A ruthless display of finishing saw in-form Peterhead stretch their winning run as they eased to a 5-1 victory at Stranraer on Saturday.
The Blue Toon were three goals ahead by the interval with the excellent Shane Sutherland scoring twice and Jamie Stevenson netting.
Despite the hosts pulling one back in the second period, Jim McInally’s men were far from done with Ally Gilchrist and substitute Leighton McIntosh getting in on the act.
This was Peterhead’s fourth consecutive win and they have scored an impressive 16 goals during that run, ahead of the leaders Dunfermline visiting Balmoor next week.
Speaking after the game, Blue Toon boss Jim McInally said: “We were really good on a muddy surface.
“To be 3-0 ahead at half time was terrific and in the second half, we managed the game really well.
“Actually, had we taken a bit more care, we could have scored more than five but this was a great result.
“The work-rate of the players was good and they showed their quality on a boggy pitch.
“That was Shane’s best game for us.
“He’s been doing really well lately but today he was terrific and took his goals well.”
Sutherland struck in the 17th minute to give the visitors the lead with a low shot from inside the box, which found the bottom corner.
The former Inverness Caley and Elgin man scored again in the 36th minute, getting on the end of a Steven Noble delivery to beat teenage keeper Max Currie.
Stranraer were further behind before the break, Stevenson pouncing after a misplaced back pass in the 41st minute.
Stevenson, back in a midfield role after deputising at full back, capitalised and drove a crisp shot into the net.
The last time Peterhead built up an early three-goal lead on the road was on Hallowe’en and they threw it away.
That was at Stenhousemuir but there was no chance of a repeat happening at Stair Park, despite Craig Malcolm converting a Ryan Thomson cross in the 68th minute.
There was a scare for the home side when Rory McAllister limped off after picking up a knock.
But the band of away supporters were celebrating again in the 76th minute when Gilchrist sent a header home from Kevin Dzierzawski’s corner.
Sutherland was denied his hat-trick thanks to a fine Currie save, although the goalkeeper was tasked with picking the ball out of his net again with three minutes remaining as McIntosh put the seal on another notable Blue Toon win.
Peterhead fans have a mouth-watering double-header to look forward to with Dunfermline on Saturday and Albion Rovers the following week, both at home.
PETERHEAD: Smith, Strachan, Ross, Gilchrist, Noble, Stevenson, Dzierzawski, Ferry Redman, McAllister Sutherland.