Peterhead 1 Airdrie 0
Jordon Brown (66)
Peterhead restarted their League 1 campaign in the best possible way with a 1-0 win over Airdrie at Balmoor.
The Blue Toon gave a debut to Hamish Ritchie and Niah Payne with local boy Danny Strachan on the bench after joining on loan from Dundee.
One-time Bradford striker Payne had the game’s first chance when he glanced a header goalward however it was easily dealt with by Max Currie in the Airdrie goal.
Blue Toon boss Jim McInally had lamented before the game that his side were due a break against their visitors after a run of four narrow defeats and they got one after just four minutes.
Airdrie debutant Kyle Turner was late and high in a challenge on Ryan Conroy on the touchline and was shown a red card by referee Steven Kirkland.
Peterhead had 86 minutes to find a winner however they also had to guard against a re-organised Airdrie side who were up to make sure that their numerical disadvantage did not hurt them.
The visiting Kyle Connell had a chance blocked before an effort from Andrew McCarthy at the other end met the same fate.
Airdrie’s Callum Gallagher sent an effort against the bar before McCarthy wasted Peterhead’s best effort of the first half when he fired a fine pass from Ritchie wide.
At the start of the second half Ritchie had a header saved and Isaac layne was denied by Currie.
Connell had another opportunity before the hour mark however Peterhead’s possession approach to the game started to take over and they made the breakthrough on 66 minutes.
Ritchie who had made an impressive debut received the ball at the edge of the box and just when everyone thought he would shoot he rolled the ball into the path of Jordon Brown who slotted home the first goal of his second spell at the club.
A second almost arrived through Ritchie with 14 minutes left however his curling effort cleared the bar.
Despite not adding to their advantage Peterhead saw the game out without panic and secured the three points that takes them level with their opponents.
Manager Jim McInally said: “It was a good, controlled performance. We had to be patient to get a goal and we did that. I thought Hamish Ritchie was excellent and Jordon gave us a reminder of what he did in his first spell here.”
Peterhead – Rae, Bailey, Jason Brown, Freeman, Conroy, Ritchie, S Brown, Jordon Brown (Kesson 75), McCarthy, Payne (Armour 61), Layne (Strachan 82)
Unused substitutes – Wilson (G/k), Lyle