St Johnstone 3
May (49pen, 60pen)
Peterhead’s Betfred Cup journey came to an end after a 3-1 defeat from visitors St Johnstone who put in a strong second half performance to ensure that they finished at the top of Group C.
Stevie May grabbed two penalties for his side, with his first spot-kick given for an offence that went unseen by everyone apart from referee Steven Anderson, with the second a more obvious award.
Chris Kane added a third before Peterhead responded instantly through an own goal
The blustery conditions meant that neither side got into any rhythm in the early stages with the first real opening coming in 20 minutes for the Perth side.
May darted down the left after a Guy Melamed pass had sliced open the home defence however Lenny Wilson ended the danger by getting down low to cut out the former Aberdeen player’s cross.
A tug on Steven Boyd’s jersey five minutes later gave Peterhead a free-kick in a dangerous position however Gary Fraser’s effort cleared Zander Clark’s bar without worrying the visiting goalkeeper.
Craig Conway created space 25 yards from goal on 27 minutes however his parting shot matched Fraser’s.
The hosts suffered a blow when Ben Armour had to come off just before the half hour with Alan Cook coming on in his place.
Peterhead should have been behind at the break after Scott Brown had given away a free-kick just outside the right-hand side of the home box. Conway flighted the dead ball to the back post where Shaun Rooney was waiting however the full-back steered his effort wide.
The second half got off to the worst possible start with St Johnstone awarded a penalty on 49 minutes after whistler Anderson spotted an infringement in the box that no-one in the Perth camp had claimed for. That did not trouble May who drilled home from 12 yards.
Freeman did well to stop a St Johnstone counter-attack on the hour mark however as the visitors kept up the pressure the on-loan Dundee United youngster tripped May and referee Anderson again pointed to the spot.
May did another immaculate job from the spot as Saints moved two ahead with Peterhead manager Jim McInally responding by taking off defender Jason Brown and bringing on striker Derek Lyle.
A third goal arrived on 77 minutes when Andrew McCarthy lost possession 30 yards from goal and substitute Callum Hendry released fellow replacement Chris Kane who drilled under Wilson at his near post.
McCarthy atoned for his error in the best possible way by getting free on the right and his low cross was turned into his own net by Rooney under pressure from Lyle.
Scott Brown slipped a late effort past a post as Peterhead continued to try and reduce the deficit.
Peterhead – Wilson, Bailey, Freeman, J Brown (Lyle 63), Conroy, Ferry, S Brown, Fraser (Cameron 68), McCarthy, Boyd, Armour (Cook 29)
Unused substitutes –Kesson, Bakar