Club News

Emma

Emma

Sat 22 Feb 2020

Peterhead 0 Airdrie 2

Peterhead          0

Airdrie                 2

Ryan (46 pen), Thomson (83)

 

For a third time this season a penalty helped Airdrie pick up a win over Peterhead with the Diamonds leaving Balmoor with the three points after securing a 2-0 win.

New loan recruit Luc Bollan started at the heart of the home defence after manager Jim McInally was forced to change his line-up close to kick-off for a second game running when Scott Hooper pulled out after being ill,

Airdrie had the first chance of the game on seven minutes when Innes Murray created space for a shot however he sent his effort wide,

Six minutes later the Blue Toon should have scored when a Ryan Conroy free-kick was only pushed out to Jason Brown but the defender saw both his attempts to force the ball over the line blocked.

Midway through the opening half Bollan had a header saved before Conroy miscued a shot wide after being set-up by Simon Ferry.

Just before the break the Lanarkshire side came close with a header from Paul McKay that climbed over the bar.

At the start of the second half a fine move ended when Jack Leitch had a shot saved however Airdrie raced to the other end and were awarded a penalty when Ferry was judged to have fouled Callum Smith.

It was a soft award however that did not trouble Andy Ryan who swept home the spot-kick

As the Blue Toon searched for an equaliser Leitch created space for a shot however it was saved by Scott Gallacher.

Steven Boyd was brought on for Conroy in a bid to increase Peterhead’s attacking options with 59 minutes gone and ten minutes later Scott Brown sent in a half-volley that Gallacher was also equal to.

Jamie Stevenson and Derek Lyle were also introduced from the bench however the game was taken further out of Peterhead’s hands when Airdrie substitute Craig Thomson grabbed a second goal on the counter-attack with seven minutes left.

Peterhead – Fleming, J Brown, Eadie (Stevenson 71), Bollan, Boyle, Ferry, S Brown, Fraser (Lyle 78),

Conroy (Boyd 59), Leitch, Smith

Unused substitutes – Cook, Ferguson, Wilson (G/k).

Airdrie manager Ian Murray is hoping that his Diamonds sparkle against Peterhead at Balmoor and pick up a third win of the season over their hosts.

Murray said: “We have won twice against Peterhead this season 2-1 however I do not feel that we have played that well in either game. Both games have been very, very tight and whilst I would settle for the same outcome this time, I would like us to play better.”

“In the last meeting at our place we scored very early and also got a penalty before Scott Brown scored a good goal just before half-time. That set up a very tight second half and I was delighted with how we came through it.”

“It would be good to show Peterhead how good a team we can be as they are a good side and we cannot rely on just squeezing past them.”

The Lanarkshire side sit third in the table, four points behind leaders Raith Rovers, and go into the game on the back of a 2-0 success over Clyde with Murray adding: “I was delighted with last Saturday’s win. The week before we played well in awful conditions at Dumbarton however we could not get a goal.”

“I was pleased with how we are able to build on that display but get ahead and stay ahead against Clyde. When we were two up we put in a very controlled performance and I will look for the same at Balmoor.”

Team News

Sean Crighton returns to action for the Diamonds however Adam Eckersley, Dale Carrick and Pat Pyott remain out injured.

Our thanks go match Sponsor R D Buchan and Sons

 

Peterhead manager Jim McInally has told his players to be respectful of visitors Airdrie but not to be afraid of the Diamonds. The Lanarkshire side sit third in the table, four places above the Blue Toon, and have won the two games between the sides this season and whilst Airdrie deserve respect for those achievements Peterhead should not feel inferior insists the Balmoor manager.

Jim said: “The two games with Airdrie have been very close. They have come away with the full points but if they had been draws or wins to us then I do not think anyone could have complained as we had long spells on top in both games. The first game was decided by a penalty from a tackle that one of our players did not have to make and the second was decided by a penalty that was never a penalty.”

“We respect Airdrie as a team full of good players but we should not feel inferior to them we simply should be looking at ways to make sure we get the goals that win the game this time.”

