back into the match.
However, McAllister got his and Peterhead’s second in the 71st minute by beating Marc Waters to the ball before bundling it in.
That was the Blue Toon frontman’s ninth goal in his last four outings and his 16th so far this season in all competitions.
McAllister’s fantastic free-kick floors unlucky Annan
Sat 28 Oct 2017
PETERHEAD 1-0 ANNAN
By Glenn Moir
Peterhead had the woodwork as much as Rory McAllister to thank for their latest win over Annan at Balmoor.
McAllister’s sublime free-kick just before half-time separated the sides in a match spoiled by the wind.
But Annan, who had already lost twice to Jim McInally’s men this term, should not have been beaten after hitting the crossbar in the first period and the post twice near the end.
Peterhead were just grateful they were able to hang on, particularly with League 2 leaders Stirling Albion slipping up at home to Stenhousemuir.
Without forcing Jim Atkinson into any saves early on, the Blue Toon saw plenty of the ball and Jack Leitch hit a 12 yard shot, which was deflected behind for a corner.
But it was Annan, who should have opened the scoring in the 31st minute. Greg Fleming pulled off a smart stop to deny Daniel Orsi, who found space at the back post.
From the resutling corner, Peter Watson looped a header on to the crossbar and when Steven Swinglehurst tried to force in the rebound, Scott Brown cleared off the line.
Peterhead somehow survived that scare and they took a lead into the interval thanks to McAllister’s stunning strike.
Orsi brought down Willie Gibson 25 yards out and McAllister did the rest, curling his effort up and over the wall and into the top corner.
When the Blue Toon were awarded another free-kick 10 minutes into the second half, the striker opted for power rather than precision but, this time, Atkinson made a decent save.
McAllister will feel he ought to have done better in the 74th minute when he blazed over the crossbar after peeling off at the far post to collect a dangerous Scott Brown cross.
Annan were never out of it and they came alive in the closing stages with Aidan Smith sliding a low shot from the right side of the box just wide of the target.
Peter Murphy’s men thought they had levelled in the 84th minute when Owen Moxon let rip wtih a well-struck drive from 22 yards, which rattled the upright.
Peterhead got lucky again in the last minute, Blair Henderson sneaking the ball past Fleming but it came back off the post.
Two big breaks for the hosts, who did pass up a stoppage time chance of their own, Nicky Riley setting up fellow substitute Jordon Brown.
The fit-again former Aberdeen midfielder missed the target but one goal proved sufficient. Just.
Jas.Brown Robertson McCracken McIlduff
Gibson Ferry Brown Leitch
Peterhead’s rampant second half show too much for Clyde
Sat 21 Oct 2017
CLYDE 1-4 PETERHEAD
A third away win in a row saw ruthless Peterhead defeat Clyde at Broadwood in League 2.
The teams were level at the break but the Blue Toon turned on the style in the second period by scoring three times in a nine minute spell.
That made for a happy return to Cumbernauld for Jim McInally’s men, who were back there for the first time since their title triumph in 2014.
However, they did not make the best of starts after falling behind in the 10th minute.
Smart Osadolor saw a shot saved by Greg Fleming but Darren Ramsay was on hand to sweep in the rebound.
But Peterhead restored parity in the 28th minute when Allan Smith was able to get on the end of a cross to beat Blair Currie.
The second half certainly belonged to the Blue Toon and Jack Leitch fired them in front in the 65th minute with a shot from inside the penalty area.
A stunning goal from Russell McLean two minutes later gave the visitors a cushion, the striker’s effort from distance giving Currie absolutely no chance.
Rory McAllister put the seal on the victory in the 74th minute, netting with a rising shot after Currie had parried out a crossed ball.
The three points moved Peterhead up a place to third in the table, above Stenhousemuir, who were beaten at Elgin.
Colville crushed as professional Peterhead net nine
Sat 14 Oct 2017
PETERHEAD 9-0 COLVILLE PARK
By Glenn Moir
Rory McAllister scores five in a cup tie? We’ve heard that one before.
