Peterhead welcomed bottom of the table Forfar to Balmoor for what is the last home game of the season and it was a bitter-sweet afternoon for the Loons, who picked up the three points after two defensive calamities by the home side, only to find out they are relegated after Clyde defeated Dumbarton
Blue Toon manager Jim McInally freshened up his side following their 3-1 win at East Fife on Thursday with Joshua Rae returning to goalkeeping duties after a three game absence and Jason Brown is back after a suspension however midweek free-kick hero Andrew McDonald is banned. There are also changes in midfield with player/ coach Simon Ferry coming back in and Hamish Ritchie given another opportunity to impress with a new forward line also in place with Steven Boyd and Niah Payne starting.
Alan Cook made a welcome return to the substitutes’ bench after injury with Lenny Wilson, Derryn Kesson, Jordon Brown and Derek Lyle joining Cook after helping their side to victory in Fife.
Peterhead had the game’s first opening when Boyd and Andrew McCarthy exchanged passes at the edge of the Forfar box with Boyd cracking a low shot wide.
Two minutes later the hosts came close again when Kieran Freeman got down the left and fired a cross over that Payne dummied with Ritchie onto the ball on a flash however he hooked his effort past Marc McCallum’s post.
On nine minutes Forfar were almost gifted a goal when Jason Brown sent a pass-back to Joshua Rae from close to the half-way line. The shot-stopper allowed the ball to bounce in front of him before controlling it on his chest however the ball flashed past Rae but thankfully wide of goal.
The goalkeeper redeemed himself from the dead-ball with a fine leaping save to turn over Grant Anderson’s header.
Midway through the first half Boyd won the ball 40 yards from the Forfar goal and hared forward where he was supported by Payne and Ritchie. Boyd slipped the ball to Payne who in turn slipped Ritchie in on goal however he mis-controlled and the danger was over as the ball ran out for a shy.
The Blue Toon carved out another half-chance on 24 minutes when Scott Brown fed Boyd who spun away from his marker however McCallum got down to save the striker’s shot.
Forfar came close again on 29 minutes when Scott Shepherd wriggled clear of Kyle Bailey on the left hand side of the hosts’ box and sent a shot flashing past Rae however it came crashing box off a post.
The action moved back to the other end and Daniel Scally picked up a booking for pulling McCarthy back 30 yards from Forfar’s goal. Scott Brown took the free-kick and McCallum had to move sharpish to his right to push the ball away.
There was one more chance before the half-time whistle with Ritchie volleying goalward however McCallum dealt with it easily.
Peterhead 0 Forfar Athletic 0
The game moved from end to end without any real chances being created until McCarthy and Ritchie combined to send Scott Brown down the left. The Peterhead skipper skipped inside and darted past two defenders before cracking a shot at goal however the ball rose and cleared the bar.
Forfar, who benefitted from a bizarre own goal at Dumbarton recently, were gifted a goal again on 57 minutes from an opposing player. A long kick-out from McCallum was allowed to travel into the home half and Danny Strachan got his pass-back all wrong and lobbed the ball over the advancing Joshua Rae from 18 yards.
Four minutes later McCallum made a stunning stop to keep his goal intact when he kept out a close range Kieran Freeman effort however on 63 minutes Peterhead finally found a way past the shot-stopper.
Simon Ferry picked up a free-kick from the right and turned and slipped the ball to Scott Brown and he curled a first time effort high into the net from 20 yards.
Peterhead gave away another goal very easily with 12 minutes left when Scott Shepherd tapped in after Rae, under no pressure, had failed to gather a Jason Brown headed pass-back.
Forfar saw the game out without too many scares and whilst we are disappointed not to be facing our friends from Station Park when you consider how the three games have gone this season it may be good to have a break!
Rae, Strachan, Bailey (Cook 80), Jason Brown, Freeman, Ferry, Scott Brown, Ritchie Jordon Brown 65), McCarthy (Armour 76), Boyd (Kesson 65), Payne (McGrath 76)
Unused substitutes – Wilson (G/k), Lyle