Peterhead goalkeeper Brett Long is adamant Cove Rangers’ winning goal should not have stood in the first north-east derby of 2022.
Long felt he was fouled by Cove striker Rory McAllister as he contested a high ball, with the Blue Toon stopper floored and helpless as Stuart McKenzie’s long clearance rolled in.
To compound the day for the home side, they had a goal ruled out in similar circumstances in stoppage-time for a foul by Russell McLean on McKenzie when Jason Brown felt he had equalised.
Long said: “We played well the whole game, created a few chances, and to be honest they’ve sucker-punched us.
“It was a foul all day long.
“Two minutes later we go up the other end and he blows for a foul. I don’t know what he’s seen, but we just have to take it on the chin.
“It’s just the inconsistency of refereeing these days in Scotland. If you give one, you have to give them both.
“We can’t dwell on it. They’re a good team, but we more than matched them. Unfortunately it just wasn’t our day.
“It’s hard being on the end of a defeat when you’ve played that well. We played well the full game and it’s very frustrating to lose a goal in that manner.
“We just need to pick ourselves up, go again and look forward to the next game.”