Club News

An understrength defence took its toll on Peterhead as Livingston powered their way into the fourth round of the Scottish Cup with a 3-1 win at Balmoor.

Gary Glen and Jordan White put Livi firmly in the driving seat within half an hour and while the Blue Toon kept battling, another goal from White in the closing stages confirmed their passage through.
 
Rory McAllister did at least convert a late penalty to ensure Peterhead continued their record of scoring in every home match this season. 
 
Scott Ross failed to shrug off an ankle problem but had boss Jim McInally been able to name any of his three loan defenders, the team shape would not have been disrupted so much.
 
Dundee did not want Cammy Kerr cup tied and St Johnstone refused Ally Gilchrist permission to play.  
 
However, McInally's former employers Dundee Utd allowed Livingston to field goalkeeper Marc McCallum, yet ruled out Jassem Sukar.
 
A bit bizarre to say the least and while it would be wrong to suggest that impacted on the outcome, it certainly did not help Peterhead.
 
Last week against Cowdenbeath, the Blue Toon might have got away with a weakened backline but not against a well-drilled Championship team, which recently held Rangers to a draw.
 
Mark Burchill's men were bright from the start and Graeme Smith had to make a superb stop to keep out Liam Buchanan's shot before Gary Glen drove the rebound just wide.
 
However, Glen did not pass up his next opportunity in the 14th minute, as a Scott Pitman effort deflected into his path and he sent a first-time shot high into the net from 10 yards.
 
Livingston scored again in the 25th minute when Buchanan raced down the right side of the penalty area and squared for White to steer a shot past the helpless Smith.
 
Leighton McIntosh, who netted a hat-trick as a striker last week, was asked to operate in a wider role but he nearly scored before half time with a near post drive, which was turned behind by McCallum for a corner.
 
Peterhead saw plenty of the ball in the second period but they did not threaten the visiting goal too often and any hope of a comeback was killed off when the West Lothian outfit scored a third in the 74th minute.
 
Smith did well to block Buchanan's effort but the ball fell for White, who had the easy task of tapping in to an unguarded net.
 
In stoppage time, McAllister won and scored a consolation penalty to maintain his rich vein of form.
 
Peterhead will get another crack at Championship opposition in April with Rangers now confirmed as their opponents in the Petrofac Training Cup final.
 
PETERHEAD XI
 
                          SMITH
 
BLOCKLEY REDMAN STRACHAN NOBLE
 
     DZIERZAWSKI FERRY BROWN

   MCINTOSH  MCALLISTER  RILEY

Additional Info

  • Home Team Peterhead 1
  • Away Team Livingston 3
  • Win/Draw/Lost Loss
  • Banner Sub Title Scottish Cup exit for Blue Toon

Three points, seven goals, a clean-sheet and a hat-trick.  Pretty much a perfect afternoon for Peterhead, who produced the kind of level Jim McInally knows they are capable of.

The Blue Toon manager later admitted he constantly moans at his players because he is well aware of the standards they can reach.  They certainly hit the heights against Cowdenbeath, who were on the receiving end of a Toon trouncing.
 
Night and day from Tuesday with the recalled Leighton McIntosh and Jordon Brown, aided by the craftiness of Rory McAllister, proving a constant menace to the Blue Brazil.
 
McInally's 3-5-2 system failed against Stranraer but his narrow diamond-shaped midfield with two strikers up front worked wonders against Cowdenbeath.
 
That said, the visitors had the first chance when Graeme Smith's poor pass went straight to Gordon Smith.  The goalkeeper did atone for his own mistake though by stretching out a hand to turn Smith's attempted lob behind for a corner.
 
From there, however, it was one-way traffic and McIntosh started the rout in the 16th minute.  The former Dundee man found space in the penalty area to nod home McAllister's delivery from the right.
 
Within seconds, Brown doubled Peterhead's lead.  McIntosh was again involved as Brown expertly sidefooted a low 16 yard effort inside the far post.
 
McAllister then clipped the top of the crossbar with an angled effort while, down the other end, Greig Spence saw a backheel smothered by Smith.
 
