Peterhead boss Jim McInally hailed his side’s vital victory against Falkirk which strengthens their hopes of League One survival.
The Blue Toon defeated the Bairns 1-0 at Balmoor courtesy of Jason Brown’s late goal.
With four post-split fixtures to play this term – the first of which is against Clyde on Saturday – the Buchan outfit are seventh in League One.
They are 12 points clear of bottom side Forfar and four ahead of Dumbarton who occupy the relegation play-off place.
McInally said: “It’s an important win. It’s hard for Forfar to catch us now and we just need to try to keep ourselves out of ninth.
“And if we keep playing like that then we’ll be a hard team to beat.
“I’m just delighted, we played against a team at the top of the league and I thought we outplayed them, outfought them and actually looked fitter than them so you can’t argue with that.
“It was pleasing to play the game in their half and we spoke before the game about playing in the right areas and not taking chances in our own half.
“After the first 10 minutes I thought we did that and pressed them high and won a lot of second balls and it was a good performance.
“I was wondering if the goal would come. It’s so tough against teams that are well-organised and set up like that, but I just thought we got what we deserved.”
Peterhead threatened early on against the side who were leading League One at kick-off with Hamish Ritchie volleying over.
The best chance of the first period also fell to the Blue Toon with Steven Boyd’s corner breaking for Jordon Brown, but Bairns goalkeeper Robbie Mutch made a fine block.
Falkirk were toothless in attack throughout the 90 minutes with home keeper Lenny Wilson untested.
In the second period Mutch saved from Kyle Bailey following another good Boyd delivery, then Mutch denied Scott Brown with the Peterhead captain clean through following a swift breakaway.
Boyd was next to try his luck from 20 yards, but again Mutch was in the way.
On 75 minutes Falkirk were reduced to 10 men when Morgaro Gomis picked up a second yellow card for diving.
Six minutes later Peterhead made the breakthrough with Daniel Strachan’s long ball into the box stabbed home by Jason Brown.
McInally added: “I thought they were all excellent, but it was good Jason got his goal because I think he’s been playing well all season and has done really well for us.”