Season 2022/23 begins for Peterhead in the same way that season 2021/22 ended with a game against Airdrieonians however the personnel involved will be very different.
Of the sixteen players that played for the Blue Toon in the 1-1 with the Diamonds back in April only two, Jack Brown and Jordon Brown, were in the squad manager Jim McInally had in for training ahead of this meeting.
A summer exodus of players, as well as cruel luck on the injury front, left Peterhead short of players for their Premier Sports Cup campaign however there is good news on the horizon with Jim saying: “I had always said that this week would start to see players become available. The tap is beginning to turn and we could have up to three new loan signings involved against Airdrie.”
“They are all agreed however we need to get the paperwork completed. We have one, Max Gillies, on board but even if we get them all in, we are still a bit understrength however we will get on with it against Airdrie. We know that the loan signings will strengthen us and hopefully there will be a couple of new recruits in next week as well.”
“Once the injuries clear up, I will have selection problems which is very different to the last few weeks.”
As for the Diamonds Jim said: “Airdrie started last season a good bit ahead of us but we closed the gap in every game we played them after that. We have had them watched and they are also a changed side both in terms of players and management.”
“One thing that has remained the same with them is that they are sharp up front with Callum Smith and Callum Gallagher and we need to be ready for that.”
Jim added: “Training this week has been good for us. A few of the young boys were a bit heads down after the last few weeks but that is gone now and you could see the experienced boys brining them on in training.”
“If we get the two other loan deals onto the Teamsheet then we will be stronger than we have been and we know that we will get stronger still.”
Max Gillies is added on loan from Queen’s Park The concussion suffered by Jason Brown at Stirling last weekend keeps him out and he joins Andy McCarthy (ankle), Russell McLean (knee) and Hamish Ritchie (knee) in missing out with Andy McDonald also absent due to suspension.
Skipper Paul Dixon and summer signing Ryan Dow return after bans saw them sit out at Forthbank with another summer recruit Ryan Strachan in the squad although not fully match fit.
Attending the game – There are no cash turnstiles in operation. All tickets must be bought for the ticket office prior to entry. Cash and Card are accepted in the ticket office. The ticket office is located to the right of the main entrance.
Watching the game – We have had to stop our live matchday streaming service within the UK and Ireland for home matches in cinch League One. This is as part of new regulations set out by the SPFL, with Covid-19 restrictions having been relaxed, and now removed, allowing supporters to attend matches at full capacity. Live streaming is not allowed in the UK and Ireland on a Saturday between 2.45pm and 5.15pm, and virtual season tickets are not permitted.
Peterhead have brought in Queen’s Park defender Max Gillies on loan with the 19-year-old expected to make his debut against Airdrie at Balmoor on Saturday afternoon.
Right back Gillies, the son of former St Mirren and Aberdeen player Ricky, played 12 times for the Spiders last season with Blue Toon manager Jim McInally saying: “Queen’s Park rate Max very highly and view Peterhead as the best place for him to continue his development. One other thing that helped clinch the move was Max’s desire to get further first team experience.”
“He told the Queen’s Park manager Owen Coyle that he would come here without hesitation. Owen has seen the benefits close up of the work we did with Grant Savoury last season and wants Max to benefit in the same way.”
Peterhead roared into a two-goal lead at Clyde however they had to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw after David Goodwillie netted either side of half-time.
Russell McLean and Grant Savoury scored fine goals to have their side in charge however the Blue Toon, who restored Josh Mulligan to their starting line-up in place of Niah Payne, left Cumbernauld frustrated that late pressure could not force a winner.
Jim McInally’s side started brightly and an early foul on Savoury gave Andy McDonald the chance to cross in a ball however there were no takers.
Ally Love sent in a low drive from 20 yards on seven minutes which Brett Long had to stretch to push around for a corner with the visitors’ first chance coming four minutes later.
Home goalkeeper Neil Parry could only parry a corner to the edge of the box where Andy McCarthy replied with a shot that was only inches out.
Clyde had a good chance when Scott Brown was penalised for a foul on Morgaro Gomis 19 yards from goal however Love sent the ball over.
The game was held up for a few minutes when the hosts’ Ross Cunningham fell awkwardly in a challenge with McCarthy and had to be stretchered off with Euan Deveney coming on in his place.
The opener came on 20 minutes after McCarthy and McLean caused panic in the Bully Wee defence who could only clear to Scott Brown and the Peterhead skipper picked out McLean who crashed the ball into the net via the bar from six yards.