“We come into this one on the back of a 1-0 defeat at East Fife in a game where we were very good for one half and then very average for the second. We have to put in a 90-minute performance to get something from this one.”

The weather could be a factor in the game with Jim adding: “From the reports we have had the wind is due from one side of the pitch to the other which is different to other recent games where the wind has been blowing from one end to the other.”

 

Team News

On-loan Aberdeen defender Luc Bollan is added to the Peterhead squad who are looking for their first win of the season against visitors Airdrie. David Ferguson and Jamie Stevenson are available after knocks however the Blue Toon have major fitness doubts over Alan Cook, Andrew McCarthy and Ben Armour.

 

Entry Prices

Ground – Adult £14, Concession £7, Child Free Of Charge
Stand – Adult £16, Concession £9, Child £2

Where you will find us
Peterhead Football Club Ltd
Balmoor Stadium, Balmoor Terrace, Peterhead  AB42 1EQ

All fans are welcome in the recently refurbished Social Club Bar and the 'Coffee Shop at Balmoor' before and after the game

 

On-line Match Day Programme

Aberdeen defender Luc Bollan is in line for a quick-fire debut after joining Peterhead on loan this week after Blue Toon defender David Ferguson picked up a knock in training.

The Dons were keen for the former Dundee United centre back to add to the first team experience he picked up last season at Cowdenbeath and they look set to get their wish in tomorrow’s game with Airdrie at Balmoor.

Peterhead manager Jim McInally said: “David injured his thigh on Tuesday night and is a major doubt for this weekend’s game. Luc did not train with our squad this week as he had a game with Aberdeen’s reserves and in those circumstances, I may not have started him.”

“However, fate could take us in a different direction and make Luc’s arrival all the timelier.”

Peterhead’s new loan recruit Luc Bollan did not train with his new colleagues on Tuesday night as he has been playing for the Reserve team of parent club Aberdeen however he popped into the Blue Toon’s session at Dundee’s Caird Park to introduce himself.

The 19 year old former Dundee United centre back was a transfer target for Peterhead during the summer however he opted to continue his development with the Dons and now Bollan is looking to add to the first team experience he picked up with the Tannadice side as well as during a loan spell with Cowdenbeath.

Bollan, who is the son of Blue Brazil boss Gary, has signed up until the end of the season with Balmoor manager Jim McInally saying: “Luc had a game on Tuesday afternoon so he was excused from training however he wanted to come in and meet the players. Some of them knew him as he played against us last season for Cowdenbeath but there were others that were new to him.”

“It is a win-win situation for everyone involved as we get another player in our pool and Luc has the chance to gain great experience which he and Aberdeen will benefit from. He is in my plans for Airdrie this weekend.”

Peterhead have called on their fans and football supporters across the north-east to support the fund-raising activities of former Blue Toon striker Martin Johnston.

The now 41-year-old started his career at Cove Rangers before joining up at Balmoor in 2000 and played over 100 times before returning to Cove and then having stints at Elgin and Brechin.

The Kingswells based Johnston was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in 2018 and along with wife Jenny and children Calum and Sophie he is looking to raise funds for My Name’5 Doddie foundation which is raising awareness and funding for research into MND.

Goal-grabber Johnston said: “The family chose to undertake the 5k Gung-Ho event at Castle Fraser on the 16th May 2020 and since then over 40 family and friends have also agreed to undertake the challenge which includes overcoming some rather large inflatable obstacles.”

“Doddie is a huge inspiration to me as I fight this disease with a positive outlook and determination."

"I am very proud of my children for coming up with such a great idea for fundraising and for all their friends for agreeing to join them for a day of fun. If anyone would like to contribute something, however little, their support would be very much appreciated.

Club chairman Rodger Morrison said: “We were saddened to hear of Martin’s illness and we are liaising with his friends and family with a view to raising awareness and fundraising. We would urge all football fans to support the Doddie5 Weir fund.”

