Peterhead faced Forfar Athletic in League 2 on Saturday in an eventful fixture that saw The Blue Toon succumb to the visitors.
As the weather impacted Scottish football all over the country, an amazing effort from volunteers consisting of supporters, players, coaches, board members and even our chairman Rodger Morrison who all helped to clear Balmoor of snow allowed the match to go ahead.
With the pitch deemed playable, The Blue Toon took to Balmoor for the last time in 2023.
Starting XI: McKenzie, Goldie, Wilson, R. Strachan, D. Strachan, McKee, McCarthy (C), Jack Brown, Ritchie, O’Keefe, Shanks.
As the rain poured down on an already cold and wet Balmoor, a final home outing for The Blue Toon got underway. The first real chance of the match came from the visitors when after only two minutes gone, Forfar forward Josh Skelly found space in the Peterhead box, however was unable to make the desired contact with the ball and his volley crept wide of goal. Midfielder Callum Moore was the first player to be cautioned and entered the referee’s book after Shanks was hauled down to prevent a Peterhead counter attack. With early chances at both ends of the pitch, it was the visitors that took an early lead after a ball over the top of The Blue Toon defence fell to Sebastian Ross; who took the ball round McKenzie and passed the ball into an empty net to fire Forfar into the lead. After 23 minutes played, a serious collision between McKenzie and Wilson at the back saw Wilson leave the pitch on a stretcher, and was subsequently replaced by Jordan Armstrong. After play being suspended for around 30 minutes whilst Wilson received treatment and both teams returned to the changing rooms, a brief warm up for both sides before the match continued. Forfar soon doubled their lead at Balmoor when McCallum’s long goal kick was flicked on in midfield and once again Sebastian Ross found himself through 1-on-1 with McKenzie. In similar fashion to his first goal, Ross rounded McKenzie and passds the ball into the empty Peterhead goal. With The Blue Toon trailing by two goals, a quick response from Jack Brown straight from kickoff halved the visitors’ lead as he brought one back for Peterhead. A brilliant ball over the top from McCarthy fell to Jack Brown in the Forfar penalty area who fired his shot past McCallum. After a goal each in quick succession after the restart, the wet and windy conditions evidently played their part as neither side were capable to control the match or get any real spells of possession. With 30 minutes of added time to conclude the first half, a first Forfar substitution introduced Kieran Inglis who replaced the injured Callum Moore.
HT: Peterhead 1 – 2 Forfar Athletic.
It was Peterhead’s turn to kickoff after half time as both teams took to Balmoor for the 3rd time of the afternoon. Straight away Peterhead were on the search for an equaliser as The Blue Toon enjoyed the first real period of possession of the afternoon. With the away side beginning to look frustrated at their lack of time on the ball, a rash challenge from defender Roberto Ndidti warranted a yellow card. As Peterhead kept the pressure on the Forfar defence, a 2nd change for the visitors welcomed Craig Thomson to the pitch who replaced Darren Watson. The Blue Toon responded with a change of their own as Caleb Goldie made way for Jordon Brown. Frustrations boiled over as Ndidti hauled down Shanks who was on the attack and received his 2nd yellow card of the afternoon and headed down the tunnel. With minimal chances presented to Peterhead, a long ball over the Forfar defence found Jordon Brown who did well to take it down and play it across goal to Jack Brown who found the back of the net; however the linesman’s flag was up and the equaliser disn’t stand. Jack Brown was then replaced by Aaron Reid in Peterhead’s 3rd and final substitution. A double substitution was followed by the visitors who replaced Sebastian Ross and Josh Skelly with Euan Mutale and Ryan Paterson. After keeping the visitors in their own half for the majority of the 2nd half, 10-man Forfar Athletic started to concede more chances as McKee fired a shot from 30 yards inches wide of goal. With unsuccessful attempts from range, a ball from deep was played into Jordon Brown in the Forfar box however he was unable to keep his headed attempt down. With time to find an equaliser running out, a series of corners were well defended by Forfar and as Stuart McKenzie came up in a last ditch attempt to rescue a point at Balmoor, Forfar only cleared as far as Ryan Strachan who fired his shot over the Forfar crossbar.
FT: Peterhead 1 – 2 Forfar Athletic.
In an afternoon which saw goals, a sending off, a 30 minute break and terrible weather, Peterhead were beaten in their last appearance at Balmoor in 2023. The Blue Toon travel to rivals Elgin City next Saturday in hope of ending the year on a high.
Everyone at Peterhead Football Club would like to thank everyone that helped to make Balmoor playable on Saturday, including the Forfar Athletic staff that also chipped in. We all wish David Wilson a very quick recovery and hope that his injury sustained on Saturday is not as severe as it looked.