Match-winner Hamish Ritchie claimed it was “fourth time lucky” as his late strike rewarded Peterhead’s patience with a 1-0 win at Dumbarton.
Ritchie was brought on midway through the second half and secured victory when he scored from close range after Rory McAllister had turned a deep cross into his path.
The win moves Peterhead up to second in League Two and a relieved Ritchie said: “Dumbarton came out of the traps quickly and the boys did well to keep them at bay in the first half.
“In the second half we should have had a few goals.
“I had three chances but it was fourth time lucky. In this league if you can put a run together you will do well but every team is looking to do that.”
Ritchie, who is making his way back to full fitness following knee surgery, added: “It is only a year and a few days since my surgery so I am still getting back to what I was like.
“Scoring winning goals helps.”
The Sons started quickly with Greig Young shooting just pastthe post from 18 yards before Mark Durnan fired over from close range.
However, an unfortunate injury to Young on 15 minutes saw the game held up for nine minutes before the midfielder was stretchered off.
When the game restarted Ryan Strachan was involved at both ends as he kicked a Matthew Shiels shot off his own line before seeing his effort on the Dumbarton goal charged down.
With 37 minutes played trickery from McAllister set up Conor O’Keefe whose curling effort was inches out.
Peterhead were the stronger side after the break and they should have scored when Kieran Shanks released O’Keefe but he was denied by Long.
With an hour gone a deft pass from Andy McCarthy sent Shanks free but his chipped effort was scooped up by Long.
Dumbarton threatened briefly through a Tony Wallace drive that Strachan cleared off his line again but Peterhead were immediately back on top and McCarthy teed up Ritchie on 78 minutes with his effort going over.
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The duo combined again seconds later, Long saving Ritchie’s low effort before Aaron Reid’s shot was blocked and Ritchie curled the loose ball onto the roof of the net.
Just when the visitors were thinking a goal was not coming McAllister tapped the ball across the face of the home goal and Ritchie stroked it in.
Home substitute Finlay Gray was shown a red after picking up his second booking to make the final minutes less intense.
Co-manager Strachan said: “The break in play was really unfortunate for Dumbarton, and I hope it’s not a bad injury, but it put them off their rhythm.
“That allowed us to build ourselves into the game and we imposed ourselves fully on the second half.
“The goal was a good one and it felt like it was coming. I am delighted for Hamish.”