Martin added: “Thank you very much to Peterhead Football Club for their support and for highlighting our fundraising event for My Name'5 Doddie.”

“I have so many happy memories of my time at the club and made so many friends who are still close friends to this day. It's great to know I have the club supporting me and my family at this time.”

“We are very grateful.”

The club’s General Manager of the same name, Martin Johnston added: “Martin made 156 appearances for Peterhead, scoring 62 goals and along with Ian Stewart is the third highest scorer for the club since joining the Scottish League.”

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kingswells-gung-ho

Peterhead boss Jim McInally has praised full back Paddy Boyle for his performance against East Fife’s ‘jet-paced’ Callumn Morrison at the weekend.

The on-loan Hearts youngster was thrown on for the final 23 minutes in Saturday’s game between the clubs and 32-year-old Boyle did not allow Morrison to create any danger.

Boyle also got forward as the Blue Toon tried to recover from a goal down with an impressed McInally saying: “Callumn has great pace and a fair bit of experience and the East Fife manager Darren Young cleverly brought him on to try and take advantage of us throwing people forward.”

“It was a concern however Paddy was fantastic against him. He used all his experience and tracked him wherever he went. He snuffed out the danger Callumn was creating and showed any youngster watching what good full-back play was all about.”

“Paddy also helped us go forward but unfortunately we could not get an equaliser.”

Peterhead manager Jim McInally's determined search to bring in a defender to replace Mick Dunlop who headed to Hurlford Juniors on loan last month is set to end in success.

After a couple of false starts a loan deal has been agreed with a Premiership club with the player also agreeing to a move to the Blue Toon to gain further first team experience.

The paperwork has not yet been completed so futher details will be announced when it has.

East Fife              1

Dowds (22)

Peterhead          0

An afternoon of frustration for Peterhead on and off the park ended in a 1-0 defeat at East Fife. Before the game started there was a change made in the Peterhead line-up with Simon Ferry being replaced by Gary Fraser with manager Jim McInally unhappy at having to drop his player/ coach who could not even take a place on the bench.

A free-kick from the Fifers Scott Agnew on four minutes was the first effort on goal however Greg Fleming saved his effort.

Peterhead raced to the other end and Derek Lyle picked out Jack Leitch with a deft cross however the midfielder sent his header from six yards over the bar.

The hosts got their noses in front midway through the opening half when Agnew sent Anton Dowds clear on goal and the striker kept his composure to slide the ball under the advancing Fleming.

Peterhead recovered well from that set-back and were denied an equaliser just after the half hour mark when Brett Long blocked a shot from Fraser.

Another chance for the visitors went unconverted six minutes before the interval when Lyle fired just wide.

Early in the second half former Arbroath attacker Danny Denholm sent a shot past Fleming’s goal with the Blue Toon shot-stopper excelling on 67 minutes when he finger-tipped away an Agnew free-kick that looked net bound as soon as it was struck.

Unfortunately for Peterhead they could not turn pressure on the home goal into restoring parity and a game that started in frustration ended in frustration.

 

East Fife return to action after a fortnight’s break with manager Darren Young hoping that his side continue to change a potential home draw into a win as they did in their 4-2 success over Dumbarton on that last outing.

Young said: “We kicked off the season with a draw against Peterhead and we should have won that day. It was the same against Dumbarton in our first home meeting and also against Stranraer but the second Dumbarton game was different.”

Young added: “We scored a couple of great goals and were well in charge but then lost our way for a short period and were pegged back at 2-2. We got ourselves going again and won on a day where we created and took chances.”

“It was great to turn a potential draw into a win and we need to do more of that to keep a place in the top four. It was also great to see us do so well in an attacking sense however we know that we need to concentrate for the full 90 minutes this time defensively.”

The Blue Toon did not have last Saturday off however they only played 32 minutes of their game with Forfar was abandoned with Young saying: “We know Peterhead well from the two games we have had against them so far this season. In that first drawn meeting we were by far the better team whereas in the second one we did not play as well and I was glad to leave Balmoor having secured a win.”

