On Saturday 20 July Peterhead cruised to a comfortable victory over Locos with two second half goals but the win was tainted by an early injury to Calum McDonald that casts doubts on his availability, writes Jim Irving.
Whilst Loco’s fielded a depeleted side as players were injured or unavailable, including former Peterhead striker Martin Bavidge, the Blue Toon looked not far from full-strength.
McDonald missed most of last season injured so it was a blow for the defender and Manager Jim McInally when he landed awkwardly after just seven minutes. Despite prolonged treatment he limped off with a likely knee injury to be replaced by David Cox.
The home side had made a lively start and one of their newcomers, Andy Hunter, was sent clear in the second minute but his attempted chip past Graeme Smith went wide of the post.
After eleven minutes Neil McLean crossed from the left wing and Neil Gauld should have done better than mis-hit a volley wide.
Peterhead gradually worked their way into the match and Rory McAllister hit a shot from an angle to the right of goal that Andy Reid touched away to safety.
The visitors’ best chance came in the 18th minute, a Cox corner from the right found the head of Jamie Redman but his effort was cleared off the line.
Jordan Brown looked like a worthwhile addition to the squad and got into goal scoring positions in both halves only for his efforts to be mis-hit or saved.
The second half was one way traffic towards the home goal and Brown could easily have netted a hatrick. He had a ferocious shot punched over by Reid after 51 minutes and as the game drew to a close had two volley’s that failed to hit the target. When he gets his shooting boots on, expect Brown to chip in with goals from midfield.
The goals that settled the match came in the 52nd and 69th minutes. The first from Andy Rodgers was a driven shot from the right side of the penalty area that bobbled over a diving Reid. The second came from the boot of substitute Ryan McCann four minutes after coming off the bench when he raced clear from a flick on to thunder a shot low into the net.