Last time, it was Championship side Falkirk who suffered. This time, it was amateur outfit Colville Park.
The Motherwell-based players gave their lot at Balmoor but it was still hard not to feel some sympathy for them as fitness and ability told long before half time.
Peterhead went on to score nine in the Scottish Cup second round tie and boss Jim McInally later admitted he wanted a 10th goal.
The Balmoor manager will just hope the emphatic result will gave his team confidence for the much, much tougher games that lie ahead.
Once the first goal went in after 14 minutes, the writing was on the wall for Colville. Jamie Stevenson’s free-kick was poorly defended and Jason Brown forced the ball in from six yards.
Regardless of the gulf in class, Peterhead’s second in the 22nd minute was to be admired. A slick move saw Scott Brown feeding Allan Smith, whose diagonal ball found McAllister. His driven cross was then swept in by the sliding Jack Leitch.
In the 36th minute, McAllister netted his first of three quick-fire goals before half time with a fine lobbed effort from just outside the box.
Moments later, Colville keeper David Tait did not look comfortable coming for Stevenson’s cross, clattering into a team-mate, as McAllister picked up the pieces to stroke the ball in from eight yards.
The Blue Toon striker converted a penalty just before the break after Scott Brown was chopped down by Lance Pearce. Referee Lorraine Watson, who recently took charge of her first senior men’s game, was right to point to the spot.
After a brief bit of respite for the visitors early in the second half, an own goal from Gary Currie in the 58th minute gave Peterhead the impetus to got on and score more.
Colville’s mistakes were made from tired legs and minds as Liam Cusack brought down Stevenson, who, due to the space in front of him, played like the winger he used to be rather than a full-back. McAllister did the rest from the spot to make it seven in the 74th minute.
Three minutes later, Scott Brown found the bottom corner with a low 20 yard shot, which gave Tait no chance and McAllister latched on to Stevenson’s pass to complete the rout in added time.
McAllister, after five games without a goal, headed home happy. No doubt his mum, the keeper of his match balls, was chuffed as well.
Talking of goalscorers, Lewis Vaughan, who recently scored in 11 games in a row, will visit Balmoor next month because Peterhead have been drawn to play Raith Rovers in round three.
Stevenson Jas.Brown McCracken McIlduff
Leitch Ferry S.Brown Gibson
Peterhead’s IRN-BRU Cup hopes dashed by Caley
Sat 07 Oct 2017
INVERNESS CALEY THISTLE 3-0 PETERHEAD
Peterhead’s hopes of a quarter final appearance in the IRN-BRU Cup were ended by Inverness Caley Thistle, who won comfortably in the Highlands.
The Blue Toon’s game-plan to frustrate and keep their opponents quiet was ripped up after just 90 seconds.
Liam Polworth smashed a right-footed shot from outside the penalty area into the bottom corner of the net via a deflection.
Peterhead tried to come up with a reply, Rory McAllister going close with an overhead kick against his former club and Jamie Stevenson stinging the palms of Owain Fon Williams.
The visitors were still very much alive in the tie until they conceded again six minutes into the second half.
Polworth went from scorer to provider as he laid on Riccardo Calder, who slipped the ball past Greg Fleming from 10 yards.
There was no way back for Jim McInally’s 2015/16 finalists, who shipped a third goal in stoppage time. Youngster Daniel McKay sent a header beyond Fleming to score on his debut.
Blue Toon suffer Berwick beating at Balmoor
Sat 30 Sep 2017
PETERHEAD 0-2 BERWICK RANGERS
By Glenn Moir
Peterhead did not wear their traditional blue shirts against Berwick and they were certainly off colour as the Borderers claimed the points at Balmoor.
It was flat from both teams for most of the match, although the Blue Toon did look likeliest to make the breakthrough.
However, conceding a 74th minute goal from a set-play for the second home game in a row did not amuse boss Jim McInally, whose team then shipped a killer second in the closing stages.