“Simon Ferry will be back in their midfield and he is an important player for them but if we play like we did against Dumbarton and keep switched on at the back we can pick up another home win.”

Peterhead are off on their travels to East Fife on Saturday afternoon and manager Jim McInally is looking for the perfect combination of a good performance and a good result.

The Blue Toon drew with Darren Young’s side at the start of the season in Fife before losing 2-1 at Balmoor just before Christmas with Jim saying: “In the first game we played poorly but got a point but in the second game we played well but lost. It would be great to play well now and win.”

“In that first game East Fife showed us the difference in standard between League 1 and League 2 however the gap between the sides had closed by the time we faced them in December. That was a positive however the mistakes that we made in that second game cost us dearly.”

“East Fife are a good side as their place in the table shows and we do not need to give them any encouragement by making mistakes. Their front two of Ryan Wallace and Anton Dowds are a handful and they have other players that can score goals as they showed in their last game against Dumbarton when they hit four.”

McInally’s side head to the Locality Hub Bayview after a frustrating afternoon last Saturday when their game with Forfar at Balmoor was abandoned with Jim saying: “The game only got 32 minutes however we can be pleased with what we did. Defensively we were strong against the wind and we also created the best two chances so whilst it was a disappointing afternoon there were positives.”

Peterhead include Ben Armour following his return to training this week however manager McInally will not rush the striker into action unless he is forced to as he explained: “Ben is well ahead of schedule but not quite 100% yet. He is in my thoughts but I just need to be sure playing him will not be a risk.”

Jamie Stevenson remains out with winger Danail Dimov dropping out of the squad after moving to Highland League Turriff United for a loan spell.

Fri 14 Feb 2020

Danail Dimov

Bulagrain born winger Danail Dimov has joined Highland League side Turriff United on loan until the end of this season. The 19 year old joined the Blue Toon last autumn after moving to Scotland to study at Aberdeen University however he has been unable to break into manager Jim McInally's plans.

Jim said: "It is a bit of a chicken and egg situation with Danail as he needs games to get used to playing in Scotland however he cannot get game time as he is not used to playing in Scotland. He is a talented young player and hopefully his loan spell at Turriff will help him develop quicker than he would sitting on our bench."

Peterhead have opted to move their training base from the Station Park home of League 1 rivals Forfar to the recently opened Dundee Regional Performance Centre at Caird Park.

The Blue Toon players had been training together one night a week at the Angus ground for several years however manager Jim McInally has opted to bring them indoors as he explained: “Our thanks have to go to Forfar for their help and assistance over a long time however we have made the difficult decision to move to Dundee.”

“The facility there has only been open for a few months and it will allow us to train differently as we will not be hampered by the weather. We came in last week for a taster session and enjoyed it and our board did the right thing by informing the Forfar board we were moving when they were up for the game between us last Saturday.”

“Our northern boys will have to travel for another 15 minutes to get there and they agreed to that easily after seeing what was there. The second night of training on a regional basis remains unchanged.”

Peterhead have received a boost with the news that striker Ben Armour will be back in half the time than was originally expected to be after suffering a hamstring injury against Dumbarton last month.

The former Morton frontman netted the winner against the Sons before limping off with a suspected torn hamstring however the injury is not as extensive as first feared and Armour could even make an appearance against East Fife this weekend.

Manager Jim McInally said: “Ben was due to be out for up to 8 weeks however he took part in some training on Tuesday night which was great news. We will monitor him to see what reaction there is and if there is none he will come into my thoughts for the weekend.”

Jamie Stevenson will not be able for the game in Fife with McInally saying: “Jamie has done some running but it is still too early for him.”

Peterhead manager Jim McInally has boosted his backroom team by bringing in Mick Murphy as the Club Scout and Match Analyst.

Murphy has been known to Jim for nearly 40 years as he was the Blue Toon manager’s coach when he was a teenager starting out as a player at Celtic.

