Club News

The New Year started in positive fashion for the Blue Toon, after an injury time winner sealed a dramatic comeback against Elgin City, and extended the gap at the top of the League Two table to five points.

It gives Jim McInally’s men something of a buffer ahead of their rivals, but it was heavy weather against a City side whose battling qualities belied their league standing.

Indeed, Peterhead had to claw back the early deficit David Niven’s crisp strike had handed them. Graeme Sharp levelled before Jamie Redman netted in injury time to earn the home side the points.

With on-loan defender Reece Donaldson having been recalled by parent club Raith Rovers, Sharp’s inclusion after a hip injury was the only change to the side that had beaten Berwick Rangers and had not been defeated in the previous eight games.

But if Peterhead expected an easy ride against Ross Jack’s men, they were in for a rude awakening.

Although Andy Rodgers fired wide in the opening stages, and defender Jamie Duff sliced a Sharp cross narrowly beyond his own upright, the visitors took the lead after 13 minutes.

Paul Harkins’ inswinging corner from the left caused problems for the Blue Toon defence, and when Bryan Gilfillan was unable to stretch to clear Mark Nicolson’s knockdown, captain David Niven lashed high into the net from six yards.

Rory McAllister had scored five goals in his last two games, and he was inches away from connecting with Redman’s cross after 19 minutes.

Ryan McCann

The striker came close again when, after a neat exchange with Rodgers, he worked an opening but former Blue Toon goalkeeper Ray Jellema was equal to his effort.

McInally’s men were asserting themselves well at this stage, and Gilfillan will feel he should have done better after shooting wide from Sharp’s neat pass shortly before the interval.

A strong crowd of 737 had turned out on a relatively pleasant day, and they were rewarded as the two sides served up an entertaining start to the second half.
From end to end the play raged, and both sides looked equally capable of scoring – or indeed losing a goal.

There were no takers for Ryan McCann’s delightful pass across the six-yard box at one end, while Shane Sutherland really should have scored at the other after Craig Gunn had picked him out.

Graeme Smith in the Peterhead goal was a relieved man as Sutherland’s effort lacked the conviction required.

Another former Blue Toon man, Dennis Wyness, followed team-mate Duff into the book when he went down under the attentions of Dean Cowie. The midfielder hadn’t gotten too close to the ex-Aberdeen and Hearts man, though, and referee Mat Northcroft booked Wyness for a dive.

Harkins brought another fine stop out of Smith, before more good link-up play between strikers Rodgers and McAllister allowed the latter to curl an effort from the edge of the area towards goal. Jellema stood firm, though, and clutched the strike to his chest.

There was a sense a a goal was coming at one end or the other, and after 63 minutes, the net was indeed bulging – and Peterhead were level.

McAllister flicked Steven Noble’s throw into the path of Jamie Redman and he picked the perfect time to roll the ball into the path of right-back Sharp. His angled drive took a touch off Nicolson on the way in, but left Jellema well beaten.

The goal took the sting out the play to some extent, with Elgin starting to play more of a containing game, not committing too many forward for fear of losing what they had.

Peterhead’s hopes were dealt a blow when McAllister hobbled off with twenty minutes left, but his strike partner certainly stepped up to the mark

Rodgers chased down Smith’s long clearance on the left and cut inside Duff, resisting the opportunity to go down after the defender tugged his shirt, before curling towards goal with Jellema stretching out a hand to divert the effort away.

Jamie Redman celebrates

Rodgers is capable of the spectacular and it would have taken something in the vein of his stunning overhead kick against East Stirling to turn home Gilfillan’s ball two minutes from the end of regulation time. He threw himself at the ball, but couldn’t get the desired contact to test the goalkeeper.

More used to finding the net, the maverick hit-man had to settle for a supporting role in the winning goal.

It was a goal that typified the grit and determination that have put the Blue Toon in the position they are in. Two minutes into injury time and looking all set for a share of the spoils, captain Noble dispossessed Gunn, allowing Gilfillan to slip a ball forward.

