Peterhead’s super-sub Derek Lyle hit a double as the Blue Toon stepped-up their promotion bid with a hard-fought win against Clyde at Broadwood.
However, the veteran striker feared he might play no part in the match following the dismissal of Mick Dunlop.
The visitors deservedly led through Scott Brown’s rocket shot on 20 minutes but they were up against it at the start of the second half as Clyde pushed for a leveller.
And the pressure intensified when Dunlop was sent off on 62 minutes for a robust tackle on David Goodwillie.
Lyle had been stripped to come on just before Dunlop’s dismissal and the summer signing thought his chance of making an impression was gone.
Manager Jim McInally quickly brought on Cameron Eadie for Ross Kavanagh but also stuck to his guns by replacing Rory McAllister with Lyle.
Lyle said: “I read the situation and thought with a centre-half being sent off it will be a while until I get on so I put my jacket back on. The manager however was bold enough to make the substitution he was going to make anyway.”
It soon became a ten versus ten game when Clyde’s Tom Lang picked up two yellow cards in quick succession and Peterhead established greater control on 73 minutes when Ryan Dow picked out Brown whose pass gave Lyle a simple finish.
The Bully Wee pulled a goal back five minutes later when former Blue Toon striker Karim Belmokhtar’s cross hit Jason Brown and flew into his own net.
However, the points were clinched when Dow fed Lyle 22 yards out and the striker fired high into the net.
The former Queen of the South man added: “When the ball was played across for the first one I thought there was a bobble and I wondered about putting my foot through it but I just placed it and thankfully it went in.
“The second was a wonder hit. Nine times out of ten that flies over the bar but I caught it well and thankfully it flew in.”
His double may not be enough for Lyle to get a starting jersey against Albion Rovers next week.
He added: “I want to win the league whether that is by making an impact from the bench or by starting that does not change.
“I want to start games but if I am on the bench and we are doing well then I cannot complain.
“I would rather be up high fighting for the league and fighting for a place than down low and playing every week.
“I will give whatever I have.”