Peterhead braved the cold weather on Sunday to play host to runaway division leaders Rangers, the Glasgow side boasting a 20-point lead over Jim McInally’s Blue Toon.
But the gap in the table seemed to mean little on the pitch, as Peterhead players took to the stage for yet another televised game, going on the front foot in the first 15 minutes to make their impression on the game.
Hosting the Ibrox side as the season opener, fans were perhaps hopeful that the Blue Toon could repeat their score draw in August, but it was not to be.
With everything going against the North-east side in their efforts to climb further up the Third Division table, which included both weather and bookings, Rangers man Francisco Sandaza closed out the game with his goal at the half-hour mark.
Speaking after the game, Blue Toon boss McInally gave his thoughts on how the day went, saying that he was “disappointed we never finished it with 11 men,” Rory McAllister, Peterhead’s leading scorer for the season, finding a second booking for a handball in the second-half.
McInally added that he “substituted Ryan McCann to save him getting sent off, and then, within five minutes, we were down to 10 men.”
Asked about the handball itself, he commented: “I’ve got a lot of history with that referee, he’s done me a lot of damage before, so I don’t want to talk about him.”
The referee for the game, Mike Tumilty, sent McInally, then East Stirlingshire boss, to the stands during a play-off game, which resulted in the manager receiving a lengthy touchline ban.
“But it was a massive loss to us to lose Rory at that stage of the game.
“I thought our attitude was brilliant, our work rate was great, and I thought we started the game really well . . . And finished it really well, considering we’re a part-time team. The players worked their socks off, and if they keep working like that, they’ll be okay.”
Peterhead’s next fixture will be away to Annan Athletic on Saturday, January 26, the Dumfries and Galloway side playing catch-up with the Blue Toon for one of three play-off places available.