Peterhead boss Jim McInally called for his team to show more resilience after Airdrie came out on top in a game of few chances to leave the Blue Toon in a scrap for League 1 survival.
After a goalless first period, Andy Ryan’s penalty two minutes into the second half and a strike from substitute Craig Thomson gave the third-placed Diamonds victory.
Peterhead, who rarely threatened in the game, stay just two points above the relegation play-off zone and have no time to wallow in their latest setback as fellow strugglers Forfar visit Balmoor on Tuesday.
McInally’s men then travel to basement-side Stranraer in what looks like being a pivotal week.
McInally said: “Like last week against East Fife, we should probably have drawn 0-0 when the goal is not being threatened.
“Airdrie did not create a lot and we certainly didn’t create enough.”
“The penalty was a big turning point in the game and that went against us, so the players need to dust themselves down.
“I am really pleased we have a game on Tuesday so we can get back to it quickly but Airdrie, Raith Rovers and Falkirk are not our bread and butter games.
“It’s games like Tuesday and next Saturday, which are our bread and butter.”
A double chance fell the way of Jason Brown in the 13th minute following a mistake from the visiting goalkeeper.
Scott Gallacher dropped a Ryan Conroy free-kick but he got up off the turf in time to thwart Brown, who then saw his follow-up effort blocked on the line.
Airdrie had offered pace but lacked potency until they were awarded a spot-kick just after the restart.
Simon Ferry was penalised for catching Callum Smith and Ryan converted with confidence.
Salvaging something from a goal behind seemed unlikely for the home team so when Ian Murray’s men went further ahead with seven minutes remaining, the contest was over.
Innes Murray whipped a dangerous cross over from the left, which was retrieved by Paul McKay, and his lay-off was swept home by Thomson.
McInally was at least able to take encouragement from Luc Bollan’s debut after the on-loan Aberdeen defender was given a late call following Scott Hooper’s withdrawal due to illness.
The Blue Toon manager added: “Scott told us at about 1.45pm that he been off his work and he only started back on Friday.
“When we asked how he was feeling, he said he had no energy so we had to pull him out of the team but Luc did fine.”
“The reason I was going to start Luc on the bench was because he had not trained with the players but the 90 minutes will stand him in good stead.”