As well as coaching at Celtic, Murphy has scouted for Norwich City and Hearts, where he worked closely with Alex MacDonald, and he moved to Airdrie when MacDonald took over at the Diamonds before becoming the Reserve Team Coach at Stirling Albion.

Murphy returned to Celtic 19 years ago where he worked as a first team scout and match analyst for Martin O’Neill and Gordon Strachan before taking on a role in their Youth Academy which he has now given up to help out Jim at Balmoor.

Murphy explained his role by saying: “I have seen lots of youth team and reserve team football in recent years and know a lot of players as a result. Hopefully that knowledge will be useful to Jim in the short to medium term in terms of recruitment.”

“Going forward I will take in two sets of fixtures – one to scout on the opposition that Peterhead will face and another to keep tabs on emerging talent that may find Peterhead the next stop in their career.”

“I will feed information to Jim when I attend training on a Tuesday night. As I can also coach I will work with any of the boys in the West of Scotland who need to do a bit of extra work should they not be able to attend one of Simon Ferry’s sessions on a Thursday night.”

The partnership has already seen success with McInally saying: “Mick worked with Steven Boyd when he was at Celtic as a kid. Steven played in the same age group as Kieran Tierney however he moved out to Hamilton to get first team football.”

“When I was looking to sign Steven recently I was able to bring Mick along to help sell what Peterhead could do for him as a player. Steven had other options but chose to come here as he knew who he would be dealing with.”

“Mick helped me get me get a start in professional football and I trust his judgement. He will go out to all sorts of games to try and find us players. We are competing against clubs with higher budgets than ours so we need to be doing everything we can to identify talent.”

Please note that Saturday's abandoned fixture versus Forfar Athletic has been rescheduled for TUESDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2020 - 7:45pm KO.

Tickets from the original fixture on Saturday can be exchanged for new tickets from Thursday 13th February onwards.

Season Ticket holders will use Ticket No.18 for the re-arranged fixture

Peterhead 0

 

Forfar Athletic 0

Abandoned after 32 minutes

 

Peterhead manager Jim McInally believes that referee Steven Reid was placed in an impossible possible for today's game with Forfar. The game had only been going for 32 minutes when it was called off due to the intensity of the wind with Jim saying: "We looked into getting the game cancelled on Friday. We notified the SPFL of the forecast and the potential for winds that would be over 60 miles an hour strong however there was no instruction to cancel the game. When we arrived at Balmoor there were no kids games being played on the pitch next to us and a whole lot of other local football matches had been called off."

"It was left to the referee. We were actually playing quite well against the wind and had created a couple of good chances including a shot from Paddy Boyle that brought out a good save however the weather was in line with whatt was predicted and the referee abandoned the game."

"It was nil-nil at the time but it feels like everyone has lost and that is not the referee's fault as he was placed in a difficult situation. Our fans have had a wasted afternoon, the club has lost out as it will need to look after its corporate guests, Forfar have incurred expenses and the Forfar fans have made a long, long journey for 30 minutes of football. They now have a horrible journey home."

Peterhead

Fleming, Ferguson, Eadie, Hooper, Boyle, Ferry, Brown, Smith, Leitch, Cook, Lyle

Unused substitutes

Brown, McCarthy, Fraser, Dimov, Conroy, Boyd, Wilson (G/k)

 

Forfar head north to Balmoor on the back of a 2-1 Station Park win over Clyde that opened up an eight-point gap on bottom side Stranraer and pulled the Loons to within three points of the Blue Toon who sit seventh.

Loons boss Stuart Malcolm recast his side in January with Bernard Coll, Bobby Barr and Steve Doris recruited on a permanent basis and George Stanger, Robbie Leitch and Ryan Shanley joining on loan. Sean Burns, Mark Docherty, Ross Forbes, Andy Jackson and Dale Hilson all left with Rory Currie,

Russell McLean and Archie MacPhee returning to their parent clubs after loan spells.

Malcolm was pleased with the first showing from his new look side last weekend and he said: “Our win over Clyde was achieved through an excellent performance. A lot of the new boys were involved and they have added a bit of fresh legs to the side. We played with a lot more pace in the wide areas and that helped us take the game to Clyde.”

