Play-off spot hopes take a dent as Peterhead crash to defeat

Peterhead's David Cox and Darren Dods clash.
Peterhead's David Cox and Darren Dods clash.

Peterhead’s chances to move into a play-off place were sent crashing with two game changing decisions in the only League One match to go ahead on Saturday.

With the weather and Scottish Cup ties leaving this encounter at Station Park the last one on the card, the Blue Toon turned in a battling performance that on another day would have seen them head north with at least a point for their efforts.

The first half flowed from end to end with the visitors having the best of the possession but with only a 32nd minute free kick from David Cox, acrobatically snatched out of the air by Rab Douglas, to show for their efforts while an Omar Kader shot from distance equally well dealt with by Graeme Smith was the nearest the home side came.

The match was turned on its head in a seven-minute spell that saw Forfar take the lead and the visitors reduced to ten men.

The home side scored against the run of play in the 33rd minute. Ryan Strachan made a hash of clearing his lines allowing the towering Chris Templeman to have a shot which was saved by Smith but the rebound was played back in to Templeman who side-footed into the net, unmarked six yards out.

Five minutes before halftime Rory McAllister was shown a second yellow card for an incident spotted by the far side assistant, apparently for aiming a kick at Forfar defender Darren Dods.

The two had clashed earlier with McAllister doing himself no favours with a petulant outburst towards referee Kevin Graham in the aftermath with the striker now set to serve a two match ban.

After the match Peterhead Manager Jim McInally was quick to shoulder the blame for the dismissal.

“After the first booking I could see the referee had worn him down and he was certainly on the end of some poor decisions and I should have known to take him off at that point,” he said.

After the re-start it looked game over after 54 minutes when the home side notched a second, Gavin Swankie squeezing the ball home from the tightest of angles at the byeline to the left of goal.

Surely game over but a resilient Blue Toon fought back and reduced the deficit in clinical fashion on the hour mark.

Steven Noble sent in a hard and low cross from the left and full back Cammy Kerr, on loan from Dundee, burst into the area to slide in his second goal in consecutive weeks and the match was alive once again.

The visitors were then denied what looked a certain penalty.

Jordan Brown, who had come on to replace Kevin Dzierzawski, was sent sprawling as he went to get on to a right wing cross from Cox but neither the referee or his assistant, who looked well-placed to see the incident, felt it warranted a spot kick.

As Peterhead threw every outfield player up for a last minute spell of pressure the inevitable happened as Forfar broke clear and Swankie grabbed an easy third after a three on one situation gave Smith no chance and the scoreline took on a harsh appearance.

PETERHEAD: Smith, Kerr, Noble, Strachan, Ross, Dzierzawski (Brown 68), Cox, Redman, McAllister, Stevenson (Rodgers 83) Riley (Donaldson 55). Subs (unused): Jarvie, McLaren , Smith.