Confidence boost

Jim McInally has had Peterhead back playing to their sparkling best in recent weeks, but going in to half-time 2-0 down against Annan Athletic will not have done him any favours in completely breaking free from the club’s early season demons.

The Blue Toon could have been forgiven for singing the blues ten minutes into the game when goalkeeper Paul Jarvie had to be taken off injured.

One penalty and a thunderous free-kick later saw Annan go two goals to the good in the first-half, before Bavidge and Tully got Peterhead back into it – and the win – after the break.

Speaking to the Buchanie, McInally said that Bavidge had been unplayable in the second-half.

Bur he did not mince his words when he talked of the Blue Toon’s first-half performance, saying that he went in to the dressing room to ‘shame’ them.

“I didn’t really need to tell them anything. They were under-achieving, and, at times, can look like a bit of a soft touch. You just have to go in and rile them up a wee bit,” he said.

“They always respond to it, and we were excellent in the second-half.

“There’s a confidence in the players right now. When you start winning games you get a bit more resolve to go out and win.

“Certainly, since I’ve come in they have been fantastic, I can have no complaints about their attitude,” the boss added.

Bavidge, who has so often been the man to pull Peterhead out from the grip of defeat, was also in line for praise from former Scotland international, McInally.

“Bavidge has been terrific this season,” he said.

“He was absolutely unstoppble in the second-half. He was winning headers and holding up the ball across the pitch.

“He started off a bit slow, like the rest of the team, but finished well.”

Up tonight (Tuesday) for the Blue Toon is Berwick.

With just one point separating the teams, a win would lift Peterhead into sixth spot.

Commenting on his side’s chances, McInally said: “I haven’t a clue, to be honest.

“We’ve got so many injuries and illness in the squad right now that I won’t know until the last minute.

“Ryan Strachan should make a return, so that’s a big positive for us.”

However, he was less optimistic on the chances of Jarvie to make a return, saying: “I wouldn’t think so. He’s got a dental appointment later on, and then he’s heading off to Brazil for business.

“He’s come in and done really well. He’s been a big factor in us winning some games.

“But Ray [Jellema] will come in for him. He’s a good keeper and there’s not much between them,” he added.