Delight as positive Peterhead snatch third

Three points off second, with four games left to play, the Blue Toon have found another gear to shift into as the season comes to a climactic close.

Mathematically, there are seven teams in the mix to finish in the play-off places, but Peterhead’s six-goal thumping of East Stirlingshire will have sent a shot across the bow of the teams around them who will be looking for McInally’s side to slip up before the season’s end.

But McInally was in good, positive spirits after the game last weekend, praising the manner in which the side had performed of late.

“To score five goals in the first-half was brilliant, and I’ve always felt we owed one to them (East Stirlingshire) from last season when it happened to us down there.

“What I said to our players was that you know that they’ll try to pass it, Stirling.

“I know what they’re like, they’ll keep passing and they’ll try and pass it ‘round you, and I thought our energy and our pressing kind of laid the foundation for the result, to be honest,” said McInally.

Meanwhile, Dean Cowie, who re-signed for the Blue Toon last summer, having spent a spell abroad and in the Highland League, was singled out for inspiring the performance of Peterhead on the day by his manager.

McInally said: “I thought he was magnificent on Saturday, the way he pressed them and everybody else reacted to that, and we were just in about them. You couldn’t even say that they passed it ‘round us because we never gave them a chance to do it.”

With a return to form, the Blue Toon look good to finish in the play-off places, Rangers having long clinched the title, a remarkable return to form from just a few weeks ago when Peterhead could not, try as they might, find the back fo the net.

In the last four games, however, the Blue Toon have scored 16 goals - including two 6-0 thrillers over Montrose and East Stirlingshire, respectively.

“Where we’ve come from has been brilliant,” added McInally.

“It speaks volumes for the players. Honestly, they’ve been brilliant and I think it’s all to do with hard work, because I think they’ve really been working hard, and if you work hard, and you’ve got players that we’ve got in our team, you know, with the ability that they’ve got, you’ve always got a good chance of winning games.”

The Blue Toon’s next test comes in the shape of Stirling, another side hoping that a late surge of form will be enough to see them climb into the play-off places.

A win for McInally’s team will, however, likely be enough to knock the seventh-placed side out of the running.

The match kicks-off at Stirling’s Forthbank Stadium at 3pm.

Elsewhere, Queen’s Park will be defending second-place against fifth-place Berwick, a loss for the current play-off leaders enough, if the Blue Toon win their game, to send Peterhead second on goal difference.

Also looking to hold on to their play-off hopes will be Montrose who travel to Elgin, just three points ahead of Berwick in the last play-off place.