There has been a double celebration at Annan Athletic ahead of their trip to take on Scottish League Two leaders Peterhead.

Remarkably, for the third time this season, the Galabankies take on the top three of Peterhead, Edinburgh City and Clyde in consecutive matches.

But ahead of this afternoon’s clash at Balmoor Stadium (3pm kick-off), winger Chris Johnston says that’s just the way he likes it as he celebrates being named League Two’s player of the month, while manager Peter Murphy has been named top boss for the second time this season.

It comes after the fourth-placed Black and Golds took 10 points out of a possible 12 last month.

“We’re in a good position. We’ve got nine big games to go and we want to finish as strongly as we can,” said former Kilmarnock star Johnston.

“We’ve got three tough ones coming up but we know, if we play as we can, we can handle these games.

“It’s strange how the fixtures work out that we’re playing the top three consecutively for the third time. But the bigger the game, the better for me.

“I came on in last year’s play-off final for Peterhead and it was obviously a real blow that we didn’t go up, losing out to Stenhousemuir.

"Hopefully, we’ll finish in the play-offs this season and anything can happen once you’re in these games. We’re a match for anyone on our day.”

Carlisle United favourite Murphy, whose side has lost just once in 11 matches, is hoping Johnston can maintain his form.

“Chris has been excellent. He’s got so much ability and quality, and he has been superb for us in terms of assists,” said Murphy.

“I have been putting demands on him to score more goals because he gets himself into great positions.

“He got two great ones against Cowdenbeath [in a 4-2 victory on February 16] and I’ll be looking for him to get more in the month ahead.

"But I can’t speak highly enough of what Chris brings to the team.”

Annan have been to the play-offs twice in the past five years but lost out at the semi-final stage on both occasions.

“The players have been brilliant and we are looking for a big push now in the last quarter of the season,” he said.

“We’ve got momentum but we’re coming into a very tough period against the top three in succession. We beat the top three in the last spell of matches so we hope to emulate that.

“This next month will dictate where we finish, so we’re hoping we have a good month and we can solidify our position in the top four.”

Eaglesfield’s Greg Fleming is among Peterhead’s ranks.