A trio of Peterhead players saw red in what Dunfermline captain Josh Falkingham could only describe as a ‘crazy’ first 45 minutes on Saturday.
Jamie Redman, Steven Noble and Jordan Brown were dismissed by referee Greg Aiken in a bad-blooded tie in only the second meeting of the two sides in the club’s history.
And had it not been for the heroic display of Toon keeper Graeme Smith, the 3-0 scoreline in favour of the home team could have been even greater.
He managed to keep the scoreline level early on when Ross Forbhes and Falkingham both came close.
He then denied Ryan Thomson before Falkingham eventually got the better of him in the 59th minute.
Chigozie Ugwu and substitute James Thomas added a furthe two goals as the Blue Toon succumbed to the pressure of being three players down.
Jamie Redman was the first to go after only 16 minutes when he took down Falkingham.
Noble and Brown were both dismissed after a mass brawl broke out shortly before half time.
However, goalie Smith refused to blame his team mates for the defeat.
“I didn’t think there was a red card in the game,” he said.
“Jamie’s one certainly wasn’t and the cards just spoiled the whole game because I don’t think it was a good thing for either team,” he said.
Smith said there hadn’t been a lot of animosity prior to the red cards.
“It was going to be tough for us, but we still had a chance when we were only one down, but after half-time it was just a case of damage limitation,” he said.
“It turned into a training match of attack against defence and you can only defend like that for so long.
“We needed a miracle and it was just a question of when Dunfermline would score again, rather that if they would.
“It was great to be making saves and helping the team but I’ve never been involved in such a strange game.
“We’ve got to move on to next week now,” he added.
PETERHEAD: Smith, Ross, Donaldson, Noble, Sharp, Redman, Strachan (McCann 75, Gilfillan (Millar 62), Smith, Brown, McAllister (Cox 60). Subs: McLaren, McCann, Richardson, Cox, Millar, Stevenson, MacDonald.