Look up gutted in the dictionary and you will see photos of Peterhead fans after the final whistle of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Stirling Albion.
With the match deep into added time and the Blue Toon with one hand on the Division Two trophy and the other about to grab hold, they were stung with a late leveller that felt like a blow to the solar plexus of the bumper crowd inside Balmoor.
It wasn’t a total surprise it has to be said. In recent weeks leads have been clawed back and advantages hung on to with more desperation than they should have been but there was a sickening feeling at the final whistle that only football fans have tasted.
Minus suspended defensive stalwart Mick Dunlop, Peterhead kicked off and were first to show, a second minute header from defender Jason Brown following a Jack Leitch corner from the right.
After 11 minutes some endeavour on the left touchline by Rory McAllister saw him dispossess Jordan McGregor and his low cross fizzed towards the back post where Leitch shot narrowly wide as the home side looked to get their noses in front.
On the quarter hour Ryan Dow stroked a shot towards goal from the edge of the area but it carried no pace and Callum Ferrie dived to comfortably save.
Seven minutes later it was the turn of McAllister to go close but he clipped his shot past the left hand post.
But the goal eventually came after 38 minutes and it was a sweet one, Leitch and McAllister exchanging passes as they broke forward through the middle with Leitch side footing home for a much needed opener.
The second half started with both teams going for goal and from an Albion attack the Blue Toon should have doubled their advantage in the 49th minute, a lovely ball in from the right by Jamie Stevenson onto the boot of Leitch 12 yards out and he pirouetted and shot in one movement only to see his shot drift beyond the back post in agonising fashion.
Moments later it was Stevenson again, this time with a pinpoint cross from the left wing only for McAllister to glance a header wide.
Scott Brown whipped over an excellent cross from the right but newly arrived substitute Shane Sutherland couldn’t make an instant impact as he sidefooted over from six yards as they edged closer to the comfort of a second goal.
But three minutes into stoppage time and with literally seconds remaining ,the game took a dramatic twist, sub and veteran striker Peter McDonald netting for Stirling from a Darren Smith pass meaning the league is not decided just yet.
Peterhead now head for Hampden on Saturday needing a win in their final game against Queen’s Park to guarantee the title.
Any other result and Clyde, who are away to Cowdenbeath, could snatch the championship from their grasp.