Barring a double save from Greg Fleming in the 29th minute to deny Aaron Murrell, there was not too much for Peterhead to be concerned about.
In fact, the hosts were denied an interval lead by the woodwork as Mason Robertson rattled the crossbar with an eight yard header from Willie Gibson’s cross three minutes before the break.
The match was still deadlocked after an incredible miss from Blue Toon midfielder Jack Leitch on the hour mark. Jamie Stevenson played in the surging Aidan McIlduff, who rolled the ball across goal for Leitch but from just two yards out, the former Airdrie player somehow spooned the ball over the crossbar.
It was a real shocker but as Peterhead began to probe, there was a sense that the Berwick backline could be breached..
Stevenson drew a great save from Bobby McCrorie when he collected a Gibson pass and curled a left foot shot, which was sneaking inside the far corner until the visiting goalkeeper superbly tipped the ball behind for a corner.
Berwick boss Robbie Horn, who played in an infamous 9-2 drubbing at Balmoor in 2008, would probably have accepted a point as the clock began to tick down.
However, his team went ahead from a free-kick, which the hosts failed to deal with. Chris McDonald clipped the ball into the box and Oliver Fleming took advantage of slackness from Scott Brown to prod in from close range at the far post.
The Black & Golds made sure of the points with seven minutes remaining as Peterhead, pushing for a leveller, were caught on the break from their own corner and Michael McKenna rounded Fleming before steering his shot in off the underside of the crossbar.
Stevenson Jas.Brown Robertson McIlduff
Gibson Ferry S.Brown Leitch
Efficient Peterhead too strong for Edinburgh
Sat 23 Sep 2017
EDINBURGH CITY 0-3 PETERHEAD
It has been a couple of happy away days for Peterhead, who followed up on their demolition of Cowdenbeath with a commanding win against Edinburgh City at Ainslie Park.
In a first-ever meeting between the teams, the Blue Toon, who brought back Jack Leitch in place of the rested Simon Ferry, were ahead at the interval.
Central defender Jason Brown made the breakthrough with his second goal for the club in the 21st minute.
Russell McLean, after recovering from a foot injury, came on as a second half substitute and the big striker gave the visitors a two-goal cushion with eight minutes remaining.
Moments later, Scott Brown, for the second game in a row, put the seal on the victory as an efficient Peterhead climbed a place to second in the table.
Blue Toon’s ruthless display too much for Blue Brazil
Sat 16 Sep 2017
COWDENBEATH 0-4 PETERHEAD
Peterhead moved up to third in League 2 with an impressive victory at Cowdenbeath, who slipped to the bottom of the table.
A ruthless display of finishing saw the Blue Toon take a three goal lead into the interval and they added another after the break.
Boss Jim McInally was able to field a strong starting line-up with Rory McAllister and Jamie Stevenson shrugging off injuries to declare themselves fit.
Cowdenbeath included former Blue Toon defender Scott Rumsby in their team.
Following a sixth minute free-kick, Allan Smith notched from close range and the same player netted again from six yards in the 19th minute.
The visitors were certainly in the mood and Willie Gibson added a third with a shot from inside the box in the 22nd minute.
WIth the points as good as in the bag, Peterhead managed a fourth goal in the 77th minute when Scott Brown got in on the scoring act.
Late leveller stuns dominant Peterhead
Sat 09 Sep 2017
PETERHEAD 1-1 MONTROSE
By Glenn Moir
Peterhead outplayed Montrose but their lack of height and strength in comparison with their opponents proved pivotal.
After Jack Leitch had given the Balmoor team a fully deserved lead with a glorious goal, the visitors levelled deep in stoppage time from a set-piece.
Chris Templeman peeled off Willie Gibson, Peterhead’s top performer, to score with a header from Martyn Fotheringham’s corner.
There was only ever going to be one winner in the Templeman v Gibson contest from a dead ball delivery but in fairness to Jim McInally’s men, there were powerhouses aplenty to pick up.
The Blue Toon’s giant striker Russell McLean was designated to mark Templeman but he came off injured early in the second half.
