Peterhead’sJamie Stevenson rued his side’s recent record against Stenhousemuir after a 3-1 reverse at Ochilview.
Brown Ferguson’s men took three wins and a draw in the four encounters last season and Stevenson was at a loss as to explain why they so often come up short in this fixture.
“We said that in the changing room,” he said.
“Last season as well they took ten points from twelve off us.
“Today we weren’t at it and we weren’t good enough.
“Take nothing away from Stenny, but they were three poor goals to lose.
“It’s not as if they scored great goals. They came from mistakes from us. So if we can just cut out the mistakes.”
They were immediately under pressure through an error from Mason Robertson in opening minutes.
That time they survived but were punished soon after when Robertson was robbed of possession by Longworth and McGuigan chipped over Greg Fleming for the opener on seven minutes.
The Blue Toon later gained a foothold in the game and Robertson atoned for his error when he rose highest to nod in Willie Gibson’s free-kick on the half hour.
Already without Rory McAllister, and with Simon Ferry and Scott Ross only fit enough for the bench,
Jim McInally was dealt a further blow when Robertson picked up an injury.
Though Stevenson was loathe to use this as an excuse for a poor showing.
“We were missing Rory and missing Simon Ferry, two of the backbone of the team, and Mason went off injured,” he said.
“But no excuses, end of the day they would have beat us, but we just need to tighten up and to and be a bit more professional.”
“We huffed and puffed but we never looked like scoring.”
Robertson’s half-time replacement Mikael Dikobo blundered after seven minutes on the field to gift Stenhousemuir the lead once more.
The left-back had two attempts to clear a cross – a header followed by a slide – and all he could do was to knock it into the path of former Peterhead midfielder Nathan Blockley who prodded the ball home.
After that Gibson had a free-kick palmed away by Chris Smith and later Dikobo’s cross almost flew straight into the net, but Peterhead rarely threatened otherwise.
Their day was compounded when Jamie Longworth, who’d caused trouble all afternoon, took advantage of some defensive confusion to put the game to bed.
With nine minutes remaining it left McInally’s men a mountain to climb, though he will not be too disheartened after two league wins from three and positive results in two cup competitions.
Next up for Peterhead is the early pace-setters Stirling Albion and while Stevenson knows it crucial to stay within touching distance, he’s also aware it’s a little too early to make predictions.
“Anybody can beat anybody in this league,” he said.
“And it’s disappointing because we do want to win as many as we can and Stirling’s win opens a wee gap of three points.
“So we need to keep on their heels as much as we can.”