“The plan now is to go to Peterhead and put in another positive performance which will hopefully lead to another win.”

“Peterhead lost Rory McAllister during the Transfer Window and whilst that would have been a blow, they seem to have dealt with it. Steven Boyd is a really good replacement and whilst he never really got going at East Fife, he is a talented player with great ability.”

“He will maybe use his time at Peterhead to show his talent but hopefully once this game is out of the way.”

Team news

A fit again Connor Coupe is added however George Stanger looks set to miss out.

Peterhead boss hopes that plans are not blown off-course

Peterhead manager Jim McInally is hoping that his plans for the visit of Forfar are not blown away by start of Storm Ciara with Balmoor expected to be blustery tomorrow afternoon.

Jim said: "We have played with and against the wind at Balmoor many times however if the weather comes in as predicted the wind will be an even bigger factor than normal. We have prepared to face Forfar all week however certain parts of those plans will be rendered null and void if the game is dominated by the wind. Rather than trying to play in a certain way it will be a case of digging in."

Peterhead are looking to bounce back from losing 4-3 to Montrose last weekend and also keep the Loons at bay as the Station Park men look to climb the table with Jim saying: "We know that our first half display last weekend was not good enough and we know that we lost bad goals as well. We saw plenty of positives as well and we will look to build on them as well as putting in a 90 minute performance where we are tight at the back."

"We managed to defeat Forfar 1-0 early in the season when Jim Weir was still in charge. The next time we faced them Stuart Malcolm was not long into his time in charge and they won 2-1. That game was a disappointment to us as we could have won it. We fell behind early but battled to get back into the game for a long time and we eventually did with a penalty only to lose a goal within a minute of equalising.”

“They have changed a lot of players between games this tiime but it will be good to make up for that defeat and get a win that would push ourselves further away from Forfar and closer to mid-table.

 

Team News

Simon Ferry returns from a four-game ban when Peterhead host Forfar at Balmoor however defender Jamie Stevenson and striker Ben Armour are absent due to knocks.

 

Match Day Programme - Peterhead v Forfar February 8 2020

 

Entry Prices

Ground – Adult £14, Concession £7, Child Free Of Charge
Stand – Adult £16, Concession £9, Child £2

Where you will find us
Peterhead Football Club Ltd
Balmoor Stadium, Balmoor Terrace, Peterhead  AB42 1EQ

All fans are welcome in the newly refurbished Social Club Bar and the brand new 'Coffee Shop at Balmoor' before and after the game

Peterhead General Manager Martin Johnston reckons that the Blue Toon have cracked the conundrum of whether to produce a Match Programme with the on-line version they launched this season being read more than ten times more often than the paper version.

Martin explained: “It is quite an emotive subject as Match Programmes were a big part of going to a game for many, many years. However, three years ago we decided to end the production of programmes for every game as we were only selling about 40. We moved to a monthly magazine called ‘Blue Toon Talk’ that would cover a couple of home games as well as provide additional stories.”

“It was a better product and initially sales were good however they fell away as well. At the start of this season we decided to produce ‘Blue Toon Talk’ for every game but only offer it on-line and the response has been terrific.”

“On average every copy is read in 26 different countries by over 500 people. It is not just ‘Blue Tooners’ that read it as when we played Falkirk recently the readership was increased as their fans went into the link. Advertisers like it as you can pop one of their links in and that takes their products to a much bigger audience.”

“It was a move that traditional football fans did not like however when you look at the numbers it makes a lot of sense and allows fans across the world to keep up to date with their team.”

 

Match Programme v Forfar

Peterhead manager Jim McInally has ruled Jamie Stevenson out of Saturday’s crunch League 1 game with visitors Forfar due to the hamstring injury he picked up in last weekend’s 4-3 defeat at Montrose.

The long serving 35-year-old has featured in 24 games so far this season however he will miss out against the Loons and is a major doubt for the game at East Fife on February 15.

