Club News

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

The Blue Toon belatedly recorded their first clean sheet of the season against Queen’s Park, but the real story was at the other end, where ruthless finishing saw them put five past Spiders goalkeeper Lucas Birnstingl.

Andy Rodgers led the way, netting either side of Graeme Sharp’s first goal of the season. Bryan Gilfillan notched the fourth, and Rory McAllister rounded out the scoring six minutes from time.

On-loan Raith Rovers man Reece Donaldson continued after impressing on his debut last Saturday, but played to the left of Craig Tully in the back three, accommodating the return of Scott Ross on the right.

That meant Dean Richardson dropped to the bench, with captain Steven Noble restored to his more familiar left wing-back position. Dean Cowie returned to the midfield in place of Jordon Brown.

The Blue Toon were on the front foot almost from the off, but it took 25 minutes for the first goal to arrive.

When it did, though, it was worth the wait. Rodgers has clearly found focus and form in recent weeks, and from Sharp’s left-wing corner, he peeled away from his marker at the front post, before deftly flicking beyond goalkeeper Lucas Birnstingl.

It was 2-0 eight minutes from the interval. Sean Burns lost out under the pressure of Donaldson and Jamie Redman, allowing Sharp to pick up the ball ten yards inside his own half.

Andy Rodgers

He played a pass into the feet of Rodgers, before Dean Cowie slipped a superb ball back into the path of Sharp, who had continued his run down the right. The wing-back steadied himself before sliding a low shot under the goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net from 15 yards.

The amateur side had struggled to put Graeme Smith’s goal under any pressure in the first half, but David Gold did his best to change that as he picked the pocket of Gilfillan on the touchline before sending a shot narrowly wide of the target.

The Blue Toon have a tradition of netting superb goals at the National Stadium, and that was to continue as Rodgers curled home the third.

The ball broke kindly for the ex-Falkirk striker after Redman’s black-tackle on Michael Keenan, and from the left-corner of the area, he sent a superb effort beyond a helpless Birnstingl.

The goalkeeper had been helpless for the three goals so far, but was found wanting when Gilfillan bagged Peterhead’s fourth of the afternoon.

The Canadian raced from his line to clear Donaldson’s high ball away from the head of the ruthless Rodgers, but didn’t get enough on his punch and left Gilfillan with the simplest of tasks to find the net from 15 yards.

Smith was called into action to turn away Blair Spittal’s low strike, but the Toon were to go nap with six minutes remaining.

Cowie was again involved, seizing upon Bernard Coll’s loose pass before playing a neat reverse into the path of McAllister, who held his run to beat the offside trap, and steered low across the goalkeeper, for his eighth goal of the campaign.

The three points lift Peterhead to within a point of the playoff places, and just three points from the summit of League Two.

QUEEN’S PARK: Lucas Birnstingl, David Gold, Bernard Coll, Ross Fisher, Ricki Lamie (Scott Gibson, 84), Michael Keenan, Liam Gormley, David Anderson, Tony Quinn (Lee Davison, 67), Blair Spittal, Sean Burns (Thomas Collins, 46). Subs not used: Paul Gallacher, Connor McVey, Shaun Rooney, Blair Lochhead (gk).

Booked: Lamie.

PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith, Graeme Sharp, Steven Noble, Reece Donaldson (Dean Richardson, 80), Scott Ross, Dean Cowie, Andy Rodgers (Fraser McLaren, 68), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Bryan Gilfillan (Jordon Brown, 63), Craig Tully. Subs not used: Ryan McCann, Kevin Buchan, Conner McGlinchey, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: Gilfillan, Donaldson, Ross.

Attendance: 447

Additional Info

  • Home Team Queen's Park 0
  • Away Team Peterhead 5
  • Win/Draw/Lost Win

The Blue Toon finally ended a run of four games without a win to take full points from the Highland Derby, and they did so in some style.

Andy Rodgers got the ball rolling, and Rory McAllister hit a sixty-second double before Dean Cowie struck from 40-yards. The win was all but sealed, but Elgin notched a brace of late goals toput through Craig Gunn and Sam Urquhart to add an air of respectability to the scoreline.

