Toon’s poor league form continues at home to Ayr

SCOTT LEAGUE I
PETERHEAD V AYR UTD
(DUNCAN BROWN)

PETERHEAD'S JORDAN BROWN GETS AWAY FROM GERRY MCLAUCHLAN AND ROBBIE CRAWFORD
SCOTT LEAGUE I PETERHEAD V AYR UTD (DUNCAN BROWN) PETERHEAD'S JORDAN BROWN GETS AWAY FROM GERRY MCLAUCHLAN AND ROBBIE CRAWFORD

As bizarre football games at Balmoor Stadium go, this has to rank right up there as an afternoon of mixed emotions for the Blue Toon fans.

A match that started so well soon turned sour and ended in embarrassment.

The mercurial talents of striker Rory McAllister have so often been the teams saviour but a nightmare couple of minutes saw him miss a penalty then get sent off for violent conduct, an act that will see him miss the next three games including both legs of the play-offs against Ayr.

With Ally Gilchrist and Scott Ross almost certainly out for the remainder of the season, there was good news with the return from injury of Simon Ferry, Ryan Strachan and...Rory McAllister.

The first 10 minutes started in promising fashion and ended with the award of a stonewall penalty, Nicky Devlin scything down Jordan Brown just inside the box.

Devlin was shown a yellow card but could easily have received a red as the challenge denied a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Up stepped the usually deadly McAllister but his kick was too casual and allowed Greg Fleming to dive to his right and save.

The fans were still reeling from that when they could barely believe what happened next, McAllister elbowing defender Peter Murphy in the face off the ball. Referee Euan Anderson went over to consult his assistant but everyone including McAllister knew what was coming and the distraught striker made his way towards the tunnel realising the automatic two match ban is likely to become three and probably signal the last game he will play this season.

The dismissal sparked a total collapse in the mind set of the remaining players and it was a worrying sight to see them fold in such a dramatic way.

A delicate chip from Shane Sutherland went narrowly past the far post but that was the only first half fight seen by the home side.

At the other end, the inevitable conceding of another goal, it is now 12 in four games came after 24 minutes. Ross McCorrie sped into the right side of the penalty area, was challenged but the ball broke clear and Craig Moore snapped up the loose ball to score from six yards.

All things considered a one goal deficit at the break wouldn’t have been the end of the world but the conceding of a second right on half time killed the contest. A corner kick from the left should have been punched clear, as Graeme Smith acknowledged after the match, but the ball fell all too easily to McComrie who scored as he fell backwards.

The second half was a repeat of the first with a single chance from the Blue Toon, Brown seeing a shot at the back post blocked by the legs of Fleming soon after the re-start.

That was it as far as a comeback was concerned and at the other end every attack looked set to produce another Ayr goal.In the 54th minute Robbie Crawford set up Jordan Preston to score into the bottom right corner then the torture continued with nine minutes left, Preston turning provider squaring for on-loan Motherwell forward Moore to sidefoot in his brace.