Cove Rangers nicked the north-east derby spoils as Rory McAllister’s spot-kick earned a 1-0 win over Peterhead.
A close-fought contest between the two League One rivals at Balmoor was settled late on in the second half, with McAllister scoring from 12 yards against his former side.
Harry Milne was recalled to the Cove Rangers line-up, after returning from illness, while Peterhead handed a debut to Flynn Duffy who joined on loan from Dundee United on Friday.
The first meeting between the two sides this season ended in a 3-1 win for Peterhead, coming in the Premier Sports Cup in July.
On that day the Balmoor side opened the scoring in a frenetic first 15 minutes. It was Cove, however, who threatened first this time, with Rory McAllister angling a ball across the face of goal that Mitch Megginson narrowly failed to touch in.
McAllister was at the centre of Cove’s next opportunity, after he collected Megginson’s flick-on and picked out an unmarked Jamie Masson. He controlled and shot for goal, however Simon Ferry was able to get back and make a desperate block.
It was Megginson’s turn next to go close, after a long ball from goalkeeper Stuart McKenzie sewed confusion in the Peterhead defence. It bounced awkwardly for the visiting skipper and he hooked his shot over the bar.
The Blue Toon got into dangerous areas, using striker Russell McLean as a focal point, but were not troubling McKenzie’s goal.
Both teams shifted to a diamond formation to start the second period and it did little to dull the pace of the game.
McAllister hit the frame of the goal on 51 minutes, meeting Iain Vigurs’ free-kick with a firm header, with goalkeeper Brett Long then out quickly to block Megginson’s rebound.
51’ McAllister heads the ball onto the post, then Long makes a fantastic save to deny Megginson#BlueToon 🔵⚪️💙(0-0)
— Peterhead FC (@pfcofficial) September 18, 2021
Scott Brown, who scored in this encounter two months ago, came close with a curling effort from just outside the box just after the hour mark after promising work from Andy McCarthy.
Referee Gavin Duncan was kept busy, booking Scott Ross, Fraser Fyvie and McCarthy for rash challenges, as the feisty nature of the game prevented any real moments of quality being produced.
Duncan had a huge say in the outcome of the game with 11 minutes to go, as he penalised Andy McDonald for tangling with Cove defender Morgyn Neill. McAllister rolled home the subsequent penalty for his sixth goal of the season.
In response Hamish Ritchie drew a save out of McKenzie at his near post but Peterhead were unable to salvage a draw on home soil.