East Fife 2
Controversial penalty decisions marred Peterhead’s 2-1 defeat at East Fife that confirmed that the Blue Toon would finish in the bottom half of League 1 when the split takes place.
Jim McInally’s side led midway through the first half and looked set to be awarded a penalty however despite the stand side assistant appearing to confirm the award nothing was given.
East Fife scored twice after Peterhead were reduced to ten men when Andy McDonald was dismissed and after parity had been restored when Craig Watson was dismissed the Blue Toon were denied a chance to equalise in injury time.
Danny Strachan was handed his first start when he came in to replace the injured Ryan Conroy with Kieran Freeman moving across to left back to allow Strachan in with Andrew McCarthy returning after a one game ban.
In the first minute a quickly taken free kick from McCarthy released Steven Boyd however referee Wilson pulled the game back. When the set-piece was taken Jason Brown headed McCarthy’s cross into the arms of Brett Long.
With five minutes gone a Scott Agnew free-kick found the unmarked Kevin Smith however the striker headed over with the Fifers blowing another great chance three minutes later.
Smith headed down to Ryan Wallace seven yards out however with the goal gaping the attacker blazed high over.
Peterhead responded with Scott Brown having a shot blocked at the expense of a corner that the skipper crossed over for Boyd and he should have done better than head tamely over.
The hosts threatened again when Wallace picked out Danny Denholm and his header brought out a fine leaping save from Joshua Rae.
The opening goal came at the other end on 24 minutes when Scott Brown had a shot blocked and the ball fell into the path of Hamish Ritchie with the on-loan Inverurie Locos midfielder controlling it on his chest before side-footing home.
Within a minute loud visiting appeals for a penalty after what looked like a handball in the home box were waved aside. The stand side assistant appeared to confirm that a spot-kick was the right decision however referee Wilson waved played on.
Ritchie had the chance of a second when he reached a cross from the over-lapping Strachan however this time his effort was off target.
East Fife thought they had levelled on 38 minutes when Watson headed in from a set-piece however whistler Wilson had already blown for a foul.
Before the break Peterhead were penalised twice at the edge of the box and they had Rae to thank for another super stop as he pushed away a Wallace effort with Agnew sending the second dead ball wide.
Three minutes into the second half Rae kept his goal intact again when he finger-tipped away another Agnew free-kick.
Peterhead raced to the other end and Lyle flicked a Ritchie cross wide with goalscorer Ritchie having a glimpse of goal on 57 minutes however he shot straight at Long.
Rae was bang on form and he proved it again on 65 minutes when he produced another fine stop to deny Ross Davidson this time.
The game started moving out of Peterhead’s reach three minutes later when McDonald was dismissed for a trip on Wallace at the edge of the box. A yard further it would have been a penalty and no red card however McDonald trooped off and on 71 minutes East Fife took advantage as Peterhead looked to regroup when Danny Denholm nodded in a corner.
Four minutes later Agnew finally got the better of Rae when he sent what looked like a cross from the right into the far corner of the net.
The Fife sides’ Watson was sent off for a second yellow on 80 minutes and Peterhead thought they would have the chance to grab an equaliser in injury time from the penalty spot for a double handed push on Jason Brown however referee Wilson blew for full time instead.
Peterhead – Rae, Freeman, McDonald, Jason Brown, Ferry (McGrath 80), Ritchie, S Brown, Boyd (Bailey 70), McCarthy, Strachan, Lyle (Armour 62)
Unused substitutes – Wilson (G/k), Jordan Brown, Kesson, Payne