Peterhead 4 Dumbarton 3
Peterhead took all three points in a 4-3 success over Dumbarton in a rather bizarre game where the Blue Toon led by two against 11 players and ended up winning by one against nine.
In game that was delayed after an injury to a match official and a replacement was found, a double from Hamish Ritchie, a header from Russell McLean and a late strike from Grant Savoury provided further positive proof that Peterhead’s goal drought is over.
However, manager Jim McInally will have been disappointed at how a swashbuckling first 45 minutes was followed by an off-key second 45 minutes.
Visiting Son Paul Paton was sent off in the first half and team-mate Ross McLean, who scored twice, was red-carded with six minutes left with the score at 3-2.
Savoury’s goal should have settled home nerves however Carlo Pignatiello grabbed a third goal for the nine men visitors.
Boss McInally made two changes to the starting eleven that drew 1-1 at Falkirk in midweek with new loan signing Shaun Want making his debut in defence. That allowed skipper Scott Brown to return to a midfield berth in place of Jack Brown who moved to the substitute’s bench with McLean starting in place of Ryan Duncan who dropped out of the squad.
Peterhead made a fantastic start with a goal arriving after only three minutes when Andrew McCarthy darted into the right side of the Dumbarton box to pick up a throw in and his first-time cross was flicked home by Ritchie from six yards out.
A second arrived five minutes later with Ritchie sent over a corner from the left that was perfect for the in-rushing McLean to nod in from six yards as well.
The visitors were unhappy with what they believed was some blocking at the set piece and Paul Paton was booked for his protests.
Dumbarton carved out an opening on 15 minutes however MacLean fired over with Connor Duthie off target shortly afterwards as well.
Peterhead responded with efforts from Scott Brown, Savoury and Niah Payne before the half-hour mark was reached.
On 33 minutes only the woodwork prevented a third goal as a free-kick from Savoury came crashing back off the bar.
Four minutes later Paton fouled Ritchie and picked up his second yellow card of the afternoon to reduce the visitors to ten men.
Three minutes from half-time Peterhead did grab their third goal and it was a well-worked one as Ritchie rolled a corner to McCarthy who slid a pass to Savoury who picked out Ritchie as he ran into the box and rolled a shot under Kieran Wright.
Dumbarton manager Stephen Farrell responded to the situation his team found themselves in with a double substitution at the break and the Sons, despite their numerical disadvantage, were having the better of things at the start of the second half.
Substitute Eoghan Stokes and defender Gregor Buchanan went close before they were handed a route back into the game when Andy McDonald was short with a pass-back on 64 minutes.
MacLean ran onto the ball and skipped past Brett Long before finding the net.
It was certainly game on 14 minutes later when an overhit Dumbarton corner was played back into the box by Joe McKee where it hit Derek Lyle on the shin and flashed past Long for an own goal.
Hopes of a stirring fight back by the visitors where hit when MacLean picked up two cautions in quick succession and he was dismissed with six minutes to go.
Peterhead took advantage of gaps in the visiting defence to hit a fourth goal on 87 minutes when substitute Owen Cairns charged forward and found Lyle who backheeled a pass to Savoury who shot past Wright to make the score 4-2.
Dumbarton came back again and in injury time Pignatiello capitalised on a poor clearance to slam home and set nerves jangling again.
Thankfully the game was seen out at 4-3 and in the cold light of day that score-line would have been settled on before kick-off.
Peterhead – Long, Duffy (Cairns 67), Want, McDonald, Quitongo, McCarthy, Scott Brown, Payne (Jordon Brown 90), Savoury (Cook 90), Ritchie (Lyle 67), McLean (Jack Brown 49)
Unused substitutes – Conroy, Cullen (G/k)