Peterhead boss Jim McInally: Civil Service Strollers will be tough Scottish Cup test

Peterhead boss Jim McInally has warned his side they can’t take victory against Lowland League side Civil Service Strollers for granted in their Scottish Cup third-round tie on Saturday.

By Ian MacLean
Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 2:22 pm
Grant Savoury proved a handful for the Queen's Park defence last weekend (pic: Duncan Brown)
Grant Savoury proved a handful for the Queen's Park defence last weekend (pic: Duncan Brown)

Peterhead will travel to Christie Gilles Park in Edinburgh firm favourites to progress to the next round.

But McInally has already seen Strollers in action and he says the Blue Toon will have to be on top of their game to avoid falling victim to a cup upset.

He said: “They are a tough team so we’ll really need to be at it.

“They’re one of the best organised in the Lowland League. They’ve got a manager in Gary Jardine that brought Edinburgh City into the league and they’re really well organised.“They’ll be a handful for us, especially on their pitch.”

However, Peterhead go into the tie on the back of a 2-1 win over Queen’s Park at Balmoor and a performance which was exactly the response McInally was looking for following their disappointing display against Cove Rangers the previous week.

McInally admitted he feared the worst for his young, injury-affected side when Luca Conell gave the visitors an early lead, but they rallied, and a Scott Brown penalty brought them level early in the second half before substitute Russell McLean got the winner 14 minutes from time.

McInally said: “You hope that you do get a response and I do think the young players don’t seem to carry it on. They just get out and play again.

“I did fear for us when we lost a goal and could have lost another goal probably, but 15 minutes before half-time, we started to get a wee foothold.

“We had a better shape to us and I said to the boys at half-time ‘one’s not enough for them’.

“We played really well and I don’t think [keeper] Brett [Long] has had a lot to do in the second half.”

With Dumbarton and Clyde, the sides immediately above and below Peterhead in the League One table, also winning, McInally said: “It’s a massive result.

“It’s three points that nobody really expected us to get. The ten outfield players were just over 21 average age, which is really young.

“Everybody's come in and staked a claim and that’s really what you want. We actually played young v old in training the other night and the young absolutely murdered the old.”