McCann’s clever flick helped Rodgers get on the end of the pass, and Jamie Redman showed the heart of a lion to get in front of Paul McMullan and turn the ball home.
His energetic celebrations showed just what it meant to the hard-working midfielder, and his team-mates swamped him.

As if the ex-Brechin City man hadn’t made enough of a contribution, he ended the game with a black eye, having collided with team-mate Scott Ross as those in the blue shirts threw themselves in front of everything their opponents could send their way in the dying seconds.

It was tough and towsy at times, but effective, and the Blue Toon certainly earned their rewards.

PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Ryan McCann (Kevin Buchan, 90), Scott Ross, Dean Cowie, Andy Rodgers (Conner McGlinchey, 90), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Jordon Brown, 70), Bryan Gilfillan, Ryan Strachan. Subs not used: Greg Alexander, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: Gilfillan.

ELGIN CITY: Ray Jellema, David Niven, Paul McMullan, Sean Crighton, Jamie Duff, Mark Nicolson, Craig Gunn, Paul Harkins, Dennis Wyness, Shane Sutherland, Sam Urquhart. Subs not used: Ally McKenzie, Graeme Beveridge, Adam McLeod, Ross McKinnon, Connor McAulay, Stewart Black (gk).

Booked: Duff, Wyness, Gunn, Nicolson.

Attendance: 737

Additional Info

  • Home Team Peterhead 2
  • Away Team Elgin City 1
  • Win/Draw/Lost Win

A Supporters Trust-led initiative saw Berwick Rangers offer free entry to the last match of 2013, and the hospitality didn’t end there as Peterhead ran out 3-1 winners to open up a two-point gap over Clyde at the top of League Two.

Fresh from his hat-trick against Stirling Albion, Rory McAllister was again among the goals, netting a further two here to take his tally to five in a week, and 15 overall. Dean Cowie also netted for the Blue Toon.

Graeme Sharp missed out through injury and Jordon Brown dropped to the bench, meaning Ryan McCann started at right wing-back, with Bryan Gilfillan returning to the starting lineup in midfield.

McAllister had netted early against the Binos, and did the same here. Captain Steven Noble saw his corner from the right headed back in his direction, and his second cross was headed home by the Blue Toon’s top scorer.

The striker could have had a second when he worked his way in behind the home defence, only to lift his effort over the crossbar.

However Graeme Smith would be kept busy in the Peterhead goal, and he did well to deny Scott Dalziel from a Devon Jacobs cross.

The goalkeeper denied Darren Lavery and then Dalziel again before Andy Rodgers forced home goalkeeper Billy Bald into a point-blank save with his feet.

But the Berwick pressure paid off a minute before the interval, when they drew level. Dalziel flicked on a Jacobs throw, and Steven Notman took full advantage to rifle his side level.

Smith had to beat away Lee Currie’s driven free-kick shortly after the interval, but Peterhead were back in front just after the hour mark.

Again it was McAllister who found the net, curling a superb 25-yard free-kick beyond the helpless Bald and into the corner of the net.

The home side perhaps should have levelled as Ross Gray somehow managed to divert Kenny O’Brien’s cross onto the crossbar rather than into the net, but the outcome was put beyond doubt as the tireless Cowie seized on a poor back-header and drilled home the third.

McAllister was on the hunt for a second consecutive hat-trick, but he was denied by the goalkeeper in the dying stages as the Blue Toon took advantage of Clyde only drawing to move two points clear at the top of the table.

BERWICK RANGERS: Billy Bald, Devon Jacobs, Damon Gielty, Mick Dunlop, Dean Hoskins, Darren Currie, Kenny O’Brien, Steven Notman, Scott Dalziel, Darren Lavery (Dean Carse, 88), Ross Gray (Josh Morris, 80). Subs no used: Jonathan Fairburn, Ben Miller, Owen Ronald, Paul Grant (gk).

