Peterhead the pick to reach Ladbrokes League 1 via play-offs
Despite a run of six wins on the spin, Peterhead missed out on the Ladbrokes League 2 title by a single point on the final day. But there’s plenty of reason to believe the Blue Toon will still secure promotion via the play-offs.
Here’s why the Balmoor faithful have reason to be optimistic ahead of their side’s semi-final first leg at Stirling Albion…
Strong form and Binos’ head-to-head record
Jim McInally’s men make the trip to Stirling tonight with their eyes on a seventh straight victory. They’ve been rock-solid at the back, conceding just two games in that run.
The Blue Toon also have two of their star forwards in fine form. Rory McAllister has netted eight times in 2018, whilst youngster Russell McLean has 10 goals in his last nine outings.
Peterhead have also dominated recent meetings between the pair. They’ve won the last three clashes, managing two clean sheets in the process. They’re 4/5 for victory in the first leg at Forthbank, whilst it’s 13/5 for a Peterhead Win to Nil.
Factor in that stuttering Stirling have lost four of their last five games, and this should be a straightforward task for the Blue Toon over two legs.
Peterhead have a fine fighting spirit
In their bid to catch Montrose at the top of the table, McInally’s men showed an immense fighting spirit which will serve them well in the play-offs.
In each of their last three outings, the Aberdeenshire club have bagged a winning goal in the final 20 minutes. That included a 90th-minute Scott Brown effort which saw off Edinburgh City last time out.
That ability to eke out results in tight games is something Stirling Albion have lacked, dropping seven points in as many games from winning positions.
And as Tuesday night’s first-leg in the other semi showed, neither Stenhousemuir nor Queen’s Park had enough in the tank to edge things.
Gaffer’s pedigree offers a boost
The Blue Toon also have an advantage in the dugout. Boss McInally knows what it takes to win promotion from this level – with this very team, in fact! He led Peterhead to the League 2 title back in 2014.
And with seven years at the Balmoor helm, he’ll know plenty about the strengths and weaknesses of potential final opponents Stenhousemuir and Queen’s Park.
Factor all of that in, and it’s likely that Peterhead fans will be enjoying League 1 football again next season.
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