A fine battling performance from Jim McInally’s Peterhead came within three minutes of three points at Airdrie however the Blue Toon had to settle for a 1-1 draw. Jason Brown’s first half header was on course to secure a win however Lewis Jamieson made the most of a slip by Danny Strachan to roll a shot past the impressive Tom Ritchie and restore parity.
Manager McInally brought Andrew McDonald back into the starting line-up in place of injured Birthday Boy Enock Walusimbi with Julien Carre and Andrew McCarthy also playing from the first whistle at the expense of Conor O’Keefe and the now departed Florent Hoti. The Diamonds tried their luck through Justin Devenny and Callum Smith early on however Tom Ritchie stood firm. Jason Brown was booked after six minutes for a foul with Ritchie clutching Smith’s dead-ball under his bar. Peterhead showed their attacking intent before ten minutes had been played when Michael Hewitt burst clear however his parting shot was deflected wide by Craig Watson. Jamieson tried a cheeky back-heel on 12 minutes however it was blocked with Calum Gallagher’s follow-up meeting the same fate. Four minutes later Ryan Dow looked to have edged Peterhead in front only for an offside flag to cut short the celebrations.
Ritchie was again involved midway through the first half when he pushed out a Cammy Ballantyne drive from an angle before dealing with a second effort from the former Montrose man. Danny Strachan popped up in the Airdrie box on 27 minutes and he forced Dean Lyness into a save from his header. On 33 minutes Peterhead took the lead with a well-worked training ground move when Carre sent a corner to the back post where Jack Wilkie nodded it back and Jason Brown was perfectly placed a couple of yards out to nod in. It looked like 1-0 would become 2-0 within a minute as Hewitt was played through on goal however the on-loan Ayr man was out of luck as his shot was deflected onto a post. As Airdrie looked to hit back their player-manager Rhys McCabe fired for goal from a free-kick that Ritchie touched onto the woodwork. Four minutes from the break Wilkie did well to nick the ball off Jamieson’s toes with Peterhead dealing with the resultant corner to go in at the interval ahead.
The hosts looked to get back on level terms quickly into the restart with Callum Gallagher nodding a Charlie Telfer corner just wide on 49 minutes. Euan Deveney curled wide shortly afterwards before another angled effort from Ballantyne whistled past. Airdrie continued to have the lion’s share of possession however McCarthy gave them a reminder of Peterhead’s threat with a 25 yarder that rippled into the side-netting.
Gallagher had a glimpse of goal 11 minutes from time when a cross was deflected into his path but the striker hooked his shot over the bar. A Callum Fordyce header landed on the top of the net on 87 minutes and just when Peterhead looked to have weathered the storm the hosts were generating an equaliser arrived. Gallagher got onto the end of a long ball and slipped a pass to Smith that Danny Strachan looked set to cut out however the full-back slipped and that allowed the Diamond to tee up Jamieson who rolled a shot into the far corner. Substitute O’Keefe had a late chance for the visitors however he fired over with Jason Brown ensuring that a point was saved when he threw himself at a Ballantyne shot to block it.
Peterhead – Ritchie, Danny Strachan, McDonald, Ryan Strachan, Jordon Brown, McCarthy (Gillies77), Hewitt, Carre, Wilkie, Jack Brown (McGale 90+2′), Dow (O’Keefe 68′)Unused substitutes – Asare, Scullion, Jordon Brown, Murray, Wood (G/k)