Football: Rampant Peterhead punish Elgin City

ELGIN V PETERHEAD'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S RORY MCALLISTER  SCORES HIS SECOND GOAL
ELGIN V PETERHEAD'(DUNCAN BROWN)''PETERHEAD'S RORY MCALLISTER SCORES HIS SECOND GOAL

Peterhead recovered from a miserable midweek visit to Annan with a 4-2 win away at Elgin on Saturday.

The Blue Toon had failed to score for the first time this season in the 2-0 defeat at Galabank so the quadruple haul from Jim McInally’s team was a welcome change of fortune.

ELGIN V PETERHEAD'(DUNCAN BROWN)''ELGIN'S SHANE SUTHERLAND HOLDS OFF DEAN COWIE

ELGIN V PETERHEAD'(DUNCAN BROWN)''ELGIN'S SHANE SUTHERLAND HOLDS OFF DEAN COWIE

It was three quick-fire goals in the first seven minutes of the second period that secured the win for Peterhead.

Andy Rodgers, returning from a two-game suspension, put the visiting team ahead after 21 minutes with a six yard tap in from strike partner McAllister’s square ball.

Then, less than 60 seconds after referee Colin Steven restarted the match from the break, McAllister put the Toon two goals to the good.

He latched onto a long ball from goalkeeper Graeme Smith and fired past the advancing Jellema into the top of the net.

Then came the sucker punch from Peterhead’s front pair - straight from the restart Rodger’s stole the ball and played in McAllister to put the game beyond the Black and White.

Six minutes later Dean Cowie, who scored only twice in 40 appearances last season, punished Jellema for leaving his area to head the ball by volleying the ball over the former Toon keeper from 40 yards.

It should have been the stylish finish to a much-deserved Peterhead victory had Elgin not scored two late consolation goals.

First the prolific Craig Gunn beat Smith in the 84 minute before Sam Urqhart took the gloss off Peterhead’s performance, heading in Ross McKinnon’s free kick.

After the match manager Jim McInally told the Buchanie: “The players will get a lift after that, no doubt about it.

“The one thing I got on at them about was that they came in fighting with each other because they conceded a goal in the 95th minute.

“I was angry with them because if someone said we’d win 4-2 before the match we would have taken it, but it was so late in the game. The last touch of the ball actually.

“I’ve told the players to enjoy it because there’s been enough disappoinment in the last couple of weeks.

“When it was 4-0 it really could have been 7-0 - we ripped them apart for spells after that.”

Peterhead now have another two matches in a five day spell: first away to Inverurie Locos in the Aberdeenshire Shield tonight (Tuesday), then at home to league leaders East Stirlingshire on Saturday.

Once again injuries will play a big part in McInally’s team selection deliberations.

Defenders Scott Ross and Ryan Strachan still have a way to go to recover from injuries and Andy Rodgers, despite a stellar performance at Elgin, will unlikely play due to a nagging pelvis pain.

On the upside, lively forward Fraser McLaren is back in contention after serving a suspension.

McInally said: “Tuesday I could do without to be honest. I’ll cancel traning on Wenesday and get everyone up for the game.

“I’m not sure how we’ll play because I know straight away we’re three short because Steven Noble and Dean Richardson can’t get away from work and it will probably take Andy Rodgers a week to recover from his hip pain.

“We’ll bring some of the young boys in and mix and match as much as we can.

“Bear in mind Fraser McLaren is available and it’s important we get some game time in him.

“We’ll deal with Tuesday when it comes but next Saturday is a big game for us and I’ve got to make that our priority, knowing that if we win next week we’re only a point behind the leaders. This next week is a big week.”

East Stirling have been this season’s surpise package and McInally’s former side have notched up six victories in their opening 11 matches.

Their recent form has, however, been less impressive with John Coughlin’s side having won only once in their last four outings.

It was with an impressive 4-1 victory against The Shire that Peterhead found their first win of the season and with the Toon the only League 2 side still undefeated at home, the Balmoor faithful may be in for another strong showing.

Although there have yet to be any new players joining the club, McInally has added coach and former player Craig Tully to the roster.

Peterhead: Smith, Sharp, Richardson (McGlinchey), Redman, Noble, Tully, Rodgers (McCann), Cowie, Gilfillan (Buchan), McAllister, Brown.

Unused: Jarvie, Tait, McGeever.

Referee - Colin Steven

Attendance - 622