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Peterhead secured their first home league win of the season with a 1-0 win over Dumbarton with the Blue Toon having to dig deep to see off the Sons.
Everything in the Blue Toon garden looked rosy early on when Ben Armour scored however after injury problems again resurfaced with Simon Ferry and Isaac Layne going off the hosts had to dig deep to keep Dumbarton out.
Wise words from manager Jim McInally at half-time saw Peterhead enjoy the better of the chances in the second half however they kept everyone on their toes as they could not score a second goal but eventually a 1-0 win was secured.
Peterhead with Joshua Rae back in goal took the lead on four minutes when Andrew McCarthy worked his way free on the right and picked out Alan Cook with a cut-back. Cook’s shot was saved by Kevin Dabrowski however Armour was on hand to lash the loose ball home.
Ferry came off just before the quarter hour mark after suffering a hamstring injury and that saw Lyall Cameron come on and tactical changes took place with Kyle Bailey going into central defence and McCarthy moving to right back.
These changes unsettled Peterhead and Dumbarton took control and they could have equalised when Adam Frizzell sent over a cross that was begging to be put in with Jamie Wilson only inches away from converting.
Former Peterhead player Ryan McGeever headed a good chance over before the break however the half -time break allowed Peterhead the chance to regroup and the second half was a more even affair.
Steven Boyd missed a great chance to make it 2-0 and Rae did well to keep out a Sam Wardrop shot as Dumbarton pressed.
Injury issues surfaced again when Layne had to be replaced by Hashim Bakar after he looked to have suffered a knee problem with Derek Lyle failing to ease nerves when he headed over just before the end.
Nerves were finally soothed with the final whistle and Peterhead had picked up their second win of the season.
Peterhead – Rae, Freeman, Conroy, Ferry (Cameron 13), Bailey, Brown, McCarthy, Fraser, Boyd, Cook (Layne 65 (Bakar 86)), Armour (Lyle 65)
Unused substitutes – Kesson, Trialist, Wilson
Peterhead v Dumbarton
Peterhead manager Jim McInally is looking for his side to show the desire required to win three points at home in their game against Dumbarton this afternoon. After defeats from Montrose and St Johnstone as well as a draw over 90 minutes with Kelty Hearts the Blue Toon players have been asked to show the resilience required to win and move to within a point of their visitors.
Jim explained: “I cannot fault the quality of football the boys are playing. They play a lot of nice stuff and we are being complimented on how nice a side we are, however we need to add a more ruthless side to our play. We need to go out and not just be determined to play well but to play well and get the rewards we are due.”
“We will need to be like that against Dumbarton as they will be supremely well organised and difficult to break down. Jim Duffy is a very good manager and knows how to get the best out of players who will form one if not two formidable lines of barriers to their goal. Scoring against them could come down to a piece of guile or just that determination to win your personal battle.
The Blue Toon have add a pre-match boost with goalkeeper Joshua Rae declaring himself available for selection after missing the games against Kelty and St Johnstone with Jim saying: “I am pleased that Joshua is back in amongst things. I am not sure whether I will throw him straight back into things however I have a decision to make between him and Lenny Wilson and that is a good place to be.”
As well as having Rae available for selection Peterhead’s former Son, striker Isaac Layne is available after a knee problem and Ben Armour has shrugged off a hamstring issue to also return to McInally’s squad.
Missing for the Blue Toon are Gary Mackenzie as well as Josh Mulligan with Jason Brown absent through suspension.
Jim Duffy’s side who sit third have ruled out injured goalkeeper Chris Smith, Rico Quitongo, Paul Crossan and Stefan McCluskey however they are boosted by Ryan McGeever’s availability after illness and the inclusion of Chris Hamilton, Morgyn Neill and Stuart Carswell after suspension.
You can watch the game here – https://www.peterheadfc.org/video/
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It is back to League 1 duty for Peterhead tomorrow and the importance of the home game with Dumbarton has not been lost on midfielder Andrew McCarthy.
Last Saturday the Blue Toon took on Premiership opposition in the form of St Johnstone in the Betfred Cup however facing the Sons could be viewed as an even more important match as McCarthy explained: “Last Saturday’s game was a big one as there was a chance of going through however in terms of setting out expectations for our season this game is bigger.”
“Dumbarton sit third at the moment and if we can get a win, we pull to within a point of them. We will not get ahead of ourselves but we know that a win would also set us up nicely for another home game next week against Forfar.”
“This league is going to be incredibly tight and if we could pick up six points from the next two games it would have a really positive impact. The players know how important this week is.”
McCarthy added: “I know some of the Dumbarton boys and they are a good side so we have to turn up and play well. We did okay especially in the first half against St Johnstone however the penalty right at the start of the second half hurt us.”
“I am not going to go into whether it was a penalty or not but put it this way no-one was claiming for one. We lost our way after that for a while but we finished strongly and if we can start against Dumbarton how we finished against St Johnstone then we will have a great chance of winning.”
© Craig Stewart/ Peterhead Football Club
Dundee youngster Josh Mulligan will undergo surgery this week to fix the ankle injury that has limited him to just 9 minutes of football since he joined Peterhead on loan at the start of the season.
Mulligan started for the Blue Toon when they defeated Dundee United 1-0 at Tannadice on Saturday, October 10 however the 17-year-old limped off early after aggravating an old injury.
A recent scan revealed the full extent of the problem and after visiting a specialist an operation was called for with Mulligan not expected back at the Blue Toon until 2021.
Blue Toon manager Jim McInally said: “Josh was a big part of my plans for this season so it has been disappointing to be without him. Hopefully, we can get him back in January which means he has still a lot of the season left to gain a lot of experience with us.”
© Craig Stewart/ Peterhead Football Club