KEVIN THOMSON is confident his Kelty Hearts stars can rise to the challenge and keep their Premier Sports Cup bid alive this evening.

The New Central Park squad make the lengthy trip to play League Two rivals, Elgin City, on the back of Saturday's impressive 3-0 defeat of League One East Fife.

That fine victory, achieved thanks to a Nathan Austin double and a first Kelty goal for Alfredo Agyeman, gave Thomson his first competitive victory since taking over from Barry Ferguson in May.

In an intriguing Group B, Dundee United - who defeated Kelty in their opener - all-but booked their place in the last 16 on Saturday with a 1-0 defeat of Arbroath, a result that leaves United with three wins from three at the top.

They travel to East Fife - who, like Elgin, have yet to earn a point after two games played - this evening, while victory for Thomson's side would move them onto six points from three games.

That's the total Championship Arbroath, not in action this evening, find themselves on ahead of hosting Kelty on Saturday in the final group game, which could be a winner-takes-all affair for a place in the next round as one of the best runners-up.

For now, though, Thomson is focused on the clash at Borough Briggs and, speaking to Press Sport after Saturday's victory, commented: "I'm delighted with the result - not so much the second half performance, right enough.

"With the weather, the conditions, we felt that we had to try and score a couple of goals and get in front.

"I thought they (East Fife) put us under a lot of pressure in the second half, gambled a couple of extra players forward, caused us a wee bit more disruption and probably could've nicked a goal.

"To beat a team in the league above 3-0, and be a wee bit disappointed with the second half performance, hopefully shows you where we want to get to.

"I'm trying to put a lot of pressure on the boys, trying to build a team that's capable of moving the ball, passing it and creating chances and scoring goals.

"Second half, that was probably the only blip, just disappointed on how we handled the ball, but I have to say, we scored three great goals.

"Let's look forward to Tuesday night now."

Dunfermline Press:

Kevin Thomson earned his first competitive win as Kelty boss on Saturday. Photos: Jim Payne.

Thomson was aware of the significance of the win, not only in terms of getting up and running under his charge, but to give Kelty hope of progression from the group phase in this competition for the first time.

"I said that to them before the game - this was the biggest game, with obviously the way the group's transpired," he continued.

"We went to watch East Fife Arbroath on Wednesday night. We've obviously played Dundee United, and I felt we made a good account of ourselves, but the harsh reality is we got beat.

"We were hoping Dundee United would beat Arbroath today, which they have, which gives us an opportunity to go to Elgin on Tuesday night against a team in the same league as us and another one that will be well organised, tough to break down and a real challenge, especially going up on a bus for four hours.

"It's another challenge, another chance to stretch the boys. The squad's small so you're hoping that boys don't pick up to many niggles, and we'll try and shift the squad around to give people opportunities to stake a claim to get into the team, but ultimately we want to get three points."

Austin, whose former clubs include Inverness Caledonian Thistle, added that Kelty would go all-out looking for a result to set up an intriguing tie at Gayfield this weekend.

"I've played up at Elgin a few times and had some good memories up there, so I'm looking forward to it," he said.

"They're in the same situation as us, maybe trying to feel us a wee bit because we play them a few times in the league this year, and they'll need a result as well to keep themselves in the cup.

"It should be a good game, hopefully it's a nice night up there and we can put a good game on for the fans.

"If we get a good result on Tuesday then it's all to play for in a big game against Arbroath up there against a team that's two leagues above, so it sets it up nicely, but we've got to take care of Elgin first.

"We'll just be focusing on that before we move on to Arbroath."

Dunfermline Press:

Nathan Austin hit a brace against his former club on Saturday.

A maximum of 440 fans will be at Borough Briggs, while a stream of the match is available for £7.99 for those unable to attend.

For full details, visit the Elgin City website by clicking here.