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Lights go out on Blue Toon's chances as Airdrie win thriller

Sat 03 Dec 2016

PETERHEAD 2-4 AIRDRIE
By Glenn Moir
 
During brief floodlight failure at Balmoor, the lights really did go out on Peterhead's chances of stopping Airdrie's march to a sixth straight win in League 1.
 
It was a complete switch-off, literally, as the Blue Toon conceded three goals in six daft minutes to give themselves a mountain a climb.
 
In fairness, when the stadium was illuminated again, Jim McInally's men got turned on as well but it was too little too late as the Diamonds survived a nervy conclusion.
 
Peterhead actually started well but trailed after 14 minutes when Iain Russell scampered down the right and squared for Andy Ryan to slot in from eight yards out.
 
One goal was recoverable, two was tough as Sean McIntosh looped a header over the stranded Graeme Smith just a couple of minutes later, after the home defence failed to deal with a corner.
 
Three down was pretty much game over, Peterhead getting caught trying to hold a high line and Ryan nipped in behind a static rearguard to cut the ball back for Russell to tap home.  
 
Leighton McIntosh should have reduced the arrears but fired straight at Rohan Ferguson midway through the half, although Nicky Riley did offer a glimmer of hope with a 33rd minute reply.
 
Scott Brown weaved his way in from the left and after seeing his shot parried by Ferguson, Riley's first time effort flew high into the net.
 
When Airdrie passed up a couple of great chance early in the second half, you wondered if Peterhead could actually get right back into the match.
 
Crucially, however, substitute Kevin Dzierzawski failed to convert a 66th minute penalty after Riley was upended by Joe Gorman, Ferguson diving to his right to make a great save.  Gorman then hacked the ball off the line as another replacement, Jamie Redman, tried to steer in the rebound.
 
By no means was the towel being thrown in though, as Riley won another spot-kick with five minutes remaining.  This time, McIntosh, who missed a golden opportunity moments earlier, made a tidy job from 12 yards to haul the Blue Toon to within one.
 
Mark Wilson's men were sweating more than they should have been until Ryan scored his second and Airdrie's fourth deep in stoppage time to seal the deal.
 
The Diamonds stay second, just a point off title favourites Livingston, but Peterhead slip to seventh. 
 
Rejoining the promotion race will mean an improvement on their form at Balmoor, where they have won just twice.
 
                          SMITH
 
STEVENSON KELLEHER ROSS NOBLE
       
                          FERRY
           S.BROWN         BLOCKLEY                      
                        J.BROWN 
 
                RILEY          MCINTOSH