Peterhead boss Jim McInally believes narrowing the gap at the top of League Two was a reward for his players’ hard work.
The Blue Toon beat Elgin City 3-0 at Borough Briggs on Saturday, while table toppers Edinburgh City drew 2-2 with Berwick Rangers at Shielfield Park.
That means the gap at the top of League Two is down to just three points, with the Buchan team also having a game in hand.
Jack Leitch netted a brace for Peterhead, with Ryan Dow also on target in the final match of his loan stint with the Balmoor team.
Darryl McHardy was sent off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity in the first half, but Rory McAllister had the resulting penalty saved by Kyle Gourlay.
McInally said: “I feel Saturday was a bit of a reward for the players because it has been the same all the time lately.
“We have come in after games and got a result and Edinburgh have won as well.
“It was good on Saturday because the two Berwick goals were so late.
“That was good because finding out about that gives us a wee lift.
“We have been working hard and then seeing that result gives us a lift after putting in the hard work.
“I think we have done brilliantly because we have played 17 games and have 41 points. That is a good return from the boys. We had started the game really well and we were really dominating.
“But to a certain extent them going down to 10 men didn’t really help us because when Rory missed the penalty we then missed a few other chances.
“When Ryan scored it kind of took the pressure off us a wee bit.
“But until we got the third goal they were hanging in there.
“We missed a few chances to put the game to bed so it was nice to get the third goal just so that we could relax a bit.
“Even with 10 men Elgin hung in there and made it difficult.
“We nearly gifted them a goal on one occasion, but we managed to survive that.
“The first half was really good from us. The second half was not so good but I will take winning 3-0 away from home all day.”
Leitch’s double takes him to four goals in four games and McInally added: “It’s good for him – he went through a flat spot where he got subbed a few times and I think he felt he wasn’t where he should be.
“That has paid off because he has got back to where he should be and if he stays there then it’s good for the team.
“He knows he has got standards and he knows we expect the standards that he has hit in the past.”