Airdrie 1 Peterhead 1 – An unfortunate minute hurts the Blue Toon

May 1, 2022

Peterhead finished their League 1 season on 42 points after a 1-1 draw at promotion chasing Airdrie and it could have been 44 points had two unfortunate incidents within a minute not gone against the Blue Toon.

Grant Savoury scored a fine goal just on half-time for the Balmoor men however with an hour played an own goal from Simon Ferry levelled the score. Peterhead hit back instantly and were awarded a penalty however an unfortunate slip from Scott Brown saw the chance from 12 yards missed with the retiring Derek Lyle denied what would have been a winner with his last touch in senior football.

Shaun Want and Andrew McCarthy failed to fully shake off injuries and they were replaced by Gary Fraser and Hamish Ritchie with Flynn Duffy coming in for Owen Cairns in a re-organised defence that had Ferry and Andrew McDonald at the heart of it.

The Blue Toon survived an early scare against a Diamonds side looking to set a club record of 20 games undefeated after Rico Quitongo was harshly judged to have fouled Kyle MacDonald on the left.

Justin Devenny swung over the free-kick that was cleared to Dean Ritchie at the edge of the box and his first-time shot flashed inches wide.

On twelve minutes Scott Brown had Peterhead’s first attempt on goal when he accepted a pass from Savoury just inside Airdrie’s half. The visiting skipper carried the ball forward before testing Jay Cantley with a low 30-yard drive that was scooped up by the shot-stopper.

Four minutes later Airdrie’s Kyle MacDonald tested Long from a similar distance with the Peterhead number one also making a safe stop.

Midway through the opening half former Diamond Quitongo forced a corner that Ritchie fired across Airdrie’s goal at the second attempt with Cantley’s poor push away almost creating a chance for the visitors.

Scott Brown sent a curling effort towards Airdrie’s goal after ball broke to him at the edge of the box on 31 minutes but it was saved by Cantley.

Five minutes from the break Long picked the ball off Jordan Allan’s toes before Peterhead worked their way to the other end and Scott Brown tried his luck again with his shot drifting wide this time.

Right on half-time Peterhead took the lead thanks to a wonder strike from Savoury. A corner on the right had fallen to Simon Ferry some 20 yards from the home goal and he rolled a pass to Savoury who whipped in a first time shot that hit the inside of the post before bouncing across goal and hitting the net at the other side of the goal.

Four minutes into the restart Ritchie created space however his chipped effort was too direct at Cantley who saved easily. A MacDonald foul on Jordan Allan, which earned him a booking on 52 minutes, gave Devenny a shooting chance however Long was perfectly positioned to save.

Three minutes later Josh Kerr popped up behind Cantley to head away a dangerous Scott Brown shot, following a lightning Savoury break.

Jonathan Afolabi worked his way clear on 59 minutes only for Long to stick out a foot to save however an equaliser was only delayed until the following minute when Matty McDonald’s shot was deflected past Long by Ferry.

Peterhead should have retaken the lead within a minute after Niah Payne dribbled past the grounded Kerr who stuck out a hand to concede a penalty.

After Airdrie protests ended Scott Brown stepped up to take the spot-kick however he slipped as he kicked the ball and his shot cleared the bar.

Derek Lyle came off the bench to make the final appearance of his senior career with 17 minutes left when he replaced Payne with Alan Cook coming on for Gary Fraser at the same time.

With four minutes left it looked like Cook had released another substitute Jordon Brown however the ball raced into the waiting arms of Cantley with Cook denied a goal 60 seconds later when his deflected drive was saved.

In the final minute Ryan Duncan whipped over a free-kick and it looked for a second that Lyle was going to sign off with a goal when Cantley failed to gather however the shot-stopper recovered and took the ball away from what would have been a dream finish for the striker.

Peterhead –

Long, Quitongo, McDonald, Ferry, Duffy (Conroy 78), Fraser (Cook 73), Ritchie (Jordon Brown 78), Scott Brown, Savoury, Jack Brown (Duncan 55), Payne (Lyle 73)

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