The curse continued for Peterhead as they suffered a fifth successive defeat by Stenhousemuir in an action-packed game at Balmoor on Saturday.
The Blue Toon went into the game high in confidence after four wins on the spin but missed out on the chance to move to within one point of League 2 leaders Stirling Albion with a 3-2 home defeat.
Jim McInally’s side twice came from behind to level the scores but Mark McGuigan’s 81st-minute penalty earned maximum points for the Warriors.
Peterhead made a positive start to proceedings with the game’s first real opening falling to Scott Brown, who moved back into midfield after a shift at right back in the previous week’s 2-0 success at Elgin City. Rory McAllister and Russell McLean linked up well to set up the former St Johnstone player but his attempt was charged down by Ross Dunlop.
The Blue Toon had a penalty claim waved away soon after when McLean tumbled to the ground following a Michael Dunlop challenge before they fell behind in the 13th minute when a back-post delivery from Eddie Ferns was nodded home by McGuigan.
McInally’s men looked to restore parity straightaway, with Rory McAllister slaloming past three players before drilling a shot wide from 20 yards and shortly after a tantalising Willie Gibson free kick found no takers.
McAllister turned architect soon after, darting past Ross Meechan before picking out McLean but the former East Kilbride attacker’s low attempt was clawed away by Stenny goalkeeper Chris Smith.
The lively McAllister was inches away from levelling after 25 minutes when his superbly struck free kick cracked off the underside of the crossbar.
Fortune was favouring Stenhousemuir, who enjoyed another reprieve soon after when a goal-bound Brown effort was blocked by team-mate Jason Brown.
The hosts were forced to make a change 10 minutes before the break when Aidan McIlduff limped off and was replaced by Jamie Stevenson.
Stenhousemuir midfielder Harry Paton was deservedly booked for simulation before Mason Robertson went close from a Gibson corner just before half-time as a frustrating first period for the Blue Toon came to an end.
The Peterhead pressure continued after the break with Jack Leitch hitting the post before Scott Brown pulled up with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Jordon Brown.
McInally was forced to make his final alteration only a minute later when Simon Ferry was sick on the pitch and promptly replaced by Nicky Riley.
Despite the tactical disruptions, the Blue Toon got back level within 60 seconds. Former Motherwell and Airdrie midfielder Leitch collected the ball on the edge of the area and his low drive squirmed under Stenhousemuir goalkeeper Smith, who should have done better.
There was a moment of controversy in the 68th minute when McAllister felt his side should have been awarded a penalty when he was brought down inside the area by Mark Ferry. It looked a strong claim but referee Scott Millar looked away.
The game still seemed to be heading in Peterhead’s favour but Stenny struck against the run of play, with Jamie Longworth crossing for Michael Dunlop to head home.
Peterhead pushed for an immediate equaliser with a Robertson effort tipped over by Smith – although referee Millar awarded a goal kick when it should have been corner with a frustrated Jordon Brown booked for his protestations.
However, the Blue Toon were not to be denied with a pin-point Gibson free kick headed home by Jason Brown after 78 minutes.
Again, the momentum seemed to be with the Blue Toon to go on and claim victory but it was the visitors who scored what proved to be the decisive goal only three minutes later.
Peterhead defender David McCracken was penalised for a foul inside the area on McGuigan and the Stenny forward made no mistake with the resulting penalty kick.
It was a chance missed for the Blue Toon with the two teams above them in the league – Stirling Albion and Montrose – both held to 1-1 draws by Clyde and Annan Athletic respectively.