Peterhead manager Jim McInally praised his team for handling the pressure as they beat Albion Rovers 2-0.
The Blue Toon triumphed at Cliftonhill thanks to second-half goals from Ryan Dow and sub Russell McLean.
Victory keeps the Buchan team three points behind leaders Edinburgh City with a game in hand and two points clear of Clyde in third.
McInally was pleased with his side’s second-half display after being level at the break.
His players also had the added pressure of knowing Edinburgh were 3-0 up at Queen’s Park and Clyde were leading Berwick Rangers 2-0 at the interval.
McInally said: “Knowing the other two teams were winning at half-time put pressure on us.
“But we were professional, handled it and got the job done.
“After you’ve lost a game against Clyde the three top teams were away from home and people probably thought we had the easiest game.
“But you do need to see the pitch to believe it. I just wanted to win at all costs and we’ve done that.
“We can move on, we’ve won our first game of the new year because you don’t want that hanging over you so it was a good result.”
McInally insisted winning was more important than the performance on a tricky Cliftonhill pitch.
He added: “The first half was probably as bad a game as you will ever see in the history of football.
“The second half we just upped it a bit which made the difference.
“They were enthusiastic and got in our faces which made it difficult and the pitch is just beyond comprehension.
“It was not about playing well – it’s just about winning.
“In the second the half we were nice and professional and got the job done and I don’t think our goalkeeper Greg Fleming had to make a save in the game.”
The only disappointment for Peterhead was striker Rory McAllister and full-back Jamie Stevenson both having to be subbed with back injuries.
McInally said: “With Rory his job as a heating engineer can take a toll on him and sometimes the pitch has an impact.
“It’s just about managing it.
“We haven’t had anything with Jamie for a long time so hopefully it was just a bit of reaction to the heavy pitch.”