Peterhead’s 1-0 defeat at Alloa, their sixth reverse with that score-line in League 1 this season, has resulted in the focus in finishing at the top of a mini-league of five being switched to finishing at the top of a mini-league of three.
The Wasps, who triumphed thanks to Kevin Cawley’s second half goal, now sit five points clear of the Blue Toon in seventh place with Clyde moving eight ahead of Jim McInally’s men thanks to their 2-0 success over bottom side East Fife.
The Blue Toon went into the game minus influential midfielder Andy McCarthy who was serving a ban however the fit again trio of Owen Cairns, Jason Brown and Ryan Duncan returned in a 5-3-2 formation with Flynn Duffy and Niah Payne dropping to the bench.
Alloa started the better of the two sides and former Peterhead striker Steven Boyd fired over the bar after just three minutes following a corner kick move.
Three minutes later Boyd reached a knockdown from Connor Sammon however he failed to trouble Brett Long in the visitors’ goal.
On eight minutes Sammon rose and met a long free-kick, and after his header had landed at his own feet, he lobbed a shot past Long however Andy McDonald popped up on the goalline to clear.
Peterhead settled and worked their way into the game and shouts for a penalty midway through the first half when Grant Savoury went tumbling were ignored by referee Steven Reid.
Such was the turnaround in the game the visitors had a great chance to take the lead on 35 minutes when Duncan picked out Russell McLean with a pass from the left wing. The big striker turned and fired for goal however PJ Morrison did well to push away his effort.
Alloa started the second half in the same manner they had begun the first with a darting run from Euan Henderson having the Blue Toon in all sorts of trouble however there was no end product.
On 56 minutes Long did well to keep out an effort from Henderson after good build up play on the left and as play raced to the other end the woodwork denied Peterhead the opener.
Duncan tried his luck from 22 yards and his well-struck shot skipped past Morrison however it came crashing back off the inside of the post and bounced to safety.
The pace of the game continued to be high and Sammon created space for himself at the edge of the visitors’ box before meeting the ball with a half-volley that Long leapt to save.
Boyd had a low effort repelled by Long before Owen Cairns almost scored at the wrong end on 68 minutes when his looping clearance looked set to drop into the Peterhead net before Long saved his blushes at the expense of a corner.
A goal had to come in the game and unfortunately it arrived for Alloa on 69 minutes when a corner was played along the ground to Andy Graham who turned it into the path of Kevin Cawley who side-stepped past Duncan before firing into the far corner.
Within a minute the Balmoor men had the chance to level when Hamish Ritchie picked out Duncan six yards out and the on-loan Aberdeen youngster opted to volley, as opposed to heading towards goal, and his effort flashed over the bar.
Again, the play swung quickly to the other end and Henderson cracked a shot against the bar with Long doing well in the closing stages to keep out Adam King who had burst clear.
In injury time McDonald slid in on substitute Ross McIver and referee Reid opted to brandish a red card at the defender despite it looking like he had played the ball and conceded at worst a corner.
Peterhead – Long, Jason Brown (Fraser 78), Want, McDonald, Quitongo, Cairns, Ritchie (Jack Brown 77), Scott Brown, Savoury (Jordon Brown 87), McLean (Payne 65), Duncan (Lyle 87),
Unused substitutes – Cook, Duffy, Cullen (G/k)