Peterhead manager Jim McInally is hopeful that one of the loan deals he has been working on will be concluded in the next 24 hours. A deal with a Premiership club for a left sided player is close to being agreed with Jim saying: “Talks have gone well and the player involved also joined us for training on Tuesday night.”
“He looked to have all the qualities that we are looking for. It is important to add bodies despite winning at the weekend as we are still a bit light. We are now entering final negotiations and will hopefully be able to announce something in the next 24 hours.”
Peterhead manager Jim McInally admitted that his heart sank when he saw Clyde goalkeeper Neil Parry pull off a wonder save to deny Andrew McCarthy his first ever goal only for the midfielder to net seconds later.
McCarthy who has been with the Blue Toon since January 2020 has long been teased by his team-mates (and others) about his failure to find the net after similar dry spells at his previous clubs Partick Thistle and Queen of the South. Just five minutes in Saturday’s 3-2 success over the Bully Wee it looked like the 22 year old was going to draw a blank again as Jim explained: “Firstly I have to praise Clyde’s goalkeeper Neil Parry for an outstanding save from Derek Lyle. Derek’s header from Ryan Conroy’s cross looked a goal all the way until Neil made a great stop.”
“The ball went into the air and Andy got a good header on it. That looked in all the way as well but Neil made another fantastic stop. I turned to my assistant David Nicholls and said ‘that’s it there is no more that Andrew can do, he is never going to score.”
“The ball got cleared and Scott Brown set Hamish Ritchie free on the left. He sent in a low cross and there was Andrew to turn it over the line. Everyone was delighted for him and when you watch the goal back you can see the run that he makes to reach Hamish’s cross, it is the run of an experienced goalscorer, so there is more to come from him.”
“I know he was really pleased and that his brother has a recording of Jeff Stelling announcing his goal so that will something special for him to watch.”
Jim added: “Whilst the goal was a real highlight for Andrew, how he and the team played was the highlight for me. We were pegged back shortly afterwards from a soft penalty however we responded well to that with tow great goals. Clyde changed things about to go after us in attack as they felt we would get nervous about holding on to a lead.”
“They threw a lot at us and we lost Andy to injury and then Simon Ferry, who had dropped into defence to help protect things, but everyone held firm and stopped Clyde threatening too much. We will take the win and move on.”
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 manager Jim McInally has asked his players to play themselves into today’s home game with Clyde by being composed.
A disappointing run has seen the Blue Toon slip to the foot of the table and a win over the Bully Wee would be the perfect response however Jim knows that his squad must keep cool heads especially when defending if they are to prevail.
Jim said: “As a team we need to defend better. The way we started the SPFL Trust Cup tie last weekend against East Fife was disappointing as we invited pressure on ourselves, and lost a goal as a result, by not defending correctly.”
“It was not just in our final third that we defended poorly, it was right across the pitch. Our forwards need to help the midfielders and the midfielders need to help the defenders. If we get that right and also keep cool when we have the ball then things will turn.”
“Last weekend there seemed to be a rush to do things and that leads to misplaced passes and putting team-mates under pressure. We did not have Simon Ferry for that game and you could see his experience and cool head was sorely missed in the opening stages when we basically lost the tie.”
“What we need against Clyde is a calm start to the game. I want the players to play themselves into things. I want them to build confidence by getting their passing going and if they can do that, they will start feeling better about themselves and allow us to take the game to Clyde.”
Jim added: “We are facing a different Clyde team this season. They have gone big on experience but they still have the considerable threat of David Goodwillie up front and we need to show that we can handle that.”
“The games between the clubs always seem to have an edge as we have been rivals for several seasons both in League 1 and League 2. We secured a great victory over them at the end of last season and it would be great to do that again.”
Late calls will have to be made on Jordon Brown and Niah Payne who have both picked up knocks in training. Russell McLean and Derek Lyle have both shrugged off knocks and are available for selection with Simon Ferry in line for a recall after missing out last weekend.
The on-loan Dundee trio of Josh Mulligan, Danny Strachan and Lyall Cameron also return to manager McInally’s thoughts after being cup-tied.
cinch League 1 Home game versus Clyde.
Saturday, September 11 – Balmoor Stadium
Entry prices –
Ground – Adult £14, Concessions £7, under 13’s Free of Charge (if accompanied by an adult)
East and Main Stands – Adult £16, Concessions £9, U13’s £2
Peterhead are at home to Clyde tomorrow with the Blue Toon looking for a second home of the season whilst Clyde are out for the win that could potentially see them jump to third in the league.
The last time these two sides met Peterhead ran out 3-0 winners at Balmoor thanks to a double from Hamish Ritchie and a Scott Brown strike.
Niah Payne is looking forward to having the chance to pick up 3 points for the first time since Alloa were defeated and the former Bradford City youngster Payne, who scored and had an assist in the 2-0 success over the Wasps, said: “This is a very important game and a chance to get a win. We could have won against East Fife a couple weeks ago and I still feel we deserved the 3 points based on our first half performance. I thought we also played well in the second half but unfortunately, we didn’t get the result. That defeat puts more pressure on this game, we know how important it is, not just to get the 3 points, but to stop the run of results we have had and kick on”
“It’s a good opportunity to get 3 points but Clyde are a good team. I remember playing them last year but with the attitude and ability we have in our side, we’re more than capable of beating anyone in the league.”
“Even though the results haven’t gone our way recently, I’m sure we’ll go into the match with full confidence and look to get the 3 points”
“I don’t feel like there’s much between any of the teams in this league. That was the case at East Fife. I feel we were the better side so it’s just frustrating that nothing fell for us and everything seemed to fall for them. I think its more of a when its going to click for us, rather than an if it is going to click for us. Hopefully we can just get the 3 points on Saturday and go on a run”
Niah is grateful for the support that the team is receiving from Blue Toon fans as he explained: “It is nice to hear everyone still behind us, it is definitely a confidence booster when the fans are like that. It would be nice to get a win at home for the fans on Saturday and then we can continue on from there”
The Englishman who so far has made 22 appearances for the Blue Toon and been named our August Player of the Month, has impressed with his performances and he wants to keep it up saying: “It was really good to be awarded the Player of the Month. I feel like my form has come off the back of last season where I put in some decent performances. That has allowed me to have a good start to this season. Playing well helps confidence levels and hopefully I can just continue and keep it up in every game of the season”
However, Niah’s success has also been helped by support up front from the returning Russell Mclean, who he believes suits his strengths on the pitch.
“I am really enjoying playing with Russell. I feel the key to being good partners is knowing each other’s strengths and we work well off each other. I do plenty of running, I have the legs to get in behind whereas he’s good at holding the ball up. I know that if I beat a man and get wide, I know he’s going to be in the box and vice versa.”
“It is also about communication and trying to play off each other. It has been working well and hopefully we can show that against Clyde.”
Peterhead will have Josh Mulligan, Lyall Cameron and Danny Strachan back after being cup tied against East Fife in the SPFL Trust Trophy last weekend.
Niah has welcomed their return saying: “The Dundee boys bring depth and strength into the squad. They have been starting games so it will be good to have them about and in the match day squad as options to strengthen the team”