It was still a good delivery and a fine header but that did not make it any easier for Peterhead, particularly as they never looked like conceding from open play.
The home team impressed, especially in the first half, and Montrose were fortunate not to trail by a couple of goals early on.
Rory McAllister rattled the crossbar with a cracking left foot shot from the edge of the penalty area in the sixth minute, just before McLean sent a free header wide from Gibson’s cross.
Jason Brown then looped a header just over, before McLean forced Allan Fleming into a smart save from another Gibson centre.
Montrose did very well to get to half time level pegging and they continued to ride their luck in the second period as McAllister prodded wide from substitute Nicky Riley’s pass.
Peterhead were finally rewarded for their play and pressure in the 71st minute through a stunning Leitch strike.
Gibson’s free-kick was only partially cleared by the visitors and when the ball broke out to the former Airdrie midfielder, he hit a first-time shot from 20 yards into the top corner of the net.
Given that the Gable Endies had offered next to nothing, Peterhead would have felt confident of finishing off the job.
McInally later admitted he faced a dilemma, sacrifice forward-thinking creative players in order to bulk up his backline or go with the flow and seek a second?
He opted for the latter, not that he had too many options from the bench in terms of physicality.
Anyway, Montrose got their goal, which maintained their unbeaten start, but it was very tough on the Blue Toon.
S.Brown Jas.Brown Robertson McIlduff
Gibson Ferry Leitch
McLean McAllister Smith
IRN-BRU Cup progress for Peterhead at Annan’s expense
Sat 02 Sep 2017
PETERHEAD 2-0 ANNAN
By Glenn Moir
Second half goals from Russell McLean and Rory McAllister floored Annan as Peterhead booked their place in the IRN-BRU Cup third round.
McLean converted a penalty to open his account for the Blue Toon and then McAllister came off the bench to score a fine second and make sure of the win.
It turned out to be very comfortable for the 2015/16 finalists, who gave a debut to new signing Aidan McIlduff, 24 hours after the former Celtic rookie signed a contract until the end of the season.
Following a largely forgettable first half, McLean ought to have made the breakthrough three minutes after the interval when he missed the target with a free header. Nicky Riley, Peterhead’s shining light, swung over a free-kick from the left but McLean, from about six yards out, nodded over when it looked easier to score.
However, the towering striker’s telling contribution came in the 58th minute when he won and scored a spot-kick.
Steven Swinglehurst clambered all over the back of McLean, who dusted himself down to send Alex Mitchell the wrong way from 12 yards.
Referee Craig Napier was right to award a penalty for that piece of clumsy defending. But only he will know why he never pointed to the spot again in the 70th minute.
Riley was quick to react to a slack backpass from Ellis Pearson but after knocking the ball past Mitchell, he was brought down by the goalkeeper. Not only did the official fail to spot the contact between the two, he cautioned Riley for diving. Double whammy.
At least it never looked like being a game-changing decision due to Petehead’s dominance in the second half.
The extra bit of quality that came from substitutes McAllister and Willie Gibson also ensured the Blue Toon’s place in Tuesday’s draw.
Indeed, the pair combined for the killer second with 12 minutes remaining. Gibson’s low, driven corner to the front post was expertly controlled by McAllister, who then unleashed an angled shot into the top corner.
A vital victory after a couple of League 2 losses.
Jas.Brown McCracken Robertson McIlduff
Adams Ferry Lawrence Riley
Defender set to pay the price as Blue Toon beaten by Binos
Sat 26 Aug 2017
PETERHEAD 2-4 STIRLING ALBION
By Glenn Moir
Scott Ross, it would appear, does not have a future at Peterhead after boss Jim McInally stated he would no longer consider the defender for selection following his red card in the Blue Toon’s defeat to League 2 pacesetters Stirling Albion.
The 26 year old, after being cautioned in the first period, was shown a second yellow for a flailing elbow in the 73rd minute.
That was the eighth dismissal for Ross during his time at the club and McInally, post-match, claimed his patience had run out.
