Peterhead manager Jim McInally is keen to bring Hamish Ritchie to the club on a permanent basis following a successful loan spell from Highland League side Inverurie Locos.
Hamish joined the Blue Toon in March and featured in 11 games during which he scored four goals with Jim seeing more than enough in the 24 year old to believe that he can be a standout in the SPFL.
Jim said: “I was impressed with Hamish at the start of the season when we played Inverurie Locos in a friendly. He was very comfortable on the ball that day however shortly afterwards he joined Cove Rangers on loan. I thought that would be it for us however he never broke through there and when our league was resuming whilst the Highland League remained suspended we got in touch with Inverurie and brought him here.”
“We were grateful to Inverurie for their help in allowing the loan deal to happen. Hamish did really well here and showed that he had an eye for goal. We would like him to stay on a permanent basis and we have advised Inverurie of that. He is due to be their player for another season so there has to be some hurdles overcome before any agreement is reached.”
Manager Jim McInally’s plans for next season have got of to a positive start with player/ coach Simon Ferry signing on again with the experienced duo of Gary Fraser and Ryan Conroy doing likewise and defender Andrew McDonald also agreeing to another season at Balmoor.
McInally said: “Simon’s signing for us is important both on and off the park. He is still a top-performing midfielder in this league but as a coach he is excellent as well. The players enjoy the training drills he puts on for them in his coaching so having him back is a big part of my plans.”
“Unfortunately Gary was injured playing for us just as we were seeing the best of them last December. I believe that in life you do the right thing and the right thing is for Gary to be given a contract whilst he works his way back to fitness and not once he is fit.”
“He will be restarting running soon and will feature next season. It will be good for him to concentrate only on his fitness without having to worry about getting a deal somewhere.”
“Ryan had a very good season for us at left-back. He is very comfortable on the ball and that helps us in both halves of the pitch. He enjoyed his football last season so he is keen to keep doing that and that is why he re-signed.”
“Finally Andy came in earlier this year and it took him a while to get playing due to the shutdown. Since then he has established himself in our team and also scored a great free-kick at East Fife.”
Jim added: “Offers have been made to other players and hopefully we will increase on that number of four soon. There will be some boys leaving us, as well as the loan players who will go back to their parent clubs with our heartfelt thanks, and we will look to keep everyone up to date as best as we can.”
“As the season draws to a close I thought I would take the time to reflect on what has undoubtedly been the most challenging year in my 17 year tenure as PFC Chairman.
At the start of the 20/21 campaign the aim was survival – both on and off the pitch. With spectators not permitted into games and our corporate hospitality curtailed, we really did face a very bleak year with little income and large expenses to meet. It is then great credit to our manager Jim Mcinally and his backroom staff that with a reduced budget, they managed to field a youthful but spirited group of players that have been a match for any team in this league and who have beaten all of the full-time teams in our division. They may have been young in years but the team have produced some strong performances and deserve praise for meeting the challenge of securing our League One status for next season.
There is so much more to a football club than what a spectator sees on the park and therefore I would like to thank the people I have around me at Peterhead FC for keeping this show on the road and running a tight-knit but successful operation behind the scenes. Our General Manager Martin Johnston has had much to deal with over the past 12 months but has risen to the challenge of following all SPFL covid protocols and putting into place a testing regime to ensure that we could keep playing without interruption. Ably abetted by his assistant Sharon, the administration of PFC affairs have been well run and they can be credited with new initiatives to increase revenue in the virtual world that we have had to get accustomed to. Martin and his Blue Toon Talk co-editor Ken Morton have also produced on-line editions of the popular match-day programme that have been praised by fans of opposing clubs for the informative content that covers so much more than just PFC and is a great read for historical football articles and statistics.
Our accounts department also deserve gratitude for keeping abreast of an ever-changing economic landscape to ensure that PFC still managed to “balance the books” with a vastly reduced income. Praise also to Youth and Community Coach Nat Porter for working with the SPFL Trust to bring grant income into the club in order that we were able to continue our good work in the community with initiatives such as Festive Friends and the Reading Challenge.
Our new coffee shop has had somewhat of a stop/start initial year of business due to the Pandemic but Mary and her staff have rolled up their sleeves and adapted to the ever-changing restrictions to provide a warm and welcoming casual dining experience that is going from strength to strength.
I would also like to this opportunity to thank all of our many volunteers who have given up their time on match days to help with covid protocols and to ensure fans could still have somewhat of a “match day experience” from home via streaming and social media channels. Our automated live-streaming hasn’t always been perfect but I think we can agree that our match commentators from the Blue Toon Podcast have stepped in admirably to produce unbiased and informative content during the game, also praised by away fans. There are many, many people behind the scenes who do what they do for the love of the club and I am under no illusion that we wouldn’t be the well-run club that we are without them so thank you one and all.
A word also to our corporate sponsors who have renewed advertising boards and match day programmes in what was a reduced season as they knew that we were hit hard and wanted to help in any way they could. Also a special mention to our invaluable club patrons and our Home and Away shirt sponsors Score Group Ltd and A. M. Smith who stepped in to help when most needed – you are all essential to the endurance of this club and we are sincerely grateful.
Lastly, the fans. You have stood by us when we needed you – purchasing virtual lottery tickets, season tickets and streaming passes to help us meet our running costs and ensure our very survival. We hope that one day soon you will be able to join us again on a Saturday for a blether, a pie and a good game of football – we want you to know that next season we will once again do our very best to put a team on the park that you can be proud of”
Our Sincerest gratitude for your continued support,
Rodger Morrison and the PFC Board of Directors: Vice Chairman Les Hill, Charles Watt and Michael Duncan.
