Peterhead 2 Airdrie 3
Peterhead manager Jim McInally was not letting a late comeback mask a disappointing display from his side as they went down 3-2 at home to Airdrie.
A brace from Rhys McCabe and a goal from Calum Gallagher had the Diamonds firmly in control before a rally saw Scott Brown and Russell McLean netted for the Blue Toon with Jim saying: “I am not taking a lot of comfort from the late goals. We were well beaten and paid a heavy price for starting both halves in far too slow a fashion.”
The Blue Toon started with Derek Lyle upfront in place of Russell McLean who had picked up a knock with Simon Ferry returning from injury to take the place of Andy McCarthy who has been suffering from a sickness bug this week.
The Diamonds advised that their squad had been hit by positive Covid cases however their line-up was still strong and full of well-known names however they were only able to list four substitutes.
It was the visitors who took charge early with home goalkeeper Brett Long excelling on seven minutes when he blocked an effort from Gabby McGill and then immediately saved Dylan Easton’s follow up.
As Airdrie kept on pushing Long kept his goal intact again by leaping to turn away a close range header from Easton however the visitors were not denied for much longer.
The opener came on 24 minutes when McCabe got the better of Long by curling home directly from a free-kick. Two minutes later it was almost two when Adam Frizzell broke free however his parting shot clipped a post on its way past.
Peterhead threatened for the first time on 28 minutes when Derek Lyle rose high to send a header goalward however Max Currie clutched the ball confidently.
Unfortunately the hosts could not build on that with Calum Gallagher having an effort from long distance saved by Long before the sides trooped off at the break with Airdrie winning 1-0.
Peterhead almost paid the price for a sluggish start to the second half with Frizzell driving a shot goalward to warm the hands of Long.
The shot-stopper denied Gallagher with his feet before Josh Mulligan looked to bring Peterhead alive with a header that floated wide.
McLean and Lyall Cameron were introduced as substitutes however before they could make an impact Airdrie went two up on 69 minutes from the penalty spot.
Ryan Conroy tripped Callum Smith in the box and McCabe showed his dead ball skills again by converting the resultant penalty.
It was 3-0 five minutes later when McGill picked up a through ball from Gallagher and skipped past Long before slotting in.
The points looked to have been lost however Peterhead skipper Scott Brown grabbed a goal back on 81 minutes with a fantastic volley from the edge of the box.
With 90 minutes gone it became 3-2 when McLean stabbed home from close range however a third goal proved beyond Peterhead.
Jim added: “I am pleased that the players hung in there and made the score-line a lot more respectable.”
Peterhead – Long, Mulligan, Conroy, McDonald, Jason Brown, Ferry (Jordon Brown 71), Ritchie (Cameron 65), S Brown, Lyle (McLean 65), Strachan, Payne
Unused substitutes – Wilson (G/k), Kesson, Musanhu