McInally said: “Going out to start the second half, my last words to Scott were, don’t get sent off.”
“That will cost him dearly because as long as I’m here, he won’t play.”
When pressed further on the situation, the Peterhead manager added: “Scott has let us down once too often.”
“I have stuck up for him umpteen times and he will pay the price this time.”
“He was actually having a decent half but he got away with a challenge before he put an elbow into the back of the Stirling player’s head, which is unacceptable.”
The Ross red card came near the end of an action-packed game, which Stirling bossed for large spells.
The Binos scored four in the first half, despite trailing early on, to maintain their winning start to League 2.
Paul Cairney’s fifth minute goal, which came courtesy of a sumptuous Jamie Stevenson cross, ought to have given Peterhead a shot in the arm.
But some disastrous defending handed the initiative to Stirling and they certainly made the Blue Toon suffer.
The reshuffling at the back, following an injury picked up by Mickael Ngango Dikobo, did not help but that was not an excuse for how easily the visitors got their goals.
Dave Mackay’s men were level in the 18th minute when Darren Smith shrugged off the attentions of Samson Gabriel and after his effort was clawed away by Greg Fleming, Calumn Morrison fired in the rebound.
Three minutes later, it was 2-1 to the league leaders after Liam Caddis picked out Smith, whose crisp first-time effort flashed into the net.
Peterhead could not cope and they fell further behind in the 25th minute, Scott Brown misdirecting a header into Ross Kavanagh’s path and he drilled the ball past Fleming.
When Peter Macdonald set up Darren Smith on the left side of the penalty area in the 36th minute, Stirling scored a fourth and they actually had a couple of other chances to go further in front.
At least Peterhead did win the second half with Rory McAllister netting a penalty in the 54th minute, after a handball from ex teammate Ross Smith, to claim his landmark 150th Blue Toon goal.
Another spot-kick was awarded in the 58th minute, this time for Stirling, when Jason Brown was adjudged to have blocked a Caddis drive with his arm but Macdonald could not beat Fleming, who superbly tipped the ball onto the crossbar before the home defence scrambled clear.
It kept alive Peterhead’s faint hopes but the Ross ordering off put paid to their chances of mounting an unlikely comeback.
Red mist, red card.
Stevenson Jas.Brown Ross Dikobo
S.Brown Ferry Leitch
Gibson McAllister Cairney
Stenny inflict first League 2 loss on Peterhead
Sat 19 Aug 2017
STENHOUSEMUIR 3-1 PETERHEAD
There is something about Stenhousemuir that Peterhead just don’t seem to like.
Last season, the Warriors had the Indian sign over the Blue Toon, even though both teams ended up getting relegated to League 2.
And today at Ochilview, the Balmoor club’s wretched record against Brown Ferguson’s team continued.
Nathan Blockley, released from Peterhead in the summer, was among the scorers for the hosts as they registered their first victory of the season.
The Blue Toon, after knocking East Fife out of the IRN-BRU Cup on Tuesday, reverted back to a team along the lines to the one, which eased to victory over Elgin.
However, there was no Rory McAllister, who failed to shrug off a hamstring strain. Scott Ross was also absent from the starting line-up.
Stenny went in front after just seven minutes, Mark McGuigan clipping the ball over Greg Fleming and into the net.
After Blockley went close to a second, Jim McInally’s men drew level on the half hour mark. Mason Robertson peeled off at the back post to send a free header past Chris Smith to score against his former employers.
But Peterhead trailed again seven minutes into the second half after conceding an untidy goal. Following a scramble in the penalty area, Blockley bundled home from close range.
Jamie Longworth then wrapped up the points with nine minutes remaining to inflict a first league defeat on the Blue Toon.
The good news is that they don’t face Stenny again until November 11th.
Youngsters on scoresheet as Peterhead knock out East Fife
Tue 15 Aug 2017
EAST FIFE 0-2 PETERHEAD
Marc Lawrence and Scott Adams scored their first goals for Peterhead, who progressed to the second round of the IRN-BRU Cup with a fine win away to East Fife.
