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This is my first really challenging time, admits Jim

Sat 01 Oct 2016


By Glenn Moir
Peterhead's latest League 1 loss to Livingston prompted manager Jim McInally to admit the pressure will build on his team and his job unless the slump can be addressed.
Post-match the Balmoor boss said: "People will speculate about me getting the sack or whatever but in my five years here, this is my first really challenging time as far as results go."
"But I just see it as a challenge and one that these players will rise to and I would be disappointed if we don't finish this season certainly half way up the table and closer to the play-offs because I think we are good enough." 
The Blue Toon have managed only one win in eight league matches after finishing last term with eight consecutive defeats in all competitions.
Yet, even though they have returned to the foot of the table, McInally's men are not that far away from turning their fortunes around.  
Last week, they were beaten by Brechin, who are now at the top of the table.  Everyone, who made the trip down the A90, saw that Peterhead were better than them but it is results that count.
Very similar to what happened at Glebe Park, the Blue Toon went in front against LIvingston, conceded an equaliser against the run of play and went on to let-in a decisive goal in the second half.
It had all looked so promising when Fiacre Kelleher headed in his first senior goal in the 12th minute.  The on loan Celtic defender got across his marker to nod past Liam Kelly from Kevin Dzierzawski's corner.  
It was a half of two halves, Peterhead having the better of things initially before LIvi warmed to the task and Danny Mullen hauled them level in the 25th minute with a well-struck shot from the angle of the penalty area.  
The same player should have scored again as half time approached but he somehow missed from just a couple of yards out after Liam Buchanan had skinned Steven Noble.  
A neat move two minutes after the restart almost saw David Hopkin's team go in front but Graeme Smith made a great save to thwart Josh Mullin.
However, Livi were ruthless in the 58th minute and scored the winner from a Peterhead corner.  
Breaking quickly on the counter-attack, Buchanan homed in on goal and unselfishly squared for Josh Mullin.  Although Ryan Strachan did well to block the ball on the line, Danny Mullen stroked in the rebound.  
Peterhead made a good fist of getting back into the match as Scott Brown tested Kelly with a rising 25 yard drive while Rory McAllister was penalised for a push on Jackson Longridge when he headed in a Dzierzawski free-kick.  
Then in the last few minutes, substitute Leighton McIntosh passed up a golden opportunity by failing to convert a McAllister cutback, the ball rolling under the forward's foot.
The result means Peterhead have a fortnight to stew on another defeat ahead of back-to-back away games against Airdrie and Albion Rovers. 
They have not won on the road since the 12th March.
   Stevenson Kelleher Strachan Noble
     Dzierzawski               S.Brown
   Riley           McAllister       McCluskey