Jim said: “Jamie felt his hamstring tighten on Saturday and we managed to get him off before he suffered a more serious problem. He was still suffering some discomfort so I will not include him in my plans for Saturday and next weekend is a major doubt as well.”

“David Ferguson came on to replace him and he is an option I will consider for the Forfar game which is a huge one in our season after we lost last weekend and they won.”

Peterhead boss Jim McInally is delighted to have the ‘chatty’ Simon Ferry back available for Saturday’s crunch clash with Forfar after the 32-year-old completed his four-game suspension last Saturday.

Ferry, who has built a second career as the presenter of the popular Open Goal Podcast show and has taking on coaching duties at the Balmoor club, received two red cards when the Blue Toon defeated Clyde 2-0 at the end of December and was hit with the lengthy ban.

McInally admits that the voice of the former Celtic, Swindon, Portsmouth and Dundee player has been missed as he said: “As well as being chatty off the pitch Simon is a big talker on it. We are a quiet team without him and we are a better side when he is available as he organises and directs as the other players respond well to that.”

“As well as his talking he is a fantastic footballer that plugs gaps in our midfield and provides a barrier to our defence. After losing to Montrose last weekend and Forfar defeating Clyde on the same day this game has become a really big one in our season.”

“We want to be as strong as possible for it and having Simon back available helps with that.”

With the Transfer Window remaining open until the end of this month to League 1 and league 2 sides Peterhead boss Jim McInally is continuing to search for a centre half to add to his pool.

McInally has recruited midfield duo Andrew McCarthy and Alan Cook as well as striker Steven Boyd over the past month however with centre back Mick Dunlop heading to Hurlford on loan there is a gap in McInally’s squad.

The Balmoor boss said: “I am keen to get a bit more depth to our defensive options. We have not been as strong in that area as we could have been this season and despite trying last month, I have not been able to get someone on board.”

“We can still do something for the next few weeks and I will be looking at both the free agent and loan market to see what we can do.”

Sat 01 Feb 2020

Montrose 4 Peterhead 3

Montrose 4

C Ballantyne (2),

Lyons (15‎, 27)

Allan (60‎)‎

 

Peterhead 3

Cook (44‎)‎

Lyle (68)‎

S Brown (80‎)

 

Despite scoring six goals at Links Park this season Peterhead have not been able to pick up any points at Montrose after losing 4-3 at the Angus ground for the second time this season.

Controversial decisions at the start and the end of the game affected Peterhead adversely however poor defending on the Blue Toon’s part was also a contributing factor in the defeat.

With less than two minutes played Peterhead were all set to take a throw in however the match officials surprisingly awarded the shy to Montrose and with the visitors unsettled one of the two Cammy Ballantyne’s in the Montrose team took full advantage and cracked a shot home.

The afternoon worsened on 15 minutes when the ball was lost in midfield and chipped in between the visiting defence and goalkeeper Greg Fleming. Unfortunately, from a Peterhead point of view, no-one took control of the situation and Blair Lyons took the ball around the Blue Toon shot-stopper and slotted in.

It was 3-0 12 minutes later when Lyons clipped in his second however Peterhead responded well to the mountain they had to climb.

Alan Cook spurned the chance of getting a foothold when he sent a header wide however the former Stenhousemuir soon made amends with a great cross to Derek Lyle but the striker looked to be taken by surprise by Cook’s delivery and failed to convert.

Peterhead did get into the game just before half-time and it came in spectacular fashion with Cook lashing home a long-distance effort.

Manager Jim McInally brough on striker Aidan Smith for midfielder Andrew McCarthy at half-time in a bid to go for goals in the second half.

A spell of pressure failed to bring a goal at the start of the second half and to make matters worse Peterhead fell three behind for a second time when Matty Allan headed home with an hour played.

To their credit Peterhead rallied and Lyle made up for his earlier miss on 68 minutes when he looped over Aaron Lennox and it was 4-3 with ten minutes to go when Scott Brown curled home from 20 yards.

