Peterhead boss Jim McInally hailed the character of his side after their “ugly” 3-2 win against Berwick Rangers.
The Blue Toon were two up at Shielfield Park when David McCracken scored and Rory McAllister netted from the spot.
But Berwick responded with Jack Hamilton and Ousman See levelling the game before Jack Leitch struck with 19 minutes left.
Victory moves the Buchan outfit within a point of leaders Montrose, having played two games less.
And they will have the chance to go top on Saturday when the Gable Endies visit Balmoor.
McInally said: “As bad as we were we showed a lot of character, because when it came back to 2-2 we could have crumbled.
“But we chased the game again and got ourselves back in the lead.
“We shot ourselves in the foot because their two goals were two mistakes from McCracken.
“It’s uncharacteristic for him because he’s such an experienced defender.
“The wind was howling and it wasn’t pretty, but it was a fantastic result, but an ugly win.
“I said to them at half-time, ‘if you need to win ugly then win ugly’.”
With last night’s clash being one of Peterhead’s games in hand on Montrose, McInally knew how important it was to get the three points.
He added: “My team talk to the players was that, if we want to be winning the title, then it was the sort of match we needed to win.
“It’s difficult, you’re away down at Berwick on a Tuesday night with the wind howling, but it’s the sort of game you need to win.
“At the end of the season, if we have a enough points, you can look back on games like that and see how much it mattered.
“We’ve given ourselves a chance to go top, but now we need to dust ourselves down and rest.
“There were a lot of tired players at the end because we’ve had three tough games in seven days.”
The Blue Toon lost Jamie Stevenson to a hamstring injury and Nicky Riley to a knee problem during the game.