Peterhead manager Jim McInally reckons that a lack of game management experience cost the Blue Toon at least a point in their final League One match of the season at Dumbarton on Tuesday night.
The Balmoor side were leading 2-1 with 10 minutes to go however a controversial equaliser followed by an injury time winner saw Dumbarton earn a 3-2 win that keeps their survival hopes alive.
Jim said: “There were positives and negatives in that game. We started in the same slow manner that we did at East Fife last week but like that game we came from a goal behind to level thanks to Steven Boyd’s goal before the break before taking the lead in the second half through Derek Lyle.”
“Dumbarton throw a lot of you at set pieces and they got an equaliser that way when Morgyn Neill headed in. Having seen the goal back there looks to be a foul there on Andrew McDonald but it wasn’t given.”
“At that stage we should have seen things out for the draw. We knew Dumbarton would be going all out for the win so the best idea would have been to get the ball as far away from our goal as possible and keep it there.”
“Unfortunately a bit of naivety showed which is not totally unsurprising when you consider how young our defensive unit is. Rather than getting the ball up the park in a direct fashion we decided to try and play a bit of football.”
“That broke down and to be fair to Dumbarton their player put in a terrific cross and their other player put in a magnificent header to win the game.”
“I am disappointed that we did not get at least a point. Our game management needs to be better and it will be next season as we will learn from this.”
The late loss of two goals saw Peterhead’s season ended in a 3-2 defeat at Dumbarton. Goals from Steven Boyd and Derek Lyle had seen the Blue Toon come from a goal behind to lead with ten minutes left however the Sons scored twice to climb up to eighth place in the table.
Manager Jim McInally made two changes to his starting line-up with goalkeeper Lenny Wilson returning to between the sticks duty in place of Joshua Rae with Andy McDonald returning from suspension to take over from Kyle Bailey who was fit enough for a place on the bench after picking up a knock at the weekend.
Goalkeeper Wilson’s evening got off to a strange start as he took the field wearing a training bid to avoid a clash with the home side’s jerseys.
After a slow start Wilson was called into action on 15 minutes when Adam Frizzell created danger at the edge of the box and fired for goal however the shot-stopper was equal to it.
Dumbarton’s Stuart Carswell was the next to try his luck however his long-distance effort sailed wide however the hosts had better luck in 21 minutes when they took the lead.
Former Rothes striker Jamie Wilson grabbed it when he slotted the ball home after Rabin Omar had put him through on a one on one basis with Wilson.
Peterhead’s first attempt on the home goal came on 28 minutes however Scott Brown’s 20 yard drive cleared the bar with Niah Payne coming close to his first Blue Toon goal four minutes later however Sons shot-stopper Sam Ramsbottom produced a fine finger-tip save.
The visitors were not to be denied and they drew level from a corner on 34 minutes when Steven Boyd nodded in following a corner.
Just before the break James Wallace had a half chance for Dumbarton however he sent his shot just over Wilson’s bar.
Ross Forbes curled a free-kick wide for Dumbarton early in the second half however it was Peterhead that grabbed the next goal.
It came on 61 minutes when Kieran Freeman and Boyd combined with on-loan Dundee youngster Freeman sending over a cross for ‘The Fox in the Box’ Derek Lyle who had only been on the park for eight minutes and he headed home from close range.
Lyle went close to grabbing a second shortly afterwards however this time his shot flashed wide of the right hand post and Hamish Ritchie also came close to doubling Peterhead’s lead however it was the Sons that scored next.
Forbes sent over a corner on 80 minutes and Morgyn Neill rose highest to nod in to tie the score again.
Dumbarton who had to win to have any chance of avoiding the relegation play-off got the goal they craved in injury time when Forbes sent over another cross and Wilson headed home.
Peterhead Wilson, Strachan, McDonald, Jason Brown (Bailey 72), Freeman, Ferry (Lyle 53), Scott Brown, Ritchie (Jordon Brown 80), McCarthy, Boyd (Cook 72), Payne (Kesson 80)
Peterhead complete their 22 game season tonight and manager Jim McInally has challenged his players to bounce back from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat from Forfar and end things on a high at Dumbarton.
Jim said: “It has been a strange season in lots of ways but there has been a good number of highs in it. Up until Saturday everybody was feeling quite good about themselves and we want to get that feeling back.”
“We do not want to leave the pitch tonight still feeling disappointed and have that lingering over us until we meet up again.”
Jim knows that his team has to stop making mistakes at the back to win as he explained: “We conceded two really bad goals at the weekend and a really poor goal at East Fife last Thursday. We were able to hit back in the East Fife game but you cannot expect to recover and win games all the time if you keep doing it.”
The players have been told to ensure they put in an error free performance at Dumbarton and end the season with a win.”
“Dumbarton lost a crucial game on Saturday at Clyde so I reckon they will view this as a must win and that is good for us as it means that know we are in for a competitive evening. I would think even a draw is not they are after so we should have a very open contest and if we defend properly we can get the three points and then see how East Fife have done as we can still finish higher in the table if we win and they lose.”
“That is another incentive for us to go about things correctly.”
Peterhead Team News
Andrew McDonald returns from a ban as Peterhead and Kyle Bailey has shrugged off the injury he picked up at the weekend to be included in the manager’s plans.
Alan Cook is included again after showing no reaction to his comeback on Saturday following a knee injury however Ryan Conroy and Gary Fraser remain out.
Dumbarton Team News
The Sons could be without Joshua Bradley-Hurst, Sam Wardrop, Nat Wedderburn, Daniel Church and Nick McAllister through injury.