Play-off heartache for nine-man Peterhead

Pictured is Peterhead manager, Jim McInally.
Pictured is Peterhead manager, Jim McInally. Picture by HEATHER FOWLIE

Peterhead lost in the League One play-off final to Stenhousemuir.

Despite winning 1-0 at Balmoor the Blue Toon, who finished with nine men lost 2-1 on aggregate.

With Jason Brown and Mason Robertson injured striker Russell McLean partnered skipper David McCracken in defence.

Rory McAllister was only fit enough for the bench with Allan Smith leading the line.

Stenny dominated the early stages with Mark McGuigan blazing over when he should have scored in the third minute.

Soon after Jamie Stevenson made a vital sliding tackle to stop Harry Paton netting when he was through on goal.

The Blue Toon grew into the game with Scott Brown shooting just over from the edge of the penalty box.

Willie Gibson almost picked out Jordon Brown at the back post with a swirling cross from the right midway through the first period.

Smith almost found Jordon Brown with a low ball across at the end of the half but Ross Meechan cleared.

In the second half Peterhead started well with Stevenson volleying over from close range, and on 53 minutes they took the lead.

Jack Leitch’s great strike from 30 yards was tipped over by Chris Smith, from the corner on the right McLean bulleted home Gibson’s delivery.

But on 66 minutes their hopes were dealt a blow when captain McCracken was given a second yellow card for handball by ref Greg Aitken.

With 10 minutes left sub Aaron Norris shot just wide from 20 yards and Scott Brown shot straight at Smith from similar range as Peterhead pushed for the leveller that would force extra-time.

In injury time Jack Leitch was red carded after getting a second booking for an off the ball incident and sadly for the Blue Toon they couldn’t force an equaliser after that and they’ll be in League Two next season.

PETERHEAD – Greg Fleming, Jamie Stevenson, Russell McLean, David McCracken, Aidan McIlduff (Chris Johnston 61), Jordon Brown (Aaron Norris 69), Scott Brown, Simon Ferry, Jack Leitch, Willie Gibson, Allan Smith (Karim Belmokhtar 80).

Subs not used: Fraser Hobday, Scott Adams, Rory McAllister.

STENHOUSEMUIR – Chris Smith, Ross Meechan, Michael Dunlop (David Marsh 73), Ross Dunlop, Ruaridh Donaldson, Mark Ferry, Mark McGuigan, Harry Paton, Alan Cook, Martin Scott, Ferns (Innes Murray 80).

Subs not used: Thomas Halleran, Andrew Dallas, Jamie Longworth, Nicholas Paterson, Lewis McMinn.