Peterhead's third goal arrived in the 32nd minute, Brown sweeping a rising left shot from just inside the box past Jamie Sneddon after more good work from McIntosh and McAllister.
 
There was still time for a fourth before the interval, as McIntosh raced on to Steven Noble's long ball forward and finished in a confident manner.   
 
Rather than their opponents, the only thing now stopping Peterhead picking up maximum points was the prospect of the floodlights failing.
 
Thankfully, other than a few flickers, that did not happen although the lights had long gone out on Cowdenbeath's challenge and McIntosh completed his hat-trick in the 55th minute with a near post strike to ensure he would be going home with the match ball.
 
Four minutes later, McAllister hammered in a well-taken sixth for Peterhead from Brown's lay-off and further chances came and went in a very one-sided contest.
 
Substitute Scott Ferries rounded off the scoring with a couple of minutes remaining following a neat move.  Andy Rodgers swivelled and played in McAllister, who squared for the youngster to tap in from a few yards out.
 
Same again next week please!
 
PETERHEAD XI
 
                    Smith
 
Blockley Ross Strachan Noble
   
                    Ferry
    Dzierzawski   Redman
                   Brown
 
       McAllister  McIntosh

Additional Info

  • Home Team Peterhead 7
  • Away Team Cowdenbeath 0
  • Win/Draw/Lost Win
  • Banner Sub Title McIntosh hat-trick in high-scoring win

Maybe not that big a surprise it finished honours even with Stranraer, as this was Peterhead's seventh draw of the League 1 season already.

Even less of a shock was that Rory McAllister scored their goal to cancel out Craig Malcolm's early penalty.  He's now netted 19 times this term, 11 in the league, 
 
In truth, this game will be remembered most for the faulty floodlights, which threatened to abandon the contest, although Blue Toon manager Jim McInally admitted his team did not function properly either.  
 
McInally said: "We were poor and I was so disappointed with the performance.  We are a gutsy enough team and I think that is why we have managed to draw some games but from the very start, we were never at it."
 
"We still had the best chances in the game but it was not good enough.  It was probably a good draw overall, with the lights flashing and how we played."
 
Changes in personnel and formation did not go to plan in a flat display and Stranraer took advantage to go in front with a 13th minute penalty.
 
Teenager Jassem Sukar was punished for pulling back Argentine striker Luciano Nequecaur in the box and Malcolm converted from the spot, despite Graeme Smith diving the right way.
 
McAllister curled a free-kick into the side-netting in the 31st minute after he was fouled by Ryan Thomson.  It was a decent attempt but he was more accurate with his next one just before half time.
 
Cammy Kerr was brought down by Liam Dick 22 yards from goal and this time McAllister opted for power. His well-struck low shot arrowed inside the far corner, although visiting goalkeeper David McGurn may feel he could have done better.
 
Peterhead threatened most down the right with Kerr delivering a couple of dangerous crosses early in the second half.  His first was narrowly missed by Andy Rodgers and McAllister, and then his second should have been finished off by McAllister, who missed the target with a back post effort.
 
Referee Craig Charleston was not a popular figure with the home fans in the first half for some of his decison-making, but the official does deserve credit for not hastily bringing a halt to proceedings when the floodlights began to dim in the second half.
 
On several occasions, he consulted with both managers over whether to continue the match.  They agreed to carry on, although had Stranraer not made such a long trip to the north east, Brian Reid's verdict might have been different.
 
Reid almost regretted his decision when Nathan Blockley rattled the woodwork with a fine 20 yard in the closing stages.  McGurn did not see it. Literally.
 
But it finished 1-1, which was probably fair given the circumstances.
 
PETERHEAD XI
 
SMITH
             
ROSS
GILCHRIST
SUKAR
       
KERR      
BLOCKLEY
DZIERZAWSKI
REDMAN
NOBLE 
               
MCALLISTER
RODGERS

Additional Info

  • Home Team Peterhead 1
  • Away Team Stranraer 1
  • Win/Draw/Lost Draw
  • Banner Sub Title Floodlights threaten to abandon game

A historic afternoon at Hampden saw Peterhead defeat Queen's Park to reach the Petrofac Training Cup final.

