Determined striker Josh Peters hopes hitting his first goal of the season will help land him a late-season run up front for Elgin City.
The 25-year-old is frustrated that, of his 31 appearances this term, only seven have come from the start and he admits the closing five games could be a crucial period in his career, as he chases regular football.
With Kane Hester netting 16 times so far, boss Gavin Price often sticks with one in attack, which means Peters has often been waiting in the wings.
First goal of season lifts Peters
After scoring the opener in last week’s 2-0 win against Edinburgh City, their first victory in 15 attempts against the capital side, he hopes to get the nod away to Albion Rovers on Saturday.
He said: “The goal was a long time coming, but my game time has been limited this season and I’ve not played as much as I’d have liked. The way we set up didn’t really suit me, with one striker up top.
“On Saturday, we went with the two up top and there was a bit more positivity. I’m confident that once I start playing regularly, I will get fitter, sharper and I will score goals.
“It has taken a long time, but I was delighted to get off the mark and hopefully I can score a few more before the end of the season.
“The boys know I have been training well for the majority of the season, trying to keep myself as fit as I can. But you need to play games to get match fitness.
“I don’t want to sit on the bench every week, but I hope to get more of a chance in the final weeks.”
Training levels raised after slow start
Peters admits a chat with boss Gavin Price earlier prompted him to raise the levels at training and he feels his work on non-matchdays alone merited more starts.
He added: “I speak to the manager throughout the season about my situation and, being honest, in the first few months maybe I wasn’t training as well as I could.
“My confidence was a bit shot because I didn’t feel I was involved as much and I maybe took it to heart.
“But, since then, I upped my standards in training and I felt my training performances were good enough for a chance in the team.
“Maybe, with us being in the bottom half this season, we’ve set up with just Kane up front, but I can play as a number nine or a number 10.
“The gaffer knows I can play in those positions and maybe just needs to trust that I can perform there. I hope last Saturday’s performance encourages him to give me more of a chance.”
Striker seeks weekly football chance
Peters, who has also played for Forfar, Queen’s Park and Stirling, still has another year left at Elgin.
He wants to show in these closing five fixtures what he can do to boost him going into the summer.
The forward said: “I want to play regular football. I stay in Aviemore and travel to Elgin three times a week. I don’t want to sit on the bench.
“No matter what level it’s at, I want to play football every week.
“Hopefully I can stay in the team and see what happens come the summer.
“I get on brilliantly with the boys at Elgin, which has helped me. I want to fight for my chance here.”
Battling display needed at Cliftonhill
This afternoon, Elgin head to Coatbridge to tackle an Albion side who beat them 2-0 there earlier in the season.
Victory for the Black and Whites would see them switch places with the hosts and move up to eighth position and Peters expects a gutsy display will be required.
He said: “It’s always a battle down there. It’s well-known Albion Rovers are a tough team to beat at their ground.
“It’s not the best surface, although not many are at this time of the year.
“I can’t say I’ve had any easy games against Albion Rovers away. But we want to finish as strongly as we can in the league this season after gathering momentum in recent weeks.”
Swift start put Elgin City in control
Reflecting on the win against Edinburgh City, Peters stressed getting three points was far more important than it being their first victory over the Citizens since August 2018.
Peters netted after just nine minutes and Hester doubled the score just eight minutes later.
FT here at Borough Briggs
Goals from Josh Peters and Kane Hester pic.twitter.com/X4OjeG4sGg
— Elgin City F.C. (@ElginCityFC) March 26, 2022
Michael Travis was sent off for the visitors soon after that, by which time Elgin were already in cruise control, and Edinburgh finished with nine men when Calum Crane was sent off late on.
Peters said: “The players don’t look too much into the history of the fixture, although it had been a long time since we’d beaten them.
“Performance-wise, we started off brilliantly and that won us the game. The sending off did help, but I feel the way we started was the way we should have been starting games more often this season.
“That’s annoying, because a good start to the game can do wonders for you.
“We’re performing well and gelling on and off the pitch. It was a good result.”