Despite the pain of Peterhead’s Scottish Cup exit Jack Leitch insists it has given them a confidence boost for the rest of the season.
The Blue Toon lost 1-0 to Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park in the third round on Saturday with the scoreline no reflection on the Buchan outfit’s performance.
Jim McInally’s side dominated from start to finish but didn’t manage to score and were caught out early on by Kieran Bowie’s goal on the counter-attack.
However, Leitch believes turning in such a positive performance should boost confidence in the Blue Toon squad – particularly because they had lost 3-1 and 4-0 to Rovers in Kirkcaldy earlier this season in the Betfred Cup and League 1.
The midfielder, 24, said: “We were so happy with how we played but then devastated to go out of the cup.
“If we keep playing like that going forward then we will do well in League 1.
“We can take a lot of confidence from Saturday’s performance because Raith gave us two doings early in the seasons.
“So to go back down to Stark’s Park a couple of months later and play so differently and dominate the game was excellent and it shows we’re moving in the right direction.”
Reflecting on Peterhead’s Scottish Cup exit at the weekend, Leitch added: “We were all really disappointed to go out of the Scottish Cup because we were excellent over the 90 minutes.
“In the first half especially we had plenty of good chances.
“We played really well. At the start of the season we went down to Stark’s Park and took two sore defeats in the Betfred Cup and League 1.
“So it was good to show what we were capable of against Raith Rovers.
“The only disappointing thing about it was the result.”
Something that also rankled with the Blue Toon at the weekend was two credible penalty appeals that referee Steven Reid turned down.
Raith goalkeeper Ross Munro tripped Ben Armour in the box early on and soon after the striker had a goal-bound shot blocked by the arm of Kyle Benedictus.
Leitch said: “We had two or three penalty claims, but didn’t get them.
“The one I saw clearest was Ben’s second when it hits the defender’s arm.
“The ball was on target, it was going in the net if it wasn’t for the handball.
“It was tough on us not to get those decisions and Ryan Conroy nearly scores, but then they go up the park and score.”