Losing goals at key times hurts the Blue Toon

Nov 7, 2021

Airdrie  3            Peterhead          1

Losing goals at key times resulted in Peterhead going down 3-1 to a host Airdrie side who moved to the top of the League 1 table as a result.

The Blue Toon headed to Lanarkshire on the back of a four-game unbeaten run and they matched the Diamonds for nearly the entire first half however a defensive slip allowed Dylan Easton to score just before the half-time whistle.

Airdrie came out with their tails up at the start of the second half and Kerr McInroy added a second with Callum Smith notching a third seconds after the visitors missed a good opportunity to get back into the game.

Andy McDonald pulled a goal back in bizarre fashion late on but the destination of the points had been decided by then.

Simon Ferry and Niah Payne were not able to take their place on the substitutes bench due to injury with manager Jim McInally giving Grant Savoury making his first start in place of Derek Lyle.

Peterhead started brightly and after Hamish Ritchie had been fouled Flynn Duffy’s whipped free-kick reached Russell McLean however the striker headed wide.

On eight minutes Kerr McInroy picked up loose ball in Peterhead box and drilled for goal however his effort was deflected past for a corner.

Four minutes later Airdrie goalkeeper Max Currie was forced to leap high to save when Andy McCarthy lofted a Duffy corner back into the box and Savoury tried to loop a header into the net.

Referee Steven Reid confused everyone on 30 minutes when he awarded a foul to the home side after McLean and Jason Brown challenged for the ball in the Airdrie box.

As the hosts continued to probe for an opening Adam Frizzell tried his luck from long distance with the ball clearing Long’s bar with Peterhead retaliating with a curling Duffy cross that reached Josh Mulligan at the back post however the on-loan Dundee man volleyed over.

The Balmoor men forced a corner five minutes from the break and Duffy crossed it in from the left however the Airdrie defence cleared at pace with skipper Scott Brown having to dart back and end a lightning attack with a timely interception.

Manager Jim McInally had to change his half-time team talk just a minute from the break when Airdrie were able to break the deadlock. McCarthy had done well to win a tackle and slip the ball to Mulligan however he was robbed by Easton who raced into the box and sent a shot past Long with the aid of a deflection off Jason Brown.

Peterhead showed their desire to get level straight from the kick-off for the second half with McCarthy finding Scott Brown and the skipper sending Mulligan free with the danger only ending when the home defence scrambled his low driven cross clear.

Airdrie should have grabbed a second goal on 50 minutes when Smith fired across the visitors’ goal and Calum Gallagher slid in to turn the ball over the line however hie miscued the ball back towards Smith and a relieved Long clutched it.

Seven minutes later a second goal did arrive when McInroy popped up as the ball bounced in the Peterhead box and cutely lobbed Long.

Hamish Ritchie had two chances in quick succession to bring his side back into the game however they were both blocked.

On 63 minutes it looked like Mulligan was set to score a fine goal as he ran onto a low Flynn cross at the back post however he screwed his shot wide.

That miss was punished within seconds as Smith got onto a box in no man’s land and chipped over the advancing Long.

The Peterhead shot-stopper then finger-tipped a cross that became a shot away as Airdrie looked to increase their advantage further.

McInally’s side refused to buckle and McLean sent a shot swerving over Currie with 13 minutes left only to see the ball crash against the bar.

Substitute Derek Lyle volleyed a Mulligan cross over before Andy McDonald pulled a goal back in injury time.

The centre back overhit a pass forward and the ball was going all the way to Currie however the goalkeeper took his eye off it and it rolled under his foot and into the net.

Peterhead – Long, Mulligan, Duffy, McDonald, Jason Brown, McCarthy, Ritchie (Lyle 65), Scott Brown, McLean, Wilson, Savoury (Cameron 72)

Unused substitutes – Wilson (G/k), Conroy, Strachan