Never before have the Blue Toon reached a national final so this was an unforgettable day for the Blue Toon, who joined the Scottish Football League in 2000.
 
No surprise that Rory McAllister was on the scoresheet.  He's netted in every round so far including a famous five at Falkirk but the match-winner was Leighton McIntosh, who has a knack of coming up with important goals.
 
Now for a five month wait for the showpiece against opponents still to be confirmed and a venue yet to be decided.  Peterhead do know they will meet either Rangers at the national stadium or St Mirren at McDiarmid Park in April.
 
Manager Jim McInally told Peterheadfc.com: "It feels great to be in a final and I am so happy for the chairman and the directors and, of course, the supporters."
 
"We had a good number following us down to Hampden today and I hate disappointing people so I am glad they will have a good night tonight after this result."
 
"The team did not play particularly well and I had a right go at the lads at half time because I felt Queen's Park's shape was better than ours even though we were not troubled too much."
 
After losing three semi finals during his reign as Morton boss, this was fourth time lucky for McInally, whose team denied Queen's Park a first final in 115 years.
 
The Peterhead boss continued: "Semi-finals are only nice occasions if you win and although we were by no means at our best today, the players deserve so much credit for getting to a national final."
 
"When you think of all the clubs who started this competition in July, it is a great achievement and we look forward to playing either Rangers or St Mirren.  For the club financially, Rangers at Hampden would be fantastic but St Mirren in Perth would also be great." 
 
In front of a crowd of 917, McAllister broke the deadlock in the 17th minute with a free-kick.  The striker was fouled 22 yards from goal and smashed a low shot past Willie Muir and into the net.
 
Their lead lasted six minutes as Queen's Park drew level from the penalty spot.  Sean Burns was upended by Scott Ross and Paul Woods made no mistake from the spot.
 
However, McInally's men did not take long to restore their advantage and it was from another set-piece.  Kevin Dzierzawski whipped in a free-kick from the left and McIntosh fired in from a difficult angle from the opposite side.  
 
Jordon Brown almost made it three while Ryan McGeever, formerly on loan at Balmoor, went close for the Spiders with a header just before half time.
 
Gus MacPherson's League 2 team had a good spell at the start of the second period but Peterhead were never under too much pressure and Graeme Smith was rarely tested.
 
In fact, Brown had an opportunity to seal the win as the Blue Toon appeared content to soak up the pressure and hit their opponents on the counter attack.
 
Jamie McKernon gave the travelling fans a late scare with a well struck shot, which shaved the outside of the post but that was about as uncomfortable as it got.
 
Joe Bradley was then dismissed in stoppage time for speaking out of turn to referee Don Robertson, who blew his whistle seconds later to spark scenes of jubilation amongst the Peterhead faithful.
 
PETERHEAD XI
 
                       SMITH
 
STRACHAN SUKAR ROSS NOBLE
 
  REDMAN DZIERZAWSKI BROWN
 
MCINTOSH MCALLISTER RILEY

Additional Info

  • Home Team Queen's Park 1
  • Away Team Peterhead 2
  • Win/Draw/Lost Win
  • Banner Sub Title Blue Toon make Petrofac progress

No goals at East End Park but Peterhead manager Jim McInally reflected on a pleasing point and performance against Dunfermline, who missed the chance to return to the League 1 summit.

In fact, the Blue Toon might have come away from Fife with a victory had Leighton McIntosh's effort not come back off the upright, while Rory McAllister was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty after being bundled to the ground.

McInally told Peterheadfc.com: "It was a very good point."

"We were the better side and limited Dunfermline to few chances.  They never really carved us open and Graeme Smith did not have a lot to do, although he did make a good save from a free-kick late on."

"I felt we were unlucky when Rory was goal side of his marker and was pulled down.  Not only should it have been a penalty, it would have resulted in a red card because it was a last man challenge."

"But, anyway, the players did well against a team in good form and in front of a crowd of around 3,000." 

This was just the response McInally was after, following the Blue Toon's collapse in the 4-3 defeat to Stenhousemuir last Saturday.

