Russel recovery update

Russel recovery update

Peterhead’s hopes of having last season’s top goalscorer, Russell McLean, available during the first quarter of the season have taken a knock after the 24-year old’s recovery from knee surgery took a slight setback. ‘Rusty’ who found the net 15 times in the Blue Toon’s last campaign, despite his involvement ending in early April, had a procedure carried out in July and there were hopes he would be available before the first run of nine league games was over. Balmoor manager Jim McInally said: “Thankfully it is not a major issue but Russell’s comeback will be delayed until October or November. We had hoped that it would be September however that is unlikely now and also as he will not have played for almost six months then there will be an element of a pre-season training programme being required as well.”
Falkirk 3 Peterhead 1

Falkirk 3 Peterhead 1

Peterhead took the lead at Falkirk just before the half-time whistle in a game where Blue Toon goalkeeper Jack Newman had been busy however the Bairns raced up the park and levelled before going on to secure a 3-1 win.
Max Gillies’ first senior goal led to hopes of frustration building at The Falkirk Stadium only for Ryan Williamson to charge forward and equalise before second half goals from Callumn Morrison and Gary Oliver secured the points for John McGlynn’s side.
The Balmoor men went into the game boosted by the loan signings of Jack Wilkie and Ewan Murray from Dundee with midfielder Murray handed a start alongside Andrew McDonald who was returning from suspension with David Wilson and Danny Strachan making way. Falkirk who were beaten 4-0 by Airdrie in their last outing were out to make it up to their fans with a quick goal and they came close on eight minutes. Williamson found himself in space on the right flank and he cut the ball back to Stephen McGinn who picked out Juan Alegria with a cross. His knockdown was perfect for Morrison to crack home however Ryan Strachan made a superb block. Five minutes later Morrison, who was to prove to be a thorn in Peterhead’s side all afternoon darted from just inside the visitors’ half and after dancing his way past a couple of challenges his parting shot was pushed away by Newman. Midway through the opening half Aidan Nesbitt crossed for Morrison who had ghosted in at the back post with the winger sending a header against the top of the bar and over. Peterhead were trying to force their way into the game at the other end however they found themselves under pressure again on 25 minutes with Newman having to save from Finn Yeats before denying Alegria twice in quick succession. Ten minutes from the break a raid on the Falkirk goal was halted by Coll Donaldson who teed up Morrison to run at the Blue Toon backline with Newman again excelling with a low diving save to his right after Morrison had let fly from 20 yards. Four minutes later Alegria hit the outside of the post with a header after referee Stewart Luke had missed a push on Ryan Strachan in the build-up. After sustaining all that home pressure Peterhead showed what they could do as an attacking force by grabbing the lead on 44 minutes. Conor O’Keefe darted clear on the left and his low cross was perfect for Gillies to run onto and side-foot the ball through Nicky Hogarth’s legs from 14 yards. The key for the men in yellow and blue was to hold onto their lead until the break however that did not happen as Williamson was allowed to run from deep inside his own half. After finding himself at the edge of Peterhead’s box he cracked home a left foot shot with the visiting management team left wondering why the full back’s run had not been halted. Falkirk left the pitch to cheers rather than jeers and they looked to build on that quickly into the restart when Alegria was sent clear however ex-Bairn Paul Dixon got back to make a crucial tackle with loud appeals for a penalty waved aside. Twelve minutes into the second half Peterhead charged forward however after their attack was cleared Nesbitt picked out Morrison with a cross-field pass. The Falkirk wide man bore down on Newman’s goal and after skipping past Dixon he sent a shot high into the net to give the hosts the lead. Morrison sent a shot over the bar and Nesbitt had a drive deflected over before O’Keefe was sent off for a late challenge on Leon McCann on 83 minutes with the Blue Toon camp believing that a yellow card would have sufficed. Newman made another fine stop with two minutes left when he pushed away a Morrison effort however from the resultant corner the ten men found themselves two goals behind. Sean Mackie nodded Nesbitt’s dead ball towards Oliver who was standing a yard from goal with the former Morton striker adding a head flick to ensure it went over the line.

Peterhead – Newman, Gillies, McDonald, R Strachan (Wilson 59), Dixon, Jack Brown (Jordon Brown 88), Murray (Wilkie 59), Scullion (McGale 76), Adeyemo, Dow, O’Keefe Unused substitutes – D Strachan, McLeod, Wood (G/k)

Post-Match Interview with Jim McInally:

Loan Deals in place!

Loan Deals in place!

Peterhead have secured the services of defender Jack Wilkie and midfielder Ewan Murray on loan from Dundee with the duo available for selection in this afternoon’s match at Falkirk.

