Peterhead 3 Clyde 2
Peterhead picked up their second win of the season with a 3-2 success over Clyde at Balmoor with all the goals coming in the first half. The Blue Toon went into the game at the foot of the table however they came out determined to change that with manager Jim McInally making a number of changes following last weekend’s SPFL Trust Trophy defeat from East Fife.
Brett Long returned to goalkeeping duty with Josh Mulligan, Danny Strachan, Hamish Ritchie and Simon Ferry also starting against a Bully Wee side in confident mood after defeating Cove Rangers a fortnight ago.
Manager McInally had asked his players to play themselves into the game however they did even better than that by being on the front foot with Russell McLean going close with a shot after just two minutes.
The bright start was rewarded with a goal and everyone at the club was delighted at the goalscorer. Clyde’s debutant goalkeeper Neil Parry made a fantastic stop to keep out a close range Derek Lyle header and as Peterhead kept up the pressure Parry produced a wonder stop to turn away a header from Andrew McCarthy.
The hosts refused to give up and after Clyde had temporarily ended the danger Ritchie was released on the left and his low cross from the left was turned in by McCarthy from three yards out. It was McCarthy’s first ever senior goal and the cheers to mark it were head far from the north-east with the 22 year old’s playing colleagues, friends and family now unsure what to tease him about!
Unfortunately the good feeling of being ahead only lasted four minutes with Clyde drawing level through David Goodwillie’s expertly taken penalty. It looked a soft award as Mulligan challenged the one-time Scotland man however that did not trouble Goodwillie as he slotted past Long.
There were fears that this set-back could set home nerves jangling however on 18 minutes Ritchie danced his way in from the right wing and McCarthy continued the dance by side-stepping a couple of challenges and teeing up skipper Scott Brown to slam home a shot from the edge of the box.
A one goal advantage became a two goal advantage a minute later with a wonderfully worked goal. After a bout of possession and switching the play from side to side Ryan Conroy was set free on the left. His low cross picked out Russell McLean and ‘Rusty’ did the rest when he took a touch and slammed home.
It was a great 60 seconds for Peterhead and the celebrations marked the sense of relief after recent frustrations.
Clyde made two substitutions in a bid to change the flow of the game and the moves worked with Goodwillie grabbing a second goal four minutes from half-time. One of the replacements Robert Jones sent a header against the woodwork and as the ball bounced around the home box Goodwillie dived to head in via the underside of the bar.
The half-time whistle was sounded with home fans concerned that their side’s display had only secured a one goal advantage and fears that nerves would be tested in the second 45 minutes.
Goodwillie and Ross Cunningham had openings early in the second half however Long was equal to them with Peterhead striker denied a fourth goal when Parry denied him in a one on one situation.
Peterhead, despite losing McCarthy to injury, were dealing with everything Clyde were throwing at them however a Goodwillie drive that flashed wide and another effort from Jones gave them a reminder that the game was not won.
An exhausted Ferry went off with 15 minutes to go however his replacement Alan Cook helped keep things tight at the back. A Billy Mortimer cross caused some panic however Long was not called into action
Peterhead – Long, Mulligan, McDonald, McCarthy (Cameron 65), Strachan, Ritchie, Scott Brown, Ferry (Cook 75) Conroy, Lyle (Payne 65), McLean
Unused substitutes – Kesson, Musanhu, Wilson