The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)
Future of Rory in the balance
Peterhead defender Graeme Sharp has backed Rory McAllister to put his disciplinary woes behind him and get his career at Balmoor back on track.
The club’s l eading goalscorer has been suspended for breaching discipline and will miss tonight’s Ramsdens Cup tie against Stenhousemuir.
Sharp is disappointed the team will have to do Peterhead attacker Rory McAllister’s future will be discussed at a Balmoor board meeting tonight prior to this evening’s Ramsdens Cup tie at home to Stenhousemuir.
The Blue Toon forward was suspended by the club following a breach of discipline and missed Saturday’s defeat to Stirling Albion.
Peterhead manager Jim McInally took the decision to suspend his forward, who has been the club’s leading scorer for the past two seasons, and the player has also been left out of the squad for tonight’s game.
McAllister was unavailable for comment yesterday but his manager said: “I’ve nothing toaddtowhat I said on Saturday. I took the decision to suspend Rory and the matter will be discussed by the board.
“I may be in a position to say more following the meeting.”
McInally is determined not to let the incident overshadow his preparations for tonight’s game as they go in search of another higher league scalp at Balmoor.
Peterhead beat Brechin City in the first round and victory against another League 1 opponent will take the Blue Toon through to the last eight.
McInally said: “It’s a cup tie andwego into every one looking to win it. I see it as a free game for us and I will tell the players to go out and enjoy themselves.
“It would be nice to win the tie and get a bit of confidence through the team after the disappointment of losing at Stirling on Saturday. The performance wasn’t bad but we gave away a silly goal and left ourselves having to chase the game. That’s the lesson we have to learn against Stenhousemuir.”
McInally added: “Stenny are a decent side and have started the season really well. But we have players who can cause them problems and if we play as we can I am confident we can win the game. But we will need to be at our best.”
McInally will have to reshuffle his attacking options for tonight following the dismissal of Andy Rodgers on Saturday.
The former East Stirling player was red carded for violent conduct meaning he will have to sit out tonight’s cup tie. without the services of their main forward but insists his team-mate can turn his predicament around.
He said: “Without going into details, as it’s a matter between the club and the player, I’m sure Rory can come back from this.
“The players are not involved in what’s going on and it’s best we leave the manager to deal with it.
“It’s disappointing Rory is unavailable as he is a good player who would do a job in any team, but hopefully the situation can be sorted out quickly. All we can do is try to ignore it and concentrate on winning a cup match.”
Stenny are joint top of League 1 after winning their first two games of the season but Sharp knows they will not be looking forward to a midweek trip to Peterhead.
He said: “Stenhousemuir are the team from the higher league so they should be regarded as favourites regardless of who has home advantage.
“If we win it will be viewed as a shock result for them but if they win they have done what was expected of them so there is no pressure on us.
“I don’t see why we can’t beat them and it would be great to go through to the last eight.
“We’ve gifted goals in our two league games so far but if we keep it tight at the back I think we’ve got enough quality in the side to get a result.
“We’re going to give it a go. It’s a nice change from the league in that there isn’t the same pressure on us.” Cultergointo this evening’s League Cup Group 2match against Banchory St Ternanat CrombieParkknowing they have to win by at least five clear goals in order to pip Hermes in the knockout stages.
In Group 8, Burghead Thistle welcomeNewElgin needing to collect all three points if they are to overthrow their opponents at the top of the table.
In the Superleague, Deveronside can consolidate their early lead at the head of the table if they take the honoursatMaud. HallRussell United, who travel to Uniconn Park to face Hermes, are two points off the pace, as are Dyce who visit FC Stoneywood.
Longside begin their league campaign with a home match against Ellon United and at Spain Park, it’s a 7.45pm kick-off for Banks o’ Dee’s game with Stonehaven.
Early First Division (East) pacesetters Glentanar are at Findon to play Parkvale while secondplaced Colony Park entertain a Lewis United side playing their opening l eague match of t he season.
At Heathryfold Sunnybank are looking to get off the mark with the visit of Newmachar United while Cruden Bay travel to Buchanhaven Hearts.
In the First Division (West) awin for eitherPortgordon Victoria or Buckie Rovers, who meet at Gordon Park, will mean they join Inverness City at the top of the table. Dufftown host Islavale, Forres Thistle are on the road at Nairn St Ninian and Whitehills play Fochabers.
Longside began their Superleague campaign with a 1-0 win at East End on Saturday. Ben Danton got the only goal of the game at New Advocate’s Park. The goal was incorrectly credited to East End yesterday.