Jim McInally urged his Peterhead side to believe in themselves more after turning over league leaders Raith Rovers at Balmoor.
Goals from Jack Leitch and Gary Fraser ended a two-month wait for a league victory, much to the relief of manager McInally.
Raith had already beaten the Blue Toon twice this season – once in the Betfred Cup and once in the league – but the hosts deservedly knocked them off the League 1 summit with their first win since beating Stranraer on August 31.
McInally said: “Bearing in mind they turned us over a couple of times, they probably didn’t know we were capable of that. When that happens, you don’t maybe get the respect you think you’re due. We go there in a couple of weeks and the boys get a wee lift knowing we can beat them.
“What I’ve kept saying is, you get a break. We got that with the first goal. We started the game well and showed we’re a decent side.
“I’ve been here eight years and I don’t think we’ve lost three games in a row, never mind four. This is the strongest squad we’ve had. We’ve played what were the league leaders and we were better than them. They need to believe in themselves and believe they’re a good side.”
McInally’s decision to drop Rory McAllister and play Derek Lyle as a lone striker was a surprise but the talismanic striker, who has bailed Peterhead out many times in the past, has scored just once this season amid a problematic ankle injury.
It took a long 26 minutes before either side had a clear sight of goal, with Lyle swivelling on Scott Brown’s knockdown but finding the side netting.
Given the barren run Peterhead had been on, without a league win since the end of August, any bit of fortune would have been gratefully received. David McGurn provided it 10 minutes before the break, slicing a clearance up in the air with Brown waiting. He glanced the ball back into Leitch’s pass, with his shot on the turn finding the net.
McAllister was introduced from the bench in the second half and almost marked his introduction with a remarkable goal, letting fly from 25 yards and worrying McGurn as the ball whizzed over.
Scott Hooper’s superb block to deny Grant Anderson maintained Peterhead’s advantage, while Jack Smith cursed his luck with a well-struck effort from the edge of the box that flicked the crossbar.
Fraser eased the lingering tensions with 16 minutes to go, curling home a wonderful second on the break to end Peterhead’s wait for victory. A straight red for Raith’s Iain Davidson compounded things.
McInally added: “When you watch Gary Fraser on YouTube and see the goals he scored for Partick Thistle, we’ve been waiting on something like that.”