Peterhead made a winning return to League One action, defeating full-time Airdrieonians 1-0.
Despite slightly warmer temperatures in the north-east, Balmoor was typically breezy.
The Blue Toon started the afternoon in seventh place, having played a game more than their fourth-placed opponents, who they hadn’t defeated in four meetings since their return to League One in 2019.
Inverurie Locos loanee Hamish Ritchie made his debut in midfield, having agreed a move during the week, while attacker Niah Payne made his long-awaited first appearance after signing in January.
Right-back Daniel Strachan, the new loanee from Dundee, was among the substitutes.
Ben Armour was deemed fit enough for the bench, but Alan Cook and Gary Fraser missed out with injuries.
Meanwhile, Simon Ferry, Steven Boyd and Andrew McDonald were suspended.
Peterhead started on the front foot, with Payne flashing a header over the right stancheon soon after kick-off.
They received a boost moments later when Airdrieonians’ Kyle Turner was shown a straight red card by referee Steven Kirkland after less than five minutes for a late challenge on Ryan Conroy on the left touchline.
The game wasn’t particularly high on quality in the opening stages, perhaps unsurprising given the shutdown, with the Blue Toon struggling to work the ball into their front two of Payne and Isaac Layne.
Central midfielder Andrew McCarthy was the home side’s brightest creative force.
The visitors went close on 31 minutes, with Calum Gallagher capitalising on a defensive mishap to beat Kieran Freeman to the ball, before turning and sending a left-footed drive off Josh Rae’s bar from 10 yards out.
On 41 minutes, McCarthy had Peterhead’s only clear-cut opportunity of the first half, but fired past the post from Ritchie’s pinpoint ball over the Airdrie backline.
After the break, Airdrie suffered another early blow as their much-lauded attacker Thomas Robert was stretchered off with what appeared to be an ankle problem.
On 58 minutes, after Kyle Bailey got away with clearing out Euan O’Reilly deep in the Blue Toon half, Jordon Brown flashed an effort wide of the left post.
Peterhead’s man advantage, which had seen them have most of the ball throughout, really began to tell after the hour and they were prodding for an opener.
On 66 minutes, they took the lead, with Jordon Brown firing low across Airdrie keeper Max Currie from the left corner of the six-yard box after being played in by Ritchie.
Both teams then exchanged efforts with around 15 minutes to play. First, Gallagher lashed over for the visitors from inside the area, before Ritchie curled one over from 20 yards for Peterhead.
However, the Blue Toon weren’t threatened again, and wound down the clock safely in Airdrieonians’ half of the pitch.