Peterhead boss Jim McInally was happy to get another win to fuel their bid for the League Two title – despite not being thrilled by his team’s performance.
The Blue Toon won 1-0 at Stirling Albion to remain one point behind table-toppers Edinburgh City with a game in hand.
Cowdenbeath visit Balmoor tomorrow night and – with Edinburgh not in action – the home side know, if they take three points, they hit the summit.
McInally said: “It was a good win, but not the best of performances.
“We know we can play a lot better.
“When you get a clean sheet, you’re always pleased with that.
“And you know if you can get that, there’s always a chance we’ll score a goal.
“We should have scored two or three goals on Saturday to be honest.
“But we made it tough for ourselves.
“It was pretty even, although we certainly had the best chances.
“It was just a battle. The pitch was heavy.
“You can’t say we didn’t deserve to win, but we could have won better.”
One thing which pleased McInally other than the three points was Rory McAllister’s “brilliant” winner – the long-time talisman’s 12th of the season – which came on 34 minutes.
This moved McAllister level with team-mate Shane Sutherland on goals scored this term.
McInally said: “It was a brilliant goal. Jamie Stevenson went down the right wing and put a beautiful bullet cross in and Rory’s header was fantastic.
“It was a goal worthy to win any game to be honest.
“You always know what you’re going to get from him (McAllister), and he’s been working really hard to get back in among the goals.
“But I think he’s at the stage now where, even if we win, he doesn’t care (if he doesn’t score).
“But it was good for him to get that on Saturday.
“It’ll give him a lift.”
The manager thinks the danger of slipping up ahead of their big chance tomorrow may have weighed on his players, affecting the performance.
He said: “It was massive (pressure to win, to hold on to the chance of going top tomorrow).
“I think that pressure came into it at times, where you know if you can win your next two games you can go back to the top.
“That probably came with the territory a wee bit on Saturday.
“But we got there and we’ve obviously got another hard game tomorrow.
“We know if we win it we can go top – it’s a great incentive for us.”
McInally says he “can’t ask for anything else” when it comes to Peterhead’s energy levels, but they need to use possession better – starting against the Blue Brazil.
He said: “Without the ball we’re doing great, we just need to do better with the ball.
“We need to use it better.
“We can’t ask for anything else off the ball – you don’t get clean sheets without working hard and doing your defensive duties well.”