Teenager Lawrence gave the Blue Toon the perfect start with a close range finish early on and fellow youngster Adams doubled their advantage in the second half.
From there, the 2015/16 finalists safely saw the match out to book their place in Thursday’s draw.
Balmoor boss Jim McInally took the opportunity to freshen up his team with Mikael Ngango Dikobo making his debut.
Fraser Hobday, Samson Gabriel and Russell McLean were also handed starts, along with Lawrence and Adams.
The visitors needed just two minutes to go in front, Lawrence prodding in from a few yards out after an error from Fifers keeper Tom Cordery.
Just after the half hour, Darren Young’s side thought they had levelled when Scott Linton cracked a shot, which beat Hobday but the ball came back off the upright.
Allan Smith, who netted his first Peterhead goal in the League 2 win against Elgin on Saturday, was nearly celebrating again in the 59th minute but he was unable to direct his header on target.
However, Adsms gave the Blue Toon a two-goal cushion in the 63rd minute, the 20 year old midfielder cashing in on slack defending to find the back of the net.
Experienced heads Willie Gibson and Rory McAllister were then introduced from the bench as Peterhead held firm to defeat the Methil men for the second time in a month, following their Betfred Cup win.
Maiden goal for Smith as Blue Toon claim comfortable win
Sat 12 Aug 2017
PETERHEAD 3-0 ELGIN
By Glenn Moir
Three goals and three points for Peterhead, who strolled to victory over former Highland League rivals Elgin.
It usually takes time for the Blue Toon to get up and running in league business so two wins from two games is a more than decent start.
The Balmoor boys, who defeated Annan last weekend, will undoubtedly have tougher tests ahead but the signs are positive.
They enjoyed the lion’s share of possession against Elgin and created plenty of chances, although their goals did come gift-wrapped.
Midway through the first half, Rory McAllister swept home from a tight angle after robbing Stephen Bronsky, who dithered on the ball in his own box.
Then, just as half time approached, the same players were involved again as the Blue Toon went further ahead.
McAllister, with his back to goal, fell to the ground under close attention from Bronsky. Referee Craig Charleston spotted a tug and the Peterhead striker sent Marc Waters the wrong way from the spot.
A two-goal interval lead was a fair reflection of Peterhead’s superiority and they had Elgin camped inside their own half for most of the second period.
Scott Brown, who replaced Scott Ross at the break, nearly scored with a rising shot, which flew just over, and then Willie Gibson tested Waters with a well-struck free-kick.
It appeared only a matter of time before Elgin shipped a third and, sure enough, in the 58th minute they conceded, what Black and Whites manager Jim Weir branded, “an absolutely ridiculous goal which you would see in a playground.”
Actually his description of the opener was the exact same.
Waters attempted to launch the ball upfield with a clearance but, unaware Allan Smith was lurking, he kicked the ball straight into the former Dunfermline and Forfar forward. Smith then lashed into an empty net to score his first goal for the club.
The contest was well and truly over although Peterhead substitute Nicky Riley got a card to match the colour of Waters’ face when he was sent off in the 77th minute.
Riley, unhappy at an earlier challenge from Thomas Reilly, got his marching orders for a poor tackle on the former St Mirren man.
But Riley’s dismissal was the only low point as Peterhead defeated the Borough Briggs team 3-0 for the second time in a fortnight following their Betfred Cup victory.
Ja.Brown Ross McCracken Stevenson
Robertson Ferry Leitch
Smith McAllister Gibson
Late late show from Blue Toon stuns Annan
Sat 05 Aug 2017
ANNAN 1-2 PETERHEAD
Peterhead got off to a winning start in League 2 after scoring two late goals to stun Annan at Galabank.
The Blue Toon had been staring at an opening day defeat after trailing to a first half header from Peter Watson.
But after David McCracken levelled in the closing stages, Jamie Stevenson rifled in a superb stoppage time winner.
