Peterhead manager Jim McInally is confident that he will have a quartet of players who were not available to start against Stirling Albion last weekend in his thoughts to play from the beginning against Alloa this Saturday.
Andrew McCarthy, Simon Ferry, Lyall Cameron and Russell McLean missed out on the 3-1 defeat at Forthbank however they should face the Wasps with Jim saying: “Andy has been missing since the Hearts game that opened our season due to a hamstring problem. They normally take a couple of weeks to get over and Andy has had that now. It will be good to have Andy in amongst things again as he brings energy to the team.”
“Simon picked up a knock last week and we could not risk him at Stirling. He is a great organiser on the pitch and the fact we lost two goals from set-pieces emphasises the need for organisation on the pitch.”
“Lyall was not fully fit on Saturday but he is now and Russell was suspended so our attack was blunted. Having them on the pitch against Alloa will give us an extra edge.”
Peterhead player coach Derek Lyle reckons that the return of Niah Payne and Russell McLean and the fitness in the squad can help the Blue Toon finish this season higher up in League 1 than the seventh place they secured last season.
Lyle will take charge of coaching the club’s strikers, believes the quality of the squad can help Peterhead have a grand season as he explained: “It will be good to work with the strikers we have and put some drills on for them. I have done my UEFA B, but I wasn’t really looking to get into the coaching side of things until recently. I knew I would only go into that with people I trust and I definitely trust the people here.”
“Niah and Russell will do well here and I am enjoying working with them.”
“Myself and Simon Ferry were talking about the squad during the summer, and we reckon anyone who has come in needs to be really fit because one thing Simon does in his training is high pressing. You need to be fit to be able to press all over the pitch and for the way we want to play. I think if we do that and win the ball back at this level it is a big, big factor in winning games.”
“You want to go and play against better players and I think it showed even last year, when we came up against a better team, we play better. We have the players to be able to raise our game, so hopefully we can have a good season and try and making the play-offs would be a great target to hit.”
Peterhead manager Jim McInally was left frustrated as his side went down 3-1 to Stirling Albion in their final Premier Sports Group A game at Forthbank.
The Blue Toon fell behind early, hit back instantly, only to go behind again and the loss of a third goal less than two minutes into the second half saw the Binos triumph.
Jordan McGregor put Stirling ahead on six minutes following a corner however Scott Brown replied instantly from the penalty spot after Hamish Ritchie had been fouled.
The hosts quickly regained the lead when Martin McNiff netted after another corner with former Balmoor favourite Jack Leitch ensuring that Stirling finished second in the table with a fine strike early in the second half to leave Jim saying: “The goals we lost were disappointing. We did not deal with their corners early on and lost two goals from that. The first goal should have been cleared and then to lose a second in similar circumstances after getting level was annoying.”
“We spoke at half-time about going out and winning the game. Within two minutes a ball travels 60 yards and their player brings it down and scores from 20 yards. It was a good strike from Jack however it was a poor goal both from a defensive point of view and when it was scored.”
“We had plenty of good possession after that but did not threaten enough. It was disappointing to lose in the manner we did and we have some issues to work on before the league starts next weekend.”
Peterhead go into their final Premier Sports Cup Group A game against Stirling Albion at Forthbank with Balmoor manager Jim McInally hoping that his side will play as well as they train.
Whilst the Blue Toon cannot progress Kevin Rutkiewicz’s side can grab second spot (and potentially book a place in the last sixteen) and Jim is pleased that the game will have an edge.
Jim said: “Stirling are a good side. As a club they invested well in their playing staff last summer and they have done the same this summer. They will be up there challenging for the League 2 title this season. Any game against them will be difficult and this one, because there is something at stake, will be especially difficult.”
“I am actually pleased about that as it will help us be in better shape for the league starting next weekend. It is great to be facing a tough 90 minutes, where four places in the group have still to be decided, than having a dead rubber. We will have to go and compete for the entire game and that is good at this stage of the season.”
Jim added: “Everyone took a lift from beating Cove Rangers last weekend. There was no too much wrong in how we were going about things but that first win of the season is important. Training this week was good as everyone came to it in a great frame of mind.”
“The work that was put in was top class and I have to praise Simon Ferry for the routines he set up and praise the players for how they carried them out. At times it was a pleasure to watch the players work with the ball and if we play as we trained this week then we can win at Stirling.”
Striker Russell McLean misses out after picking up a ban for collecting two yellow cards and Andrew McCarthy remains absent due to a hamstring problem. Ferry is a doubt after picking up a knock at Cove and Alan Cook is also routed as doubtful with Jim adding: “We will work our way around any absentees and with Russell missing it is a good chance to see what Niah Payne can do through the middle. He has been getting stronger in every game and this will give us an opportunity to see what he can do in leading the line as opposed to playing wider.”
Some match tickets have been sold for this match and remain valid for entry to the stadium.
Stirling Albion have decided to open Cash Turnstiles for this match also. The pair of turnstiles for the East Stand at the South (Morrisons) end will be open from 14:00, for either cash or ticket entry.
Entry for all but the U-12s is a Flat Rate £10. U-12s have free entry when accompanied by an adult.
The work done by Peterhead Football Club in ensuring that their players received Covid-19 vaccination injections last week and to highlight the need for other young people to be protected from the effects of the illness has been commended by the Scottish Parliament.
The players attended a NHS Grampian facility last Saturday following the win over Cove Rangers to receive their vaccines and a motion submitted by Liam Kerr, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party MSP for North East Scotland had cross party support at Holyrood when it was submitted on Tuesday, July 20.
Details of the motion are here –
Peterhead FC’s Team Effort on COVID-19 Jabs
Submitted by: Liam Kerr, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party. Date lodged: Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Supported by: Karen Adam, Miles Briggs, Donald Cameron, Jackson Carlaw, Russell Findlay, Pam Gosal, Jamie Greene, Stephen Kerr, Douglas Lumsden, Fulton MacGregor, Ruth Maguire, Stuart McMillan, Edward Mountain, Alexander Stewart, Paul Sweeney, Annie Wells
That the Parliament commends Peterhead FC for holding a special COVID-19 vaccination session, together with NHS Grampian, for players following its match on 17 July 2021; understands that the session also aimed to encourage more young people who have not had the vaccine to come forward; notes that, according to the latest figures from Public Health Scotland, nearly a third of 18- to 28-year-olds have yet to have a jab, and welcomes the club’s initiative in reminding young people about the importance of doing so to protect both themselves and their local community.
Peterhead head into their final Premier Sports Group A game at Stirling tomorrow without the services of midfielder Andy McCarthy and striker Russell McLean.
McCarthy is back in training after suffering a hamstring injury when the Blue Toon opened their season against Hearts on July 10 and summer returnee McLean is banned after picking up two bookings.
Manager Jim McInally said: “Andy did some work this week on the training pitch however he still felt a bit of pain so it would be a risk to try and include him in what will be a very competitive match at Forthbank. We will look to have him ready for the league opener against Alloa.”
“Russell has picked up a couple of cautions so he is out which is a shame as we were keen for him to build on his goal against Cove Rangers last weekend.”