Booked: Gielty

PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith, Ryan McCann, Steven Noble, Reece Donaldson, Scott Ross, Dean Cowie, Andy Rodgers (Fraser McLaren, 64), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Bryan Gilfillan (Jordon Brown, 77), Ryan Strachan. Subs not used: Conner McGlinchey, Kevin Buchan, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: Ross, Cowie.

Attendance: 778

Additional Info

  • Home Team Berwick Rangers 1
  • Away Team Peterhead 3
  • Win/Draw/Lost Win

Peterhead moved back to the top of the table, albeit on goal-difference, after overcoming Stirling Albion at Balmoor thanks to Rory McAllister’s stunning hat-trick.

McAllister was back in the side after injury, and led his side to a 3-1 victory against a Binos side who lost on-loan Rangers man Luca Gasparotto to a red card with 19 minutes remaining.

McAllister’s return in place of Ryan McCann was the sole change from the side that had drawn with Albion Rovers a week previously, and the former Brechin City man wasted no time in making his mark.

After just four minutes Jamie Bishop, who had a brief loan spell at Peterhead two seasons ago, made a mess of dealing with Graeme Sharp’s long ball forward, and McAllister breezed in to take advantage. He clipped a glorious shot over goalkeeper David Crawford and into the far corner of the net from a tight angle.

McAllister opens the scoring

It was a fine start for the Blue Toon, and they should have been further ahead when Crawford could only parry a McAllister shot and Sharp reacted swiftly to send the ball back towards goal – only for the desperate challenge of Kieran McAnespie to deny the wing-back.

A minute later McAnespie took a free-kick in the midfield area, but spotting Graeme Smith slightly off his line, attempted to beat the goalkeeper from 45 yards. Smith, though, was equal to the effort and pushed it away for a corner.

McAnespie tried his luck again from more conventional range just before the half-hour. His 25-yard effort cleared the crossbar.

But Peterhead would be 2-0 up after 33 minutes. Andy Rodgers was the provider, his pass over the top allowing McAllister to get in behind the home defence. Crawford had to come off his line to narrow the angle, but the striker rolled the ball past him and into the far corner of the net.

Into the second half, and the gloves of Crawford were warmed by Reece Donaldson’s 20-yard striker after the Binos defence had only partially dealt with Ryan Strachan’s free kick.

The goalkeeper was in action again just a minute later, twice denying Rodgers after McAnespie had failed to cut out a Smith clearance.

But the Binos were back in it after 55 minutes. McAnespie, who was largely impressive in his left-back role, made good progress down the left and took advantage of a generous ricochet to send in a cross to the near post.

Scott Ross was well placed to head away, but his clearance fell kindly to Ross Forsyth on the edge of the area, and he drilled a low shot past a helpless Smith and into the far corner. Game on.

Jamie Redman was unlucky to head wide at the back post after McAllister had flicked on a Steven Noble corner while, at the other end, teenager Alex Cunningham was denied by smith following good hold-up play from Jordan White.

The visitors had a penalty claim turned down when David Weatherston skipped past the challenge of substitute McCann before being blocked off by Strachan just inside the area. Referee Bobby Madden saw Strachan’s challenge as fair.

Rodgers saw his header from McAllister’s cross come off the upright just moments later, and then there WAS a penalty awarded. There was no doubting this one. Smith’s log clearance brought down superbly by Rodgers, before he was brought down somewhat more clumsily by Gasparotto.

McAllister celebrates his hat-trick

Had it not been for the intervention of the on-loan Rangers man, Rodgers would have had only the goalkeeper to beat, so there could be no complaints when the red card was produced.

McAllister stepped up, and though Crawford came close after diving the correct way, the ball nestled in the back of the net to hand the striker the match-ball, and Peterhead another vital three points.

PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith, Graeme Sharp (Ryan McCann, 56), Steven Noble, Reece Donaldson, Scott Ross, Dean Cowie, Andy Rodgers (Fraser McLaren, 73), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Jordon Brown (Bryan Gilfillan, 58), Ryan Strachan. Subs not used: Conner McGlinchey, Kevin Buchan, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: None

STIRLING ALBION: David Crawford, David McClune, Kieran McAnespie, Ross Forsyth, Jamie Bishop, Luca Gasparotto, Phil Johnston, Dale Fulton (Mark Ferry, 45), Jordan White, Alex Cunningham (Stephen Day. 75), David Weatherson. Subs not used: Ross McGeachie, Blair Munn, Jamie Clark, Callum Reidford (gk).

Booked: None. Sent off: Gasparotto.

Attendance: 521

Additional Info

  • Home Team Peterhead 3
  • Away Team Stirling Albion 1
  • Win/Draw/Lost Win

Peterhead were knocked off the top of the table after they could only secure a draw in a game played in farcical weather conditions.

With winds and rain so strong that referee Billy Baxter only gave the match the go-ahead half an hour before kick-off, there was not much on offer in terms of a spectacle, until Rovers took the lead in the dying stages through Mark McGuigan.

The Blue Toon’s response was almost instant, though the wind played a role in Ryan McCann netting direct from a corner.

There were three changes to the side that had beaten Clyde at Broadwood last week, and they were all enforced. Striker Rory McAllister, midfielder Bryan Gilfillan and defender Craig Tully all missed out, and were replaced by McCann, Jordon Brown and Ryan Strachan respectively.

Fraser McLaren was also unavailable, and with Dean Richardson on the long term injured list following an accident last weekend, there were only four substitutes available to Jim McInally.

The visitors had the benefit of the wind first, and Graeme Smith had to be on constant alert, Ciaran Donnelly the first to threaten with a shot from outside the area which Smith handled confidently.

Keeping the ball on the deck was the only way to play against the wind and when Steven Noble’s run was brought to an end by the challenge of Mark McGuigan on the edge of the box, Graeme Sharp sent the loose ball towards goal but a deflection took the ball straight into the arms of Neil Parry.

But with the wind blowing towards the Balmoor Terrace end, Rovers were a constant threat. Alan Reid tried his luck from distance, before both McGuigan and Liam Cusack tested Smith and were met with steely resistance.

Ryan McCann

Cusack would test Smith again after 33 minutes, his cross from the right blown towards goal and forcing Smith to push over the crossbar.

But the Blue Toon came closest yet to breaking the deadlock shortly before the interval. Andy Rodgers slipped in McCann whose shot had Parry well beaten, but came off the crossbar.

After the turnaround, it was the home side who began to push forward in droves. Just five minutes into the second period, Jamie Redman flicked on a Smith clearance for Rodgers who worked space but saw his curling effort pushed away by Parry.

Just before the hour, a delivery from Sharp found captain Noble at the back post, but the former Stranraer man could only send his header into the side netting.

But against the run of play, it was James Ward’s side who took the lead.

Barry Russell cut out a Strachan pass and sent Cusack away. He played in McGuigan on the right side of the penalty area, and the on-loan Partick Thistle striker took a touch before angling low into the far corner of the net.

The lead lasted just three minutes, though and the conditions undoubtedly played a part as former Queen of the South midfielder McCann found the net. His inswinging corner from the left was caught by a strong gust, and left Parry helpless as the ball sailed beyond him and into the net.

Elsewhere, Clyde beat Montrose 2-0 to climb back to the top of the table, two points ahead of the Blue Toon ahead of the festive period.

PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Reece Donaldson, Scott Ross, Dean Cowie, Andy Rodgers, Jamie Redman, Ryan McCann, Jordon Brown (Kevin Buchan, 81), Ryan Strachan. Subs not used: Conner McGlinchey, Jack Tait, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: Brown.

ALBION ROVERS: Neil Parry, Alan Reid, Ross Dunlop, Barry Russell, Ciaran Donnelly, Mick Dunlop, Liam Cusack, Scott Chaplain, Mark McGuigan, Chris Dallas (Ryan Tiffney, 88), Gary Phillips. Subs not used:David Crawford, Josh Flood, Martin McGuire, Kevin Nicoll, Matt McGinley (gk).

