First win for new-look Toon side

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Inverurie Locos 0, Peterhead 1

PETERHEAD fans were given their first sighting of John Sheran’s new-look squad as the Blue Toon visited Inverurie on Tuesday for their first pre-season friendly.

All eyes were understandably on Rory McAllister after his surprise move to Balmoor, but it was another signing from Brechin City, midfielder Jamie Redman, who netted the only goal of the game to get the Blue Toon’s preparations for their first season back in Division Three off to a winning start.

Sheran’s starting eleven included seven of his ten summer signings; Raymond Jellema started in goals, the back four comprised Davie Donald, Callum Macdonald, Barry Sellars and Roy McBain.

The midfield quartet saw Graeme Sharp and Bryan Deasley attack down the flanks with Redman and Paul Young in the centre, while Aaron Conway partnered McAllister in attack.

The Blue Toon started in lively fashion against their Highland League opponents, with Conway flashing an early effort just wide of Gray’s left hand post.

There was a touch of fortune about Redman’s goal, although he was perfectly placed to nod home from close range after Locos’ trialist goalkeeper Stewart Gray could only punch Deasley’s cross weakly into the path of the midfielder after seven minutes.

Conway was looking lively, and the former Livingston man curled a low free kick into the side netting, before drawing a fine save from Gray after half an hour.

Conway was involved again when his corner found Redman at the near post, the 24-year old this time unable to direct his glancing header on target.

After a quiet first half, McAllister finally came to life on the stroke of half-time when he spun on the edge of the area, and sent a snap-shot crashing off the crossbar with Gray rooted to the spot.

That was, though, to be his last involvement, as he was one of seven players withdrawn at the interval.

Teenager Neil Duffy made his debut in goal, with Scott Ross (on trial after his loan period at Balmoor last term) and Alan Rattray coming into the defence, Dave Ross and Paul Watson joining the fray in midfield, and Martin Bavidge and trialist Mark Hutchins replacing the front two.

Lewis Davidson, playing as another trialist following his release by Aberdeen, soon came on at left back, with Ryan Strachan and PA Bruce also coming on within the first 15 minutes of the second half to ensure the full squad got a runout.

It was a much quieter affair after the interval, though Deasley caused early concern for the home side with an angled volley which wasn’t far off target.

Substitute Watson added some steel to the midfield, and he earned the unwanted honour of going into referee Graham Beaton’s book after clashing with former Blue Toon man Clark Bain.

But a more positive aspect of the midfielder’s game was shown when he picked out Macdonald at the back post with a free kick, the defender heading back across goal only for Bavidge to fluff his lines with a goal seeming imminent.

Aberdeen based amateur Hutchins also came close in the dying stages, meeting a Dave Ross cross, but failing to keep his headed effort down.

PETERHEAD: Raymond Jellema, Davie Donald, Barry Sellars, Callum Macdonald, Roy McBain, Jamie Redman, Paul Young, Graeme Sharp, Rory McAllister, Aaron Conway, Bryan Deasley. Subs (all used): Martin Bavidge, Mark Hutchins (T), Dave Ross, Lewis Davidson (T), Scott Ross (T), Ryan Strachan, PA Bruce, Alan Rattray, Paul Watson, Neil Duffy (gk).

(T) denotes trialist.