Football: Sharp - there’s a long way to go for Toon

PETERHEAD SQUAD 2013-2014'(DUNCAN BROWN)''GRAEME SHARP
PETERHEAD SQUAD 2013-2014'(DUNCAN BROWN)''GRAEME SHARP

Peterhead’s stalwart right sider Graeme Sharp is no stranger to Scottish league football.

The 29-year-old winger turned full back made his 300th appearance in the blue and white of the Balmoor side earlier this season, and after his standout performance at Hampden admitted this season will be a battle.

He said: “I think we’ve got a good chance this year. There’re teams who’ve got a good chance, others who’ve got more points on the board than us.

“We’ve not been playing well, we’ve drawn games we should have won but we can take positives from the fact we’re still in amongst it.

“We put in a good performance today, kept a clean sheet and scored plenty of goals so hopefully we can carry that on and put some pressure on the teams above us.”

Sharp was one of the main architects of Saturday’s win, setting up the first goal with a - albeit fortuitous - corner and scoring the second.

Stepping off the grand grass surface of Hampden to take a corner from the left side, Sharp slipped on some sand and could only scruff a low cross to the front post

No matter - League 2’s finest improviser Andy Rodgers was on hand to flick an audacious back heel past Lucas Birnstingl in the Spiders’ goal.

Sharp’s goal - set up neatly by Dean Cowie - was his first for 18 months and his first at the national stadium.

He said: “That’s another good thing to add to my footballing career - scoring at hampden.

“It sounds better than the reality of it because its not a packed crowd but it was good.

“The last year or two I’ve been playing as a full back so my goals to game ratio has suffered.

“I don’t get these chances often so I needed to take it - I was really chuffed.

“For Andy’s goal I half slipped as I took the corner and though oh god, here we go.

“But Andy’s a really good player and he scored a wee flick at the front post - he’s got that ability.”

Sharp has benefited from his manager’s decision to switch to a 3-5-2 formation.

As a wingback, Sharp has license to push further up the pitch and remind Toon fans of his days as a flying winger.

The former Montrose man made his record 300th appearance against his former club earlier this season.

Jim McInally has promised to take care of his longest serving player and is looking to organise a testimonial match next year.