Montrose manager Stewart Petrie has revealed just how much of a psychological boost it was for his players to beat Peterhead.
The Gable Endies produced one of Scottish football’s results of last weekend when they travelled up to the Blue Toon and came back home with a crucial 1-0 win, courtesy of Chris Templeman’s injury-time header.
The result moved Montrose four points clear of Jim McInally’s men at the top of League Two and they have the chance to consolidate their lofty position when they host third-placed Stenhousemuir at Links Park this afternoon.
Petrie spoke of the importance of that scoreline at Balmoor to his players’ confidence, with the 6-2 thrashing dished out by Jim McInally’s men on December 30 in mind.
He said: “I think, psychologically, that was a massive result for us.
“You have to remember that we lost six goals at home to them not too long ago.
“Our guys took a dunt that day because our defence had been excellent up to that point.
“So to come back from that and beat them on their own ground was hugely encouraging.
“We went up there with a game plan and the way we set up worked extremely well.
“It was a tight game and I’m glad we could count on Chris, who has been an outstanding goalscorer over the years, to come up with the winner.”
Petrie knows that his players will come under pressure as the business end of the season approaches but he is confident they can cope.
“At times last season we were sitting in eighth, ninth or 10th in the league so there was a different kind of pressure on us then.
“I can tell you it is much better to be up at the other end of the table.
“There is pressure on us but it can be enjoyable and it’s great to be involved in a battle for promotion.”
Liam Callaghan is suspended and there is a doubt over Iain Campbell but, otherwise, Campbell has no fresh injury problems.
Meanwhile, Petrie is delight with the positive response to the Angus club’s latest community initiative.
Links Park is set to host its largest crowd of the season today, with hundreds of local school children having received free tickets.
Having won the coveted award last year from the SFA of ‘Best professional club in the community,’ the Gable Endies wanted to say thank you.
Peter Davidson, chief executive of Links Park Community Trust, explained: “We have issued, on behalf of MFC, every primary school child with a ticket that entitles both them and an accompanying adult free entry on Saturday to our match against Stenhousemuir.”
Petrie said: “It is great to see the club coming up with these initiatives and it will definitely help the players when they come out and see what we expect will be a big crowd.”