Peterhead 2 Alloa Athletic 0 – League season starts with a win!

Jul 31, 2021

Peterhead picked up their first opening day success since 2017 when a fine performance over Alloa at Balmoort was rewarded with a 2-0 success.

Russell McLean scored from a Niah Payne cross in the first half and Niah Payne scored from a Russell McLean in the second half in a performance that manager Jim McInally described as “A really good one and I am delighted that our strikers did so well. I am especially pleased for Niah who has now scored his first goal for the club.”

McInally restored Andy McCarthy to the starting line-up however there was a surprise as the former Partick Thistle man started at right back and the 22 year old went on to put in a fine performance.

Simon Ferry, Lyall Cameron and McLean also started against Barry Ferguson’s side who were playing their first game in League 1 following their relegation from the Championship.

With fans in the ground Steven Boyd had the game’s first chance after just 2 minutes however the former Peterhead frontman sent his shot over from 14 yards.

Skipper Scott Brown was the first player in home colours to have a glimpse of goal as he got on the end of a Niah Payne layoff however his effort curled wide of the Alloa goal.

Hamish Ritchie forced a save from visiting goalkeeper David Hutton before the opener arrived on eight minutes when Payne burst past his marker on the right wing and fired the ball over for McLean to convert and give Peterhead the lead.

Boyd tried for goal again before Ryan Conroy looked to double the hosts’ lead directly from a free-kick however his effort flashed wide of Hutton’s goal.

Payne slipped free again on 25 minutes however this time Scott Brown could not convert his pass with the ball landing on the Alloa net.

McLean had a shot saved fairly easily by Hutton before the Wasps shot-stopper excelled by keeping out a header from the towering hit-man.

Ferry almost grabbed a rare goal eight minutes from the break however Hutton stretched to save with Connor Sammon reminding everyone that the game was far from being one-sided with a driven effort that was not too far off Brett Long’s goal.

Before the break Ritchie tried to grab his first goal of the season after a fine move however he sent his shot over with Payne seeing another attempt for his maiden goal thwarted by Hutton once more.

Boyd had another effort on the Peterhead goal at the start of the second half however again he was off target on 52 minutes and seven minutes later Andy MacDonald thought he had added a second for Peterhead until Adam King headed the danger away.

Ferry was unfortunate to pick up a booking on 61 minutes for his first foul however two minutes later everyone in Blue and White was cheering when McLean charged down the right and picked out Payne to score a carbon copy goal.

Payne went close to grabbing a second goal however the ball whizzed just past with the Blue Toon then making a number of changes as they looked to ensure that their goal was not breached.

Alloa also made a raft of substitutions however Peterhead saw things out with McInally adding: “We did both sides of the game well. We scored goals from good attacking play and then saw things out in a very professional manner.”

Long, Mulligan, Conroy, McDonald, McCarthy (Strachan 74), Ferry, Ritchie, S Brown, Payne (Lyle 81), Cameron (Jordon Brown 66), McLean

Unused substitutes – Wilson (G/k), Kesson, Mushanu