Jassem Sukar was thrown straight into the team, 24 hours after completing a month's loan from Dundee Utd.  Scott Ferries was also handed a start, playing left of McAllister with McIntosh on the right flank in a 4-3-3 system.

McInally added: "To be honest, I did not know what to expect considering the deflation of last week.  When you lose a three goal lead and come away with nothing, it does affect you."

"I had to use the squad with several players unavailable. Ally Gilchrist, Jamie Stevenson and Nicky Riley were out and Cammy Kerr was suspended but I was still happy with the team I had out on the park."

"Jassem did well in his first game but I was pleased with all the players. They showed character after what happened last week and put in a good shift."

Meanwhile, Peterhead are waiting to learn the extent of a foot injury suffered by Simon Ferry, who was replaced by Jordon Brown early in the second half. 

PETERHEAD XI                                                                   

                    Smith

 Strachan  Ross  Sukar  Noble

  Ferry  Dzierzawski  Redman

  McIntosh  McAllister  Ferries

Additional Info

  • Home Team Dunfermline 0
  • Away Team Peterhead 0
  • Win/Draw/Lost Draw
  • Banner Sub Title goalless at East End Park

Peterhead threw away a three goal lead to leave Ochilview empty handed after Stenhousemuir produced an amazing turnaround.

Rory McAllister should have made the headlines for his superb first half hat-trick but instead it was veteran Jason Scotland, who stole the show after inspiring the Warriors fightback.

It seemed almost certain the points would head back to the north east given how the opening period panned out with McAllister, aided by Nicky Riley, running riot.

Riley took a great first touch to bomb away from his marker in the 13th minute and he squared for McAllister. The striker still had a lot to do as he shifted the ball on to his left foot and drove a low 18 yard shot inside the far corner.

When Stuart Malcolm fouled McAllister 20 yards out in the 31st minute, there were further problems for the hosts as the Peterhead talisman bent his free kick over the wall and into the net. 

Jamie Barclay might have done better although the goalkeeper did make amends with a stunning save from another McAllister free-kick in the second half.

The first half action was far from over though, with McAllister winning and converting a penalty in the 38th minute after more rash defending from Malcolm.

It looked three and easy for the Blue Toon but a Graeme Smith error two minutes from half time turned the match completely on its head.

His poor clearance landed for Colin McMenamin, who in fairness, still had an awful lot to do as he superbly lofted the ball from 35 yards over Smith's head and into an unguarded net.

From a Peterhead perspective, danger was beginning to be sensed when McMenamin's overhead kick was brilliantly kept out by Smith at the start of the second half and in the 59th minute, the hosts were right back in the contest.

The Blue Toon defence failed to clear the ball in the box and when it broke to Scotland, the 36 year old slotted home from close range to cut the deficit to one.

Alan Cook then glanced a header wide but it was not all one way traffic with McAllister going close with a curling effort from just outside the box and then he saw a shot cleared off the line by Jim Paterson after rounding the keeper.

However, Stenny were back on level terms in the 66th minute with the goal of the match from Scotland. The former Swansea man collected a pass 20 yards out and burst forward to unleash a fierce left foot shot which flew into the top corner.

There was not too much Peterhead could have done to prevent that piece of quality but the visitors were most definitely on the ropes and so it was not a huge shock that Stenny scored again two minutes later.

This time the goal was preventable as Kieran Millar waltzed through the defence to slot the ball past Smith from 10 yards.

Now trailing, a shellshocked Peterhead went all out attack in the closing stages with sub Leighton McIntosh posing problems with his pace and power.

Shane Sutherland was also introduced from the bench but Jim McInally's men could find no way through a defence, which had been so creaky before the break.

It turned out to be a very frustrating afternoon for the Blue Toon, summed up by Cammy Kerr's dismissal in stoppage time for a lunge on Fraser Eddington.

A nightmare for Peterhead on Halloween. 

 

Additional Info

  • Home Team Stenhousemuir 4
  • Away Team Peterhead 3
  • Win/Draw/Lost Loss
  • Banner Sub Title Rory's hat-trick in vain
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