Wilkie is the son of Scottish internationalist Lee Wilkie and Murray may also be familiar to fans of the Blue Toon as he scored in a friendly between the clubs when he was aged 15 back in 2020.

Balmoor boss Jim McInally said: “I am really pleased to get both Jack and Ewan on board. I watched them in a game in midweek and was impressed. Following discussions with Gordon Strachan and Gary Bowyer at Dundee we were able to move quickly and get them on board.”

“We have discussed other loan deals since the end of last season, however they have not been able to get over the line for a number of reasons, so my thanks go to everyone involved in this one.”

“We have had loan deals with Dundee for a few seasons now and they have all been successful. Anyone who watched their game last night would have seen Josh Mulligan score a wonderful goal and Lyall Cameron come on as a substitute. Danny Strachan is now permanently at us after loan periods so I am again looking for the win-win of us being able to give talented youngsters the experience required to go on and play at a senior level with Jack and Ewan.”

Jim added: “Having two more bodies on board gives me good options.”

Jack Wilkie

Courtesy of Dundee FC

Ewan Murray

Courtesy of Dundee FC
Falkirk Match Preview

Falkirk Match Preview

Getting there with selection issues.
Peterhead travel to Falkirk this afternoon with both clubs looking for their first League 1 win of the season.

Despite coming from two goals down to grab a point at Clyde last weekend Blue Toon manager Jim McInally is looking for improvements in his side as he explained: “Of course it was good to show that despite the injuries and suspensions that have dogged our season so far, there is a good spirit in the team, but we have to lift our performance levels.”

The Balmoor boss is hoping that the return of Andrew McDonald from suspension, along with the signing of Robbie Scullion and the knowledge that two loan signings are expected within days will ensure that things start to move in the right direction as he explained: “We need to get bodies in as so far this season there has been no competition for a jersey. When I was playing, I always played better when I thought that someone would take my place if I was not doing well, and I do not things have changed that much.”

“We need to get bodies in to put that pressure onto the starting XI and the return of Andrew McDonald is an example of that, as is the permanent recruitment of Robbie.”

“Andrew McCarthy will be back training soon and I took in a game this week between a Scottish club and players from England who could be available. I identified two boys who could come and do a job for us and things are happening on that front. If they are not involved today then they will be next week.”

“We are beginning to get the quantity and quality of player we have been after and that will help us improve.” As for facing the Bairns Jim said: “Falkirk will have been hurt by losing 4-0 to Airdrie last weekend. That will make them very dangerous opponents and I expect them to start the game in a very fast manner.”

“John McGlynn is a good manager and will set his team up to play good football. We are prepared for that and will look to frustrate it but I want us to be positive as well.”

“I have also asked the players to be more assertive than we have been in games so far this season. I want us to be braver on the ball and be more confident to hold onto it. If we can do all that then it is another step forward.”

Team news – Andrew McDonald returns from a two-game league ban that was picked up last season and the travelling party will be boosted by two if two loan signings are registered in time. Other signings of players from England and Europe remain held up in ‘red tape’ that the club is working on resolving. Jason Brown is not ready to return after a head knock sustained last month with Andrew McCarthy, Hamish Ritchie and Russell McLean remaining on the side-lines due to injury.

Attending the game –
Robbie signs on

Robbie signs on

Peterhead manager Jim McInally is set to complete another piece in his 2022/23 rebuild jigsaw after agreeing a deal with Robbie Scullion for the season.

The former Partick Thistle midfielder has been involved in The Blue Toon’s last two games as a trialist and the 18-year-old impressed Balmoor boss McInally more than enough to be given the chance to sign a permanent deal.

Jim said: “Robbie has shown in our last two games that he deserves to be part of our first team pool. He came in very cold to the Airdrie game and did well before impressing in training and having another good game against Clyde on Saturday.”

“He has given us 100% in both of those games and it was great to get something agreed at training on Tuesday. He is a good football player and he knows that he will need to keep showing that to keep a starting jersey once we add further bodies to the pool.”

Wishing Kieran well

Wishing Kieran well

Peterhead chairman Rodger Morrison has wished former Blue Toon defender Kieran Freeman well tonight when Dundee United meet AZ Alkmaar in the Second Leg of their Europa Conference League Qualifying tie.

The Tannadice side lead 1-0 after an exciting 90 minutes last Thursday with chairman Morrison saying: “The first game was a terrific match and it was fantastic to see Kieran playing in it. When you think back it is only just over 15 months since he was a big part of our team during two loan spells at the club.”

“He played over 20 games in the season that he was here and I am sure, like me, all Peterhead fans are delighted that the experience and development that Kieran gained with our club has helped him become a player at a European level.”

“His loan deal was a real win-win for everyone and I hope he comes out on the winning side tonight and goes on to play in more European games.”