A controversial penalty that was converted by one-time Peterhead striker Rory McAllister with just 11 minutes to go saw the Blue Toon go down 1-0 to Cove Rangers at Balmoor.
New loan recruit Flynn Duffy from Dundee United was given his debut in the starting XI with Niah Payne returning in place of Derek Lyle who dropped to the bench. Jason Brown was available again and took his place on the substitutes’ bench.
The game was not able to flow in the early stages as referee Gavin Duncan blew for a succession of fouls however McAllister found his way deep into enemy territory on 14 minutes with the danger ending when he failed to pick out Mitch Megginson with his pass.
Peterhead looked to get themselves on the front foot and forced a corner three minutes later and Russell Mclean met Ryan Conroy’s dead ball with a header however the ball flew just over.
On 20 minutes Simon Ferry used all his experience to end a dangerous raid by Cove just as a cross for McAllister had looked perfect to tee up Jamie Masson.
Cove had another opening four minutes later when Megginson was able to edge his way past Brett Long in the home goal however he was unable to get a shot in.
On 34 minutes Peterhead skipper Scott Brown drove his team forward with a strong run however Payne was unable to convert his pass and the chance was gone.
McLean tried to give the hosts a lead at the break with an ambitious long-range effort however his shot was off target.
The second half also struggled to get flowing however McAllister went close with a header on 51 minutes from a free-kick that struck a post with Long doing well to keep out Megginson’s follow-up effort.
Andy McCarthy took the game to Cove on the hour mark with a surging run up the park and he picked out Brown with a cut-back however the club captain curled a hot wide of the visitor’s goal.
Hamish Ritchie was next to threaten for the hosts with two quick-fire efforts however Stuart McKenzie in the Cove goal was equal to both shots.
Cove were awarded a corner with 12 minutes left that reached Fraser Fyvie and appeals from the Balmoral Stadium club that his shot had struck a hand were waved away by match official Duncan.
The whistler however got involved the following minute when Andy McDonald and Morgyn Neil jumped for another flag-kick and surprised most in Balmoor by pointing to the spot.
McAllister ignored the disappointment expressed by the home side at the award and calmly slotted home from 12 yards in the fans in the ground were accustomed to seeing.
Peterhead tried to shrug off that disappointment and Ritchie tried again at goal however McKenzie was again equal to his effort.
McLean had a late glimpse of goal however his injury time shot was blocked and Cove saw things out to win the three points.
Peterhead – Long, Mulligan, Conroy, McDonald, Duffy (Cook 83), Ferry (J Brown 75), McCarthy, S Brown, Ritchie, Payne (Lyle 65), McLean
Unused substitutes – Wilson (G/k), Cameron, Strachan, Musanhu