Peterhead saw off promotion seeking Queen’s Park at Balmoor for a second time this season with their three-point haul enough to ensure that the Blue Toon’s season will not be extended with play-offs at the other end of the table.
Manager Jim McInally’s side remain in eighth place after fine goals from Ryan Duncan and Grant Savoury had them two up before Simon Murray pulled a goal back. Despite losing Jason Brown to a second yellow card with 12 minutes left Peterhead saw things out to pull themselves to within one point of Alloa who sit sixth.
The fit again Andrew McDonald and Simon Ferry returned to the starting line-up at the expense of Flynn Duffy and Russell McLean who had dropped to the substitutes’ bench due to a niggling knee injury before being replaced by Danny Strachan as a sub after a fitness check ahead of kick-off.
Queen’s Park, who could finish as high as third, had the game’s first glimpse of goal on three minutes when Simon Murray darted down the left-hand side of the home box however he lofted the ball over Brett Long’s goal.
A goal arrived a minute later at the other end of the pitch after Andrew McCarthy slipped a pass to Savoury on the left wing. Savoury spun away from the attention of Michael Doyle and raced to the touchline where he picked out Duncan and the on-loan Aberdeen youngster swept a shot past Calum Ferrie in the visitors’ goal.
The Glasgow side looked to hit-back quickly and Luca Connell tried his luck from a free-kick some 30 yards from goal however his effort drifted wide.
Connell was on target after 15 minutes with a powerful drive however Long was perfectly placed to save.
Sixty seconds later Shaun Want put in a perfectly timed sliding tackle to deny Murray as he looked to bore down on the home goal and on 34 minutes McDonald showed that he was also deft in the art of tackling as he took the ball off Louis Longridge in a similar situation.
Peterhead were confident in taking the game to their visitors and Niah Payne ventured past two defenders as he cut across the pitch just before half-time before sending in a shot that flashed wide of goal.
Four minutes into the restart and Payne turned creator as he showed Charlie Fox a clean pair of heels before sending a cut-back into the path of Savoury who had his back to goal. The former Celtic youth swivelled on the spot before curling a shot past Ferrie from six yards to double Peterhead’s advantage.
On 61 minutes a long diagonal free-kick from McDonald found Duncan on the right wing. The attacker switched the ball onto his left foot and curled a shot that had the beating of Ferrie however it also beat the far post.
Skipper Scott Brown had a shot saved before Queen’s Park pulled a goal back on 64 minutes when Longridge passed to substitute Connor Smith who slipped past two defenders before releasing Luis Longstaff on the right.
Longstaff fired the ball across Peterhead’s goal where Murray turned it in with his thigh from a yard out.
On-loan Liverpool striker Longstaff then blotted his copybook as he was booked for simulation after going down just outside the Peterhead box.
The hosts were reduced to ten men with 12 minutes left when Jason Brown looked to be harshly cautioned for the second time in the game after an aerial joust with Smith.
Manager McInally rejigged his team with Duncan being replaced by Duffy who slotted in at left back with McDonald moving into central defence with the visitors throwing on more attackers with Jai Quitongo coming on to face his brother Rico and Connor McBride also added.
Peterhead however stood firm and saw the game out to secure their third win in four unbeaten outings.
Peterhead – Long, Quitongo, Want, Jason Brown, McDonald, Ferry, Scott Brown, McCarthy, Savoury (Fraser 90+2), Duncan (Duffy 81), Payne (Jack Brown 85)
Unused substitutes – Conroy, Strachan, Cook, Jordon Brown, Fraser,