A fine way to kick off the league campaign as the Balmoor team attempt to bounce back to Scotland’s third tier at the first attempt following relegation.
Annan had a host of new players on show but it was one of their old guard, who broke the deadlock in the 28th minute.
Peterhead partially cleared a corner but when the ball came into the box at the second attempt, Watson headed home to give his team the lead.
Watson nearly scored again when he saw an effort pushed on to the post by Greg Fleming, who then denied the same player with another header seconds after.
At the start of the second half, Jordon Brown tested Jim Atkinson with a well-struck shot but Fleming continued to impress down the other end.
Jim McInally made a triple switch on the hour as Jack Leitch, Russell McLean and Nicky Riley were introduced from the bench.
The latter thought he had levelled in the 78th minute after seeing a shot pushed on to the post by Atkinson.
But Peterhead kept pressing and they were rewarded in the 86th minute when McCracken converted a corner to score for the second game in a row.
A good outcome then turned into a fantastic result thanks to Stevenson’s strike in the dying embers. Stevenson, who like McCracken netted at Elgin last week, unleashed a 30 yard shot, which flew past a helpless Atkinson.
Fine win at Elgin but Blue Toon set to come up just short
Sat 29 Jul 2017
ELGIN 0-3 PETERHEAD
Peterhead were convincing winners at Elgin but, barring an incredible scoreline in the Dundee derby at Dens Park tomorrow, they will exit the Betfred Cup.
Harsh on the Blue Toon, who finished above Hearts, the team they impressively defeated on Tuesday night.
It’s ironic that last year, Jim McInally’s men topped their section on eight points. This year, their nine point haul will not even be good enough to secure one of the best runners-up spots.
Peterhead are, as things stand, the fifth-best second placed team from the eight different groups.
Therefore, only a Dundee Utd win by six goals, or a Dundee victory by eight goals, will see the Balmoor club progress. Only.
Anyway, there are encouraging signs for the new campaign after three Blue Toon wins from their four fixtures.
At Borough Briggs, Paul Cairney smashed Peterhead in front in the fourth minute with a fine effort.
It was the midfielder’s first Blue Toon goal and David McCracken opened his account for his new team when he converted Willie Gibson’s cross in the 33rd minute.
Jamie Stevenson then came up with a moment of magic nine minutes after the restart to put Peterhead three up. The versatile 33 year old cut inside from the left and found the far top corner with a stunning strike.
There were no more goals but plenty for Peterhead to build on going into next weekend’s League 2 opener at Annan.
Heart-ache for Jambos as Peterhead claim stunning win
Tue 25 Jul 2017
PETERHEAD 2-1 HEARTS
By Glenn Moir
Peterhead produced a stirring display to stun Hearts and blow Group B in the Betfred Cup wide open.
Rory McAllister’s last minute penalty gave the Blue Toon a deserved 2-1 victory after Jason Brown’s early header was cancelled out by Kyle Lafferty’s strike.
12 months ago, Jim McInally’s team took a first-ever Premiership scalp when they defeated Dundee in the same competition.
But this result and performance was, arguably, better with Peterhead, particularly in the first half, causing the Jambos plenty of problems.
Even before Brown’s sixth minute goal, Hearts ought to have trailed. Willie Gibson was desperately unlucky with a curling free-kick, which missed the target by inches.
Then McAllister, from a clever Gibson pass, dinked the ball over Jack Hamilton but Jordan McGhee slid in to make a goalline clearance.
Hearts knew they were in a game and they trailed when Brown, efficient in both boxes, met Gibson’s near post corner to bullet a header into the net.
The visitors did recover from their slow and sluggish start and after Ismael Goncalves flashed a 12 yard shot wide, Kyle Lafferty hauled his team level in the 17th minute
A measured pass from Jamie Walker sent Michael Smith clear down the right flank and after his cross was pushed out by Greg Fleming, Lafferty stroked home to score his fourth cup goal.
Back came Peterhead though, as McAllister tested Hamilton with a well-struck long-range free-kick in the 28th minute, before Fleming kept out a Walker drive down the other end.
