Match Previews

Carrying cup form into Annan league opener is Toon target

Fri 04 Aug 2017

The suspended Rory McAllister misses the Annan opener The suspended Rory McAllister misses the Annan opener


Peterhead boss Jim McInally has challenged his players to carry the momentum gained from their impressive Betfred Cup showing into their League 2 opener at Annan.

The Blue Toon make the long trip to the south west off the back of three group stage victories, including a superb win over Hearts.

Although their terrific tallly of nine points was still not quite enough to progress in the knock-out competition, the level of performance has given cause for optimism going into the Galabank clash.

McInally wants his players to use the confidence they have built up in recent weeks to help them get off to a winning start against opponents, who suffered a crushing 6-1 defeat to Ayr in the cup last Saturday.

McInally said: "It's unusual to win three games and not go through."

"We just got unlucky but, for us, the cup was about trying to get confidence and get focused on the first league game and that's exactly what we have done this week."

"Annan play on an astroturf pitch so we know what to expect as far as that goes."

"They have changed their manager in the last few months and a lot of their personnel has changed since the last time we played them."

Peterhead have tasted victory just once in their six previous visits to Annan and if they are to improve upon that statistic, they will do so without Rory McAllister.

McAllister serves a suspension, carried over from the tail-end of last season, while Simon Ferry is unlikely to be risked on the artificial surface and Mason Robertson is struggling with a hamstring problem.

However, the fit-again Nicky Riley could feature competitively for the first time this term following a calf injury he picked up in the pre-season friendly against Dundee Utd.

McInally said: "We know it's going to be tough at Annan."

"It's not a place where we have a good record but the first league game is always vital so both teams will be looking at it the same way."

"Annan are coming into the match off the back of a really heavy home defeat last week, which hopefully is still on their players' minds so that we can take advantage of that."


By Glenn Moir