Peterhead were awarded the chance to grab an equaliser in the closing stages when referee Graham Beaton pointed to the spot however after discussions with one of his assistants the award was overturned.

Whilst there was little complaint at that sequence of events there was disappointment in the closing stages when what looked like a handball in the Montrose box went unpunished.

Peterhead – Fleming, Hooper, Boyle, J Brown 90‎, Stevenson (Ferguson 85‎), S Brown,‎ Leitch, McCarthy (Smith 46‎), Cook, Lyle, Boyd (Fraser 67')

Montrose manager Stewart Petrie is delighted that his patience paid off with striker Lewis Hawke finally coming on board at Links Park. Petrie had tried to sign Hawke when he was with Queen’s Park last season and was then left disappointed when he headed to Stirling Albion in the summer however the 26-year-old could be involved against Peterhead today.

Petrie said: “I have been after Lewis for a while and he is here now. He is another great option to have up front alongside Craig Johnston, Russell McLean and Ross Campbell.”

Johnston could be the main attacking threat to the Blue Toon this afternoon after sparking a comeback against Raith Rovers last weekend with a fine diving header.

Unfortunately for the Links Park side they eventually went down 4-3 to the league leaders with Petrie saying: “Craig like the rest of the team did not have a great first half at Kirkcaldy but the second half was much better and he scored a good goal. We were three down after what was a strange 45 minutes in that Raith were clinical with every chance they had.”

“We could have buckled at that time but we came right back into things and gave Raith a right scare. We got it back to 3-2 and then lost a really unlucky goal before scoring again. If we start this game as we finished that one then we will do okay.”

As for Peterhead Petrie said: “This is a strange game to prepare for as Peterhead are going through a bit of a transition. It will be a bit different not having Rory McAllister to face and Mick Dunlop is away as well but Jim McInally has brought in good recruitments.”

“Alan cook coming in has given Peterhead an abundance of left footed players which adds something to their ability to hurt you on both wings.”

“It is usually a tight game between the teams and I am sure this one will be as well.”

Team News

The Gable Endies include Blair Lyons who was transferred to Partick Thistle before being loaned back.

Peterhead head to Montrose on Saturday afternoon looking to get the better of the Gable Endies for the first time this season. A thrilling 4-3 defeat at Links Park back in September was followed by a goalless draw at Balmoor in November with Balmoor manager Jim McInally hoping that the backing of the travelling fans will help his side to three points.

Jim said: "I enjoy taking Peterhead to face Montrose as it is normally a very good attacking game between the teams. It is the away ground that is the closest to us in this league and our fans always create a good atmosphere there. Hopefully we can put on a good display for them."

"The last game was a bit of a strange affair as we were one behind and got level before being 3-1 down at half-time. We got it back to 3-3 and I thought we would go on and win then however we then lost another goal. It was a day where every shot Montrose hit from long distance found the net. It was not as if it was Greg Fleming at fault, it was just simply that Montrose found the net with four terrific strikes. We could have closed them down better at two of their goals and hopefully we have learned from that."

Spirits in the Blue Toon camp are high ahead of kick-off with Jim adding: "Our 1-0 win over Dumbarton last week was a big step forward for us after an unsettling period. We are going through a bit of a transition on the pitch and it was good that our new players Alan Cook, Steven Boyd and Andrew McCarthy were involved in that win. Their arrival has freshened us up however when you look at the league table we are still the underdogs for this game."

"Montrose are a good side who pushed the league leaders Raith Rovers all the way last weekend despite being three down at the interval. Stewart Petrie has done a great job as their manager and the club have seen further benefits of his work with Martin Rennie joining St Patrick's Athletic on a full-time basis and Blair Lyons moving to Partick Thistle. Blair has been loaned back and I would expect him to face us after missing out last weekend.

Team News

Ben Armour is out for the Blue Toon due to a hamstring injury and Simon Ferry serves the final game of his four game suspension however David Ferguson is available after a ban and Aidan Smith returns from an achilles injury.

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