Peterhead striker Rory McAllister continued his love affair with this season’s Petrofac Training Cup, helping the Blue Toon reach the final by seeing off Queen’s Park 2-1 at Hampden.
The most high-profile plumber in Scottish football took his tally for this season’s competition up to eight when he netted the opening goal with Leighton McIntosh hitting the winner after Paul Woods had levelled.
Rangers and St Mirren meet later this month to decide who will face the Balmoor side and McAllister is unsure who he wants to meet in the final.
The 28-year-old said: “It was not our best performance. However, semi-finals are usually scrappy and we did well to get through. All the boys are delighted to have something to look forward to come April.”
“It is difficult to pick a team that we would rather face. We have a better chance of beating St Mirren but you want to play against the best teams and that would be Rangers.”
McAllister scored a winner at Ibrox in a Division 3 game in April 2013, but he does not believe that is an omen. He explained: “They are an entirely different team now. It would be a lot harder than it was then but in a one-off game who knows.”
With pantomime season approaching, Queen’s Park fans reckon that McAllister would make an ideal villain after winning the free-kick that led to the opening goal on 17 minutes.
McAllister was roundly booed after going down after a challenge by Woods. However, any objections meant little as the striker curled the ball around the wall and low into Willie Muir’s net.
The striker said: “I was waiting for the challenge and it never came until I pulled my foot back. Sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t and to be honest I do not think it was a penalty when they scored, so you could say things were evened out.”
The spot-kick McAllister referred to came five minutes after his opener when Sean Burns tangled with Ryan Strachan and referee Don Robertson surprised no-one with his sense of parity.
Woods despatched the spot-kick home but Queen’s failed to stay on level terms long and as they struggled to deal with a Kevin Dzierzawski free-kick McIntosh took control and slammed the ball home from six yards.
The second half was a less open affair with Peterhead happy to gift possession and look to hit Gus MacPherson’s side on the break.
Their plan worked with Queen’s not able to build a head of steam. However, Jamie McKernon shaved the post in injury time before being dismissed for speaking out of turn.
McAllister’s boss Jim McInally said: “We did not play that well but we saw things out. Semi-finals are really difficult to win but we did it.
“Rory is a great boy and has a remarkable scoring record. I would love him to go on to have a full-time career but I am more ambitious for him than he is.”
MacPherson said: “We were undone at two set-pieces but when you have as much possession as we did you are looking for better chances to be created.”
SCORERS: Queen’s Park - Woods (22’, pen); Peterhead - McAllister (17’), McIntosh (27’)