The 2023/2024 Cinch League 2 campaign kicked off at the MGM Timber Bayview Stadium in Methil on Saturday as Peterhead faced East Fife. Making the trip down south, Peterhead looked to kick-start the season with a win against a well- organised outfit who narrowly missed out on qualification to the further stages of the Viaplay League Cup.
Peterhead started the match strong with plenty possession and chances created to trouble the East Fife goalkeeper. Conor O’Keefe nearly opened the scoring as his shot from the edge of the penalty area was tipped on to the crossbar by Fleming in the East Fife goal. With The Blue Toon pressing well and closing down their opponents, The Fifers were not given a chance to play. With positive performances at both ends of the pitch, the breakthrough finally came after 35 minutes played when Jack Brown opened his account for the season as he volleyed the ball into the back of the East Fife net. The midfielder managed to get on the end of the cross from Kieran Shanks after a well worked attack from The Blue Toon. As Peterhead kept the momentum going, the first half concluded with an ambitious effort courtesy of Ryan Strachan as his free kick from 35 yards out went just wide of the post.
Half Time: East Fife 0 – 1 Peterhead.
The second half was underway in Methil and both teams looked like scoring. Stuart McKenzie in the Peterhead goal produced some fine saves to keep The Blue Toon ahead. Conner Duthie picked up an injury after 59 minutes which saw him stretchered off and subsequently replaced by Robert Ward. After being denied plenty in the first half, Conor O’Keefe got his goal and doubled Peterhead’s lead in the 65th minute. O’Keefe’s fine finish was assisted by Jack Brown who picked up the ball in midfield and played a through ball to the forward; who then slid the ball underneath the East Fife goalkeeper. Whilst The Blue Toon continued to defend well, Conor O’Keefe was relentless at the other end of the pitch and proved troublesome for the Fifers defence. With just over 10 minutes of regular time to play, O’Keefe beat the opposition to a loose ball before making space and smashing the ball into the top corner from 25 yards out. An early goal of the season contender from Conor O’Keefe put Peterhead in a comfortable position in the match with The Blue Toon now 3-0 up. Despite being in cruise control, Peterhead continued to pressure the East Fife defence as attempts from Hamish Ritchie, Jordon Brown and Jack Brown in the final minutes of the match all crept wide of the post.
Full Time: East Fife 0 – 3 Peterhead.
A very convincing away performance which was backed up by 3 points saw Peterhead enjoy their first competitive away win since April 2022. The Blue Toon currently sit top of the Cinch League 2 after game week 1.
All at Peterhead FC wish a speedy recovery to midfielder Conner Duthie and thank all Blue Toon fans for making the trip down to Methil.