Attendance: 423

Additional Info

  • Home Team Peterhead 1
  • Away Team Albion Rovers 1
  • Win/Draw/Lost Draw
Tue 10 Dec 2013

Clyde 1 Peterhead 3

Peterhead leapt back to the top of the League Two table after a convincing victory over previous incumbents, Clyde.

The Blue Toon overcame injuries suffered by Rory McAllister and Bryan Gilfillan to run out 3-1 winners, Andy Rodgers bagging a double and Reece Donaldson grabbing his first Peterhead goal, with winger Scott Ferguson replying for the home side.

With Jim McInally's side in fine form, it was an unchanged side that lined up for the third game in  succession, meaning Ryan Strachan had to be content on the bench after making his comeback from injury as a substitute against Montrose.

And they got off to a fine start, taking the lead after just nine minutes. Steven Noble intercepted Ferguson’s flick-on and sent a ball forward to Gilfillan on the left.

Familiar to the Broadwood faithful after a short spell with Clyde last season, Gilfillan sent a left-footed ball up the inside-left channel for Rodgers, who cooly slid the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Nik Rajovic.

The lead lasted only two minutes, though Keiran MacDonald’s pass picked out the run of Stef McCluskey, and he sent the ball wide right to Ferguson.

The 18-year old was played on-side by Craig Tully, and he showed composure beyond his years to replicate Rodgers’ feat in nutmegging the goalkeeper.

Peterhead were back in front just a couple of minutes later. Graeme Sharp’s cross from the right didn’t look to be posing any real threat, but Rodgers got a touch just inside the area to loop a header over the despairing Rajovic and into the net.

The striker waged a one-man war on the home defence in the first half, and he clipped the crossbar when he took advantage of a generous ricochet off David Marsh to lift a shot beyond Rajovic.

McAllister was forced off after 34 minutes with a hamstring injury and his replacement, Fraser McLaren, should have put the Blue Toon out of sight. He was played in by Rodgers, but placed his shot wide of the target with just the goalkeeper to beat.

But it was 3-1 when Donaldson took full advantage of Rajovic’s flap at a Sharp corner, to turn over the line from close range. The on-loan Raith man simply couldn’t miss from little more than a yard out, but the goalkeeper will not want to see the goal again for quite some time.

At the other end, Graeme Smith was called into action, diving to his left to beat away John Sweeney’s sweetly struck volley after Dean Cowie had headed away MacDonald’s long throw from the left.

CLYDE: Nik Rajovic, Iain Gray (Gavin Brown, 67), Keiran MacDonald, Giuseppe Capuano, David Marsh, Brian McQueen, Scott Ferguson, John Sweeney, Pat Scullion (Michael Daly, 63), Stef McCluskey, Stuart McColm. Subs not used: Kevin Watt, Ryan Frances, Ryan McBeth, Grant Dickie, Chris Shaw (gk).

PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Reece Donaldson, Scott Ross, Dean Cowie, Andy Rodgers, Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister (Fraser McLaren, 34), Bryan Gilfillan (Jordon Brown, 46), Craig Tully (Ryan Strachan,60). Subs not used: Ryan McCann, Dean Richardson, Kevin Buchan, Ewen MacDonald (gk).

Booked: Ross, Brown, Donaldson.

Attendance: 498

Additional Info

  • Home Team Clyde 1
  • Away Team Peterhead 3
  • Win/Draw/Lost Win
Sat 30 Nov 2013

Peterhead 3 Montrose 0

The Blue Toon climbed to the top of League Two as they beat Montrose to take full advantage of the reduced league programme caused by other sides being on Scottish Cup duty.

Rory McAllister had a hand in all three goals, netting the first from a free-kick he had won for himself, before turning provider as Fraser McLaren steered home the second.

Substitute McLaren reversed roles with McAllister as he crossed for the striker to cushion a volley past Montrose’s former Cove Rangers goalkeeper Stuart McKenzie to put the icing on the cake.

