Rory McAllister’s early goal earned Cove Rangers a 1-0 win over nine-man Peterhead.
McAllister headed in less than two minutes into the game but Paul Hartley’s side were unable to extend their advantage.
Peterhead had Simon Ferry sent off in the first half and Steven Boyd dismissed at the start of the second but resolutely dug in to keep the game in the balance.
Cove named an unchanged side from the one which beat Forfar, however Broque Watson, Jamie Semple and Adam Livingstone were all match-day absentees.
Peterhead started with Ferry and Jason Brown at centre-half, while Jordon Brown, who rejoined the Blue Toon from Cove this week, was handed a start.
McAllister, who started against the club where he became a huge favourite, made his mark on the game in less than 90 seconds.
Fraser Fyvie’s free-kick from the left was flicked on by the experienced striker, with the ball looping over Josh Rae.
2’ | #CRFC 1-0 PFC
— Cove Rangers FC (@CoveRangersFC) January 2, 2021
Cove, who won the reverse fixture at Balmoor early in the season, were close to a second inside the opening 10 minutes, with McAllister springing the offside trap. He opted to lift the ball over Rae but the Peterhead stopper was able to claw it away.
The poor start for Peterhead was to get worse. In an effort to stop Mitch Megginson breaking away, Ferry made a clear attempt to bring him down after the ball was gone. Referee Peter Stuart was on the scene almost immediately – red card in hand – to end Ferry’s afternoon early.
Rae was required to keep out Leighton McIntosh at his near post and McAllister jabbed over from close range, with Cove’s man advantage beginning to tell.
Jamie Masson missed a glaring chance to extend the lead before half-time, meeting Blair Yule’s cross inside the six-yard box but turning it over the bar.
Stuart dished out his second red card seven minutes into the second period, with Peterhead again on the receiving end as Boyd was sent off for dissent, leaving the visitors with nine men.
With so few options on the bench, Blue Toon manager Jim McInally had little to choice but to keep faith with the nine on the park and they still remained in the game at 1-0.
52' Cove Rangers – Peterhead 1-0: Steven Boyd is now given a straight red for dissent pic.twitter.com/1BlbwjxFnO
— Peterhead FC (@pfcofficial) January 2, 2021
Cove were still unable to put their neighbours to bed, with Rae gathering a Megginson shot at the second attempt as Peterhead gathered confidence for a late push on goal.
They came close to a surprise leveller through Alan Cook, with his effort taking a nick before going narrowly wide, and Ryan Conroy sending a free-kick at Stuart McKenzie.
Stuart had a late flashpoint to calm between McIntosh and Scott Brown, on a card-happy afternoon for the official, as Cove held on for the victory.