Peterhead captain Scott Brown is disappointed his side will play out the season in the bottom half of League One – but is confident they won’t be dragged into a relegation dogfight.
A 2-1 defeat at East Fife on Saturday ended the Blue Toon’s slim hopes of making the top five.
They head into tomorrow’s home game against Falkirk in seventh spot but only three points above second bottom Clyde.
It will be the Balmoor men’s last game before the split and Brown is eager to take something positive from the game to open up a gap above the sides battling in the relegation and play-off spots.
He said: “If we play like we did against East Fife, then I can’t see us being in trouble, but we need to dust ourselves down and go again against Falkirk on Tuesday.
“That’s a big game and we want to give it our all.
“We’ve played well this season compared to last, so it’s disappointing to finish in the bottom half.
“We probably gave ourselves too much to do when we came back.
“On the whole we didn’t start the season well enough, and when you look back, we’ve been around the bottom half all season so only have ourselves to blame.”
Peterhead boss Jim McInally admitted his side paid the price for some defensive lapses at Methil.
He said: “I just feel as if we conceded too many corners and free-kicks and we’re not the biggest.
“You can see how young our back four and goalie are. We paid the price eventually.
“Josh Rae has had two brilliant saves from free kicks and I felt as if it wasn’t open play that was our worry, it was set plays.
49' East Fife – Peterhead 0-1: WHAT A SAVE JOSHUA RAE! Agnew’s free kick is heading straight into the top corner but Rae gets his fingertips to it and gets it over the bar!
— Peterhead FC (@pfcofficial) April 17, 2021
“It’s hard for me because there were a lot of good players out on the park.
“We always knew it (top five) was a long shot anyway, but I’m quite happy with what we have.
“We know what we’re up against and we’ll embrace it.
“We have more than enough and you could see in the first half that we can be okay.”
The encounter in Fife had absolutely everything – three goals, two red cards, numerous thundering challenges and a handful of stunning stops from Peterhead stopper Rae.
Peterhead took the lead shortly before the 25-minute mark when Brown’s drive was deflected into Hamish Ritchie’s path and he slotted home.
The game’s turning point came on 68 minutes when Peterhead defender Andrew McDonald was sent off for denying Ryan Wallace a goalscoring opportunity.
East Fife wasted no time in making their numerical advantage count with Danny Denholm heading home from a Wallace corner soon after.
Peterhead were suddenly stretched and the home side grabbed the game’s crucial third when Scott Agnew floated a terrific finish into the top corner of the net before Craig Watson was ordered off in the closing minutes.