Peterhead boss Jim McInally says “it’s a big couple of weeks coming up” in the League Two title race.
The Blue Toon maintained their five-point lead at the summit, beating Cowdenbeath 2-1 at Balmoor via goals from Rory McAllister and Scott Brown.
On a day where the other two league contenders, Edinburgh City and Clyde, won at Berwick Rangers and Albion Rovers respectively, McInally thinks his team could’ve made it a more comfortable afternoon against Cowden.
However, it was an important win on two fronts. Peterhead visit third-placed Clyde – six points back and a point behind second-placed Edinburgh – next weekend, and hadn’t won in their last two matches.
They lost 2-0 away to Berwick two weeks ago, before drawing 0-0 at City last weekend.
McInally said: “It was good to win, obviously when we’d lost two weeks ago (against Berwick) and a big draw (against City) last week, it’s always in your mind that you need to start winning again.
“But we could’ve won better.
“It was tight because we missed a couple of sitters which really should’ve made us more comfortable.
“We left ourselves in a situation where we were conceding set-pieces, free-kicks. They missed a sitter from a free-kick where Greg Fleming spilled it and their player somehow headed it over the bar.
“We had two glorious chances – one in each half – which really would’ve put the game out of reach for them.
“We never got the chance to ease off, or play with confidence. We were always nervy after that.”
McInally knows his team are still in the driving seat for automatic League One promotion and thinks every win is a chance to land a psychological blow on Edinburgh and Clyde.
He said: “There was a nervousness because we never got the third goal, but that would’ve happened in any game.
“It’s probably more soul destroying to the other teams to come into the dressing room knowing we’ve won again.
“With five games to go, we know Clyde probably need to come and beat us next week. That’s why winning on Saturday was so important – to keep that gap.
“We know Clyde play Edinburgh City the week after us. It’s a big couple of weeks coming up.”
Peterhead’s afternoon was hampered by injury problems, but McInally is confident of having less selection issues for the visit to Broadwood at the weekend.
He said: “Rory came off with cramp and we were without a recognised striker.
“Shane Sutherland had played, but he had a wee injury as it was.
“Hopefully Rory will be ok. He was checked out after the game.
“We’ll see how he is in the next couple of days.
“Hopefully Jamie Stevenson and Simon Ferry can be back next week.”
Peterhead’s first against the Blue Brazil came from a Fleming kick-out, which was taken down by striker McAllister. The Blue Toon’s main man produced a lovely finish to score with his left foot.
Cowdenbeath’s equaliser came on the counter-attack from one of the home side’s free-kicks, something McInally thinks his team have been “guilty” of over the course of the season.
David Cox slid in to tuck away a Jordan Allan centre.
Brown’s winner came five minutes after the interval and was set up by Paddy Boyle’s cross, with the midfielder heading home from six yards.