Peterhead started their season by shocking Dundee United at Tannadice.
The Blue Toon defeated the Premiership side 1-0 in their League Cup Group C opener courtesy Steven Boyd’s excellent goal early in the second half.
It was no more than the Buchan side deserved with the result more impressive considering United have played 10 league games and this was the Aberdeenshire side’s first competitive outing.
Peterhead boss Jim McInally handed competitive debuts to goalkeeper Josh Rae, Kyle Bailey at centre-back, Josh Mulligan at right-back and Isaac Layne up front.
United were without a recognised striker in their line-up with Micky Mellon deploying former Dons Cammy Smith and Peter Pawlett up front, with another ex-Aberdeen favourite, Mark Reynolds, on the bench.
The Blue Toon opted a 4-3-3 formation with Layne supported in attack by Ben Armour and Boyd.
It was the visitors that carved out the first chance with a neat move down the right winning a corner. United couldn’t clear and when the ball was recycled and Andrew McCarthy crossed from the right side Layne headed wide at the back post from close range.
Soon after the Buchan side were forced into a defensive reshuffle, Mulligan had to come off injured with Gary Fraser sent on. Simon Ferry moved to centre-back with Bailey shifting to right-back.
United’s first decent move came after 20 minutes, but Pawlett was unable to time his run through on goal and was flagged offside, and the same player swept a shot well wide after combining with Luke Bolton soon after.
At the other end Layne’s physicality and pace was causing problems and he tested home keeper Deniz with a shot from 25 yards, unfortunately for Peterhead they lost Layne to injury after half an hour with Alan Cook coming on.
Before half-time Ian Harkes lashed wide from the edge of the box and Ryan Conroy’s 30-yard rasper flew narrowly over the crossbar, but it remained goalless at the break.
It was a half from which Peterhead could take great many positives. In possession they were assured played and looked threatening when they got up the pitch, while defensively they limited Dundee United to no clear-cut opening.
The Blue Toon started the second half strongly with Boyd’s flashing in a cross from the left and Scott Brown having a powerful effort deflected wide.
In the 48th minute Cook had a better chance. He controlled a Bailey cross from the right but pulled a shot from 16 yards narrowly wide.
Cook was inches away from connected with Scott Brown’s deflected cross, but on 51 minutes the League One side did take the lead.
It was a terrific move with Bailey and Armour teeing up McCarthy on the right and his drive low cross was met by Boyd 15 yards out and his first-time right foot shot nestled in the bottom right corner and on the balance of play it was no more than Peterhead deserved.
Falling behind did seem bring about a change in tempo but they still struggled to carve out any chances.
In the 62nd minute Jamie Robson was close to an equaliser, but his long range shot fizzed past the left post with Rae at full stretch and Harkes headed wide from a Pawlett cross soon after.
But Peterhead were causing problems as well with Scott Brown shooting over after a surge down the right by Bailey and Jason Brown warmed Deniz’s palms with a header.
Cook had a fine chance to double the lead with 17 minutes when sub Lyall Cameron was released down the right flank by Scott Brown. Dundee loanee Cameron’s cross was perfect but Deniz made a point-blank save with his legs to thwart Cook.
In the closing stages Ryan Edwards headed straight at Rae from a Pawlett corner as United chased an equaliser which didn’t come.
Dundee United – Deniz, L Smith (Appere 53), Connolly, Edwards, Robson, Bolton, Butcher (Powers 75), Harkes, McMullan (Fotheringham, 65), Pawlett, Cammy Smith.
Subs not used – Alexander, Reynolds, Hoti, King, King, Mochrie, Neilson.
Peterhead – Rae, Mulligan (Fraser 9), J Brown, Bailey, Conroy, Scott Brown, Ferry, McCarthy, Boyd, Layne (Cook 31), Armour (Cameron 63).
Subs not used – Wilson, MacKenzie, Kesson Cameron Lyle.