A dramatic stoppage time winner saw Peterhead move five points clear of Clyde with a 2-1 victory over Elgin City.
Just when a 1-1 draw, as was the case when the sides met earlier in the season, looked the likely outcome, the superb Andy Rodgers set up the winner that will send out a message of intent to the chasing pack in what until recently was proving to be a very tight title race.
Although the teams in the play-off spots have games in hand, points in the bag have always proved more valuable and the Blue Toon enter 2014 on the back of a nine game unbeaten run.
All is not rosy in the Balmoor garden however with two-goal hero in the previous game at Berwick, Rory McAlister, leaving the game with what manager Jim McInally subsequently confirmed to be a hamstring injury, with twenty minutes of the game remaining. Fellow striker Fraser McLaren was also missing from the squad, also with a hamstring injury.
McInally also stated that he would be on the look out for players in the January transfer window to strengthen his options, particularly at the back where the impressive Reece Donaldson has been recalled from his loan spell by parent club Raith Rovers.
Overall, a draw in this match may well have been the fairest outcome with chances evenly shared out.
The first half saw little between the teams until City took the lead following a corner kick from the right after 13 minutes.
The home defence failed to clear and the ball broke to the unmarked full back David Niven and he fairly lashed the ball into the roof of the net from the right side of the penalty area.
The Peterhead response was muted with a Ryan McCann header and a McAllister shot that was saved. There were a couple of other half chances but as has become the norm from the Blue Toon, first half displays attacking the Power Station end of the ground are rarely where they produce their best football.
The usual onslaught towards the visitors’ goal after the break was less obvious early on and after a McCann shot that was wide of the mark three minutes in, it was Elgin who could have extended their lead with the classy Shane Sutherland then former Balmoor favourite Dennis Wyness seeing shots saved by Graeme Smith.
Paul Harkins and Craig Gunn also tested Smith before Jamie Redman and McAllister gave indications of a comeback which came to fruition after 63 minutes.
Man of the match Graeme Sharp marauded down the right wing all game and it was his shot from an angle that took a deflection before ending up in the roof of the net.
Jordan Brown replaced McAllister in the 70th minute as both sides went for a winner and an Andy Rodgers drive into the left side of the penalty area that ended with a curled shot clawed clear by Raymond Jellema looked like being a final chance to win the game as an entertaining second half drew to a close.
However, with the game two minutes into added time, the match had one final twist.
Rodgers replicated his burst into the box moments earlier and his squared ball was pounced on by Redman to prod the ball home from close range and send Balmoor into a frenzy.
Peterhead - Smith, Sharp, Noble, Gilfillan, Ross, Strachan, Redman, Cowie, McAllister (Brown 70), Rodgers (Buchan 90), McCann ( McGlinchey 90)
Unused - Jarvie, Alexander
Referee – Matt Northcroft
Attendance – 737