Following the 5-0 win over Queen’s Park last Saturday, it was an unchanged Peterhead side that lined up, meaning Craig Tully retained his place alongside Scott Ross and on-loan Reece Donaldson in defence.

There was room on the bench for Ryan Strachan, the midfielder having missed much of the season so far with a knee injury, and he would ultimately make his return from the bench when he replaced Tully after an hour.

Montrose started with six players who once plied their trade at Balmoor. Defenders Stephen McNally and Jon Crawford, midfielders Paul Watson and Graham Webster, in-form striker Bryan Deasley and utility man Gary Wood were those in question.

In common with all games across the country, kick-off was preceded by a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the tragic helicopter crash in Glasgow last night.

Scott Ross challenges Montrose's Scott Johnston

Once we got underway, it was a relatively tame opening period, with the two sides cancelling each other out before McKenzie became the first goalkeeper to be tested, dealing confidently with Jamie Redman’s volley after 15 minutes.

For the most part, the visitors would be reduced to efforts from distance, and that was the case when Watson’s 25-yard free-kick saw Graeme Smith scramble across his goal to push the strike round the post. And he had to, as the 28-year old’s shot was destined for the top corner.

Scott Ross challenges Montrose's Scott Johnston

Ten minutes later, Graeme Sharp’s right wing cross fell to McAllister at the back post, but the striker saw his effort flash across the face of goal without troubling McKenzie.

The pair combined again, Sharp this time popping up on the left to deliver a tantalising cross towards the head of the striker. McAllister got his angles wrong though, and the ball ended wide of the target after coming off his shoulder.

The striker had one more chance before the interval, sending a free-kick fizzing over the bar from 20 yards.

And the Blue Toon continued to push forward after the interval. Just three minutes after the break, captain Steven Noble crossed from the left for Andy Rodgers, but having scored four goals in his last three games, Rodgers couldn’t direct his back-post head-flick on target.

Just after the hour, Montrose midfielder Terry Masson saw a deflected shot beaten away by Smith, but Peterhead were soon in front.

McAllister used all his experience to tempt former team-mate Wood into a foul 20 yards from goal, which saw the Montrose man booked. The Blue Toon’s top scorer lined up the set-piece, and drilled a low shot, arrow-straight into the bottom corner.

McLaren replaced Rodgers straight away, and almost immediately added the second goal. McAllister turned provider, timing his run nicely to beat the offside trap and cut the ball back for his new strike-partner at the back post. McLaren opened his foot up, and steered home.

Fraser McLaren takes the plaudits for his goal

McKenzie again saved comfortably from McAllister, before Masson saw Smith push another effort from outside the area over the before McAllister rounded off the scoring ten minutes from time.

McLaren was the creator this time, swinging in a cross from the right wing. It was judged perfectly for McAllister, and the ex-Brechin man side-footed home a neat volley, his tenth goal of the campaign.

So, three points and a second successive clean sheet move the Balmoor side to the top of the table on goal difference from Clyde and with the recent return to fitness of both Ross and Strachan, things are starting to fall into place for Jim McInally’s men ahead as the season nears the half-way point.

PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Reece Donaldson, Scott Ross, Dean Cowie, Andy Rodgers (Fraser McLaren, 66), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Bryan Gilfillan (Jordon Brown, 74), Craig Tully (Ryan Strachan, 60). Subs not used: Dean Richardson, Ryan McCann, Kevin Buchan, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: Tully, Cowie.

MONTROSE: Stuart McKenzie, Stephen McNally, Ricky McIntosh, Jon Crawford, Gary Wood, Ross McCord, Terry Masson, Paul Watson, Scott Johnston, Bryan Deasley, Graham Webster (Keiron Sturrock, 75). Subs not used: David Gray, Colin Wilson, Alan Campbell, Craig Bell, Sandy Wood (gk).

Booked: Crawford, G.Wood.

Attendance: 473

Additional Info

  • Home Team Peterhead 3
  • Away Team Montrose 0
  • Win/Draw/Lost Win
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