There were a couple of half-chances for the Blue Toon in the second period, Stevenson firing over and McAllister heading a Gibson free-kick over the crossbar.
Hearts, despite having a bigger share of the possession as the match progressed, found it tough to break down a strong Peterhead defence as Scott Ross made two great interceptions.
Goncalves should have done better in the 81st minute when he barged past Simon Ferry but, after breaking into the box, he delayed his shot and Scott Brown was able to block.
Walker then saw a header from a quickly-taken corner strike the frame of the goal before Stevenson cleared.
At this point, it looked as though the outcome would have to be decided by penalties as games, which end all square, go to spot-kicks with the victors earning a bonus point.
However, it turned out that one penalty was ample and it came in regulation play after substitute Jordon Brown was bundled over by Arnaud Djoum in the 90th minute.
McAllister kept his composure, as is usually the case, to roll the ball into the corner, sending Hamilton the wrong way. Three precious points in the bag.
Another win at Elgin on Saturday and Peterhead will, more than likely, advance to the last 16.
It could get very complicated but, for now, lets just enjoy a fantastic result.
Jas.Brown Robertson Ross
S.Brown Ferry Gibson Cairney Stevenson
Winning start for Blue Toon in Betfred Cup
Sat 15 Jul 2017
PETERHEAD 1-0 EAST FIFE
By Glenn Moir
Positive signs for Peterhead, who began with a narrow but deserved win in the Betfred Cup.
East Fife were second best at Balmoor as a new-look Blue Toon got off to a fine start in Group B.
Greg Fleming, David McCracken, Mason Robertson, Jason Brown, Willie Gibson and Paul Cairney were all handed their competitive debuts.
Other new recruits Russell McLean and Samson Gabriel were introduced from the bench in the second half.
But it was a familiar face in Rory McAllister, who made the most telling contribution, the striker’s early goal separating the sides.
McAllister nipped in to intercept a stray Mark Docherty pass and strode forward to slip the ball past Ryan Goodfellow from the edge of the penalty area.
The 30 year old was off and running for the season after just 11 minutes and the Blue Toon had further opportunities to build on their lead.
The impressive Jordon Brown flashed a header wide from a Gibson cross in the 25th minute, although there were a couple of scares for the hosts as half time approached.
Jason Brown found referee Graham Beaton to be in a lenient mood after appearing to bundle over Chris Duggan in the box and then Pat Slattery fired wide from close range.
The most fluent football came from Peterhead though and just after half time, McAllister cheekily back-heeled for the onrushing Brown but Docherty made a timely intervention.
After Gibson tested Goodfellow with an angled free-kick, the Blue Toon produced the move of the match in the 66th minute.
Cairney linked with McAllister, who in turn fed Brown but the former Aberdeen youngster had more time than he realised as he hit a first-time, left-foot shot past the post.
Brown then stung the palms of Goodfellow with a shot from distance, which the visiting goalkeeper pushed behind for a corner.
East Fife, without ever testing Fleming, did well to stay in the game and Jamie Stevenson had to be alert to clear a dangerous ball into the box from Paul Willis.
That was just about as uncomfortable as it got for Peterhead, who saw out the match to rack up three early points and join Dunfermline at the top of their section.
Jas.Brown Robertson McCracken Stevenson
Jor.Brown Cairney Gibson
Blue Toon beat Broch at Bellslea
Sat 08 Jul 2017
Peterhead claimed a 3-2 win against former Highland League rivals Fraserburgh in a testimonial match for long-serving Broch forward Graham Johnston.
The Blue Toon took a two goal lead into the interval thanks to Rory McAllister’s clever chip and a Scott Brown strike.
Jim McInally’s team were pegged back in the second period when Paul Campbell netted and then teenager Ryan Sergeant headed home.
But Russell McLean, one of a clutch of new Peterhead signings on show, scored the winner in the closing stages.
Three trialists were involved in the match including Jordon Brown’s younger brother Jason.