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Peterhead combination of organisation and ruthlessness makes play-offs the aim – Gary MacKenzie

Gary MacKenzie in action for Peterhead
Gary MacKenzie in action for Peterhead

Gary MacKenzie feels Peterhead’s ruthlessness in front of goal means more good results are on the way.

The Blue Toon recorded a fantastic 1-0 win over a Partick side unbeaten in their last six games and defender MacKenzie insists they have nothing to fear this season.

He said: “We have some good players – players that have been at a good level and are hungry to get back to that.

“We have shown that against Dundee United and we were unlucky against Falkirk, so we feel if we stay well organised and take our chances, we will continue to get good results.”

The away side took the lead on the half-hour mark after good work from loanee Kieran Freeman, who intercepted a slack pass from Thistle’s Joe Cardle before releasing Isaac Layne in the box.

Layne then found Scott Brown in space and the captain in turn found the corner of the net to break the deadlock.

Scott Brown bagged Peterhead’s winner.

MacKenzie said the defensive shape for Peterhead was crucial to securing all three points, with the side now moving into the top half of the table.

He added: “It was a scrappy game. There were very few chances and they rarely cut us open, but that was always the plan.

“If we make it difficult for the opposition in our own half, teams will find it hard to break us down and we have the quality up the other side of the park to hurt teams.

“We want to improve and I don’t see why we can’t aim for the play-offs with the group we have in place.”

The home side enjoyed much of the ball in the first half, with Joshua Rae called in to action to deny a strong Ryan Williamson shot. However, the Peterhead defence grew stronger as the game progressed.

Thistle were unable to find a breakthrough as they piled men forward in a bid to draw level, but Mackenzie and his colleagues stood firm.

Back-to-back wins have put Peterhead in a strong position moving into the final two games of the calendar year as they now sit only two points off fourth-top Thistle.

Balmoor boss Jim McInally was delighted with the result and claimed his side’s experienced players are important in fixtures such as these.

He said: “It was a very good performance. We defended very well, but were also dangerous on the counter-attack and a bit unlucky not to pick them off on a few other occasions.

“It makes it a lot easier when you have big Gary and then Simon (Ferry) in the middle of the park to help the team through these sorts of games, when organisation is vital.”

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