Gunn was one of three one-time Balmoor men in the Elgin lineup, along with keeper Ray Jellema and fellow striker Dennis Wyness.

It was a much changed Peterhead side that lined up. Coach Craig Tully came into a defence that has not kept a clean sheet this term, and Jamie Redman was used as an auxiliary centre-back in a 3-5-2 formation.

McAllister (obscured) watches his first goalbeat Ray Jellema

Dean Richardson continued on the left after making his first Blue Toon start against Annan in midweek, while Rodgers was paired with McAllister in attack after serving a suspension for his bizarre red card against Clyde.

The first chance fell to McAllister, the striker lining up an effort after Rodgers had knocked down a Sharp cross, but blazing over the crossbar.

The pair reversed roles for the opening goal midway through the first half.

Redman’s header out of defence found Cowie on the halfway line, and his lofted pass released McAllister on the left. The Blue Toon’s top scorer unselfishly squared, and Rodgers gleefully turned home from eight yards.

Elgin’s attempts to draw level saw David Niven hold off the attentions of Jordon Brown before sliding a neat ball into the path of Wyness, only for Peterhead captain Steven Noble to block for a corner.

Paul Harkins’ delivery was met by Jamie Duff, but the central defender’s effort was well over the crossbar.

The Blue Toon remained 1-0 up at the interval, but doubled their lead after 47 minutes, and how simple it was.

It started with a chance for Harkins, whose low shot was mopped up easily by Graeme Smith in the Peterhead goal. The goalkeeper’s long clearance bounced and allowed McAllister to race inside Mark Nicolson and lob Jellema from an awkward angle.

A minute later, it was 3-0 and McAllister had claimed his double. From the restart, the ball was played back to Nicolson, who made a real hash of his touch, and with three touches, the ball was in the net.

Rodgers stroked into the path of McAllister, who took a touch before drilling a low 20-yard shot beyond his former team-mate Jellema, and to surely end the game as a contest.

If the third goal had seen Elgin cause their own problems, the fourth was nothing but suicide. Richardson’s cross from the left was beyond the reach of McAllister, and seemed to pose no great danger to the home defence.

Jellema had other ideas though, racing out of his area to fly headlong into a clearing header. All well and good, but the ball fell perfectly for Cowie, 40 yards from goal, who sent a first-time volley into the net.

It was a beautifully-struck effort, and with just 52 minutes on the clock there was every chance Peterhead could run riot.

Indeed, McAllister was denied his hat-trick by the crossbar. After racing onto Cowie’s pass down the right channel, he cut inside but saw his clipped effort come back off the woodwork.

The home side grabbed what seemed a consolation with five minutes left when Nicolson swept the ball into the area following a corner, and Gunn brought the ball down before turning and firing low into the net from six yards.

They notched again in injury time, Urquhart rising to head in a route-one free-kick from substitute Ross McKinnon, but it was too little too late for Ross Jack’s men, and the Blue Toon headed back east with three points.

ELGIN CITY: Ray Jellema, David Niven, Paul McMullan, Graeme Beveridge (Sam Urquhart, 59), Jamie Duff, Paul Harkins, Craig Gunn, Mark Nicolson, Dennis Wyness (Ross McKinnon, 80), Shane Sutherland, Ally McKenzie (Daryl McHardy, 69). Subs not used: Dachi Kutsishvili, Antonio Vastano, Stuart Black (gk).

PETERHEAD: Graeme Smith, Graeme Sharp, Dean Richardson (Conner McGlinchey, 68), Steven Noble, Craig Tully, Dean Cowie, Andy Rodgers (Ryan McCann, 66), Jamie Redman, Rory McAllister, Jordon Brown, Bryan Gilfillan (Kevin Buchan, 84). Subs not used: Ryan McGeever, Jack Tait, Paul Jarvie (gk).

Booked: Tully, Gilfillan.

Attendance: 622.

Additional Info

  • Home Team Elgin City 2
  • Away Team Peterhead 4
  • Win/Draw/Lost Win
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