Home striker Robert Jones was booked for simulation after he tried to win a penalty a minute later with Peterhead doubling their lead five minutes later.
McLean raced away from his marker on the left wing and the towering forward picked out Savoury with a rolled pass and the former Celtic midfielder side-footed home his first goal in senior football.
With confidence flowing in the blue shirted visitors a surging run and cross from Mulligan created a chance for McLean however his effort was deflected past
Savoury then fired over the bar after some great build up play which included a couple of one-twos however Peterhead were given a reminder that Clyde were still in the game on the 45-minute mark when Jones met a free-kick and only a fine stop from Long prevented his header crossing the line.
Deep into injury time Peterhead gave away possession and that allowed Goodwillie to be played through on goal where he was met by the out-rushing Long.
Referee Stuart decided that the former Scotland striker was fouled by the shot-stopper as they came together with Goodwillie rolling in the resultant penalty.
That goal brought Clyde alive and seven minutes into the restart a lightning break saw Goodwillie level the score when he darted past Flynn Duffy on the right and curled a shot into the far corner.
The game almost turned around totally on the hour mark when Goodwillie let fly from 20 yards and Long had to dive low to push the ball out for a corner.
Peterhead settled after that scare and McCarthy and Scott Brown had shots blocked before McLean was inches out from a wonder goal after he worked his way past two defenders and cracked in a shot from 20 yards only to see it crash against the bar.
Mulligan’s strong attacking runs created two late chances to win the three points for the visitors however he lofted his first shot wide and then drilled his second across the face of the Clyde goal and out of play.
Peterhead – Long, Wilson, Jason Brown, McDonald, Mulligan, Ritchie (Payne 61), McCarthy, S Brown, Duffy, McLean, Savoury
Peterhead secured their place in the draw for tomorrow’s Fourth Round Draw of the Scottish Cup with a 3-0 win at Christie Gillies Park in Edinburgh over Lowland League Civil Service Strollers.
The Balmoor side had to be patient to get their noses in front against a host side who were reduced to ten men in the first half. After the break Russell McLean netted from the spot, Scott Brown, who missed a penalty in the opening 45 minutes, grabbed a second and substitute Lyall Cameron completed the scoring with a late third.
Blue Toon Manager Jim McInally was denied the services of Josh Mulligan due to illness with Andrew McCarthy returning in his absence after a ban with Hamish Ritchie starting after injury in place of Danny Strachan who was on the bench.
Civil Service started strongly as manager McInally predicted and forced a corner after four minutes. In the following minute they also had the game’s first chance when Scott Clapperton was given a glimpse of goal however his effort was blocked.
On 12 minutes McLean had Peterhead’s first attempt with a long-distance effort that rose and cleared the goal.
Ahead of the 20-minute mark the hosts Joao Balde tested Long with a couple of shots in quick succession with the Peterhead shot-stopper equal to the Portuguese winger’s efforts.
Long was also equal to a header from Alieau Faye following a corner midway through the opening half with visiting skipper Scott Brown going close with a drive shortly afterwards.
Balde was involved again on 28 minutes however this time it was not positive as he crunched into a challenge on Flynn Duffy and referee Chris Graham brandished a red card.
Peterhead looked to make the extra man count quickly with Scott Brown, Ritchie and Payne peppering the Strollers’ goal with shots.
Two minutes from the break it looked like the visitors would make their breakthrough from the penalty spot when Lewis Duffy fouled McLean. The usually reliable Scott Brown took responsibility for the kick however his effort was saved by Mac Whyte down to his right.
Peterhead were given a reminder four minutes into the second half that the tie was not won as Robbie Cole rattled a post with a shot with the ball rebounding straight into Long’s arms.
That scare was soon forgotten as the opening goal for the Blue Toon arrived on 54 minutes after they were awarded their second penalty of the afternoon. McLean was fouled by Whyte and the striker took responsibility from 12 yards and sent the ball to the left of the shot-stopper who had dived the other way.
Four minutes later and Peterhead had more than one foot in the next round with captain Brown making up for his penalty kick miss by drilling into the net from the edge of the box.
Ritchie came close to adding a quick fire third before Grant Savoury had a shot charged down with 20 minutes left.
Substitute Cameron fired over on 79 minutes however the on-loan Dundee youngster wrapped up the scoring in injury time from close range with McLean having a hand in creating the goal.
Long, Wilson, Jason Brown, McDonald, Ritchie (Lyle 63), McCarthy, S Brown, Duffy, McLean, Savoury (Jordon Brown 88), Payne (Cameron 75)