BARRY FERGUSON insists that Kelty Hearts will not try to sit on their advantage when they go to Brechin City for the second leg of their League Two play-off final.

Goals from Kallum Higginbotham and Cammy Russell helped the Lowland League champions to a 2-1 win in the first leg of the tie at New Central Park last night, with the return to be played at Glebe Park on Sunday.

The prize on offer is a place in SPFL League Two and, if Kelty avoid defeat, they will play there for the first time in their history.

Ferguson will have to do it without Jamie Stevenson - who picked up a hamstring injury in the first half that saw him be replaced by Russell - and he is set to assess another couple of players who are carrying knocks ahead of the game.

Backed by a crowd of 250, the men in maroon started well against their Angus opponents, and threatened to take the game away from them after Higginbotham's opener.

Jonathan Page's leveller, however, brought Michael Paton's side back into it before super sub Russell netted who proved to be the decisive goal on the stroke of half-time.

Reflecting on his team's performance, Ferguson commented: "We're actually disappointed with the performance, and it's crazy, because we've just won a game of football 2-1.

"That's the standards and the demands that I put on them. We've just had a chat there for 10 minutes and, as I said, it's one of those ones.

"I thought in flashes we were really good. It was a bad goal to lose, and we felt a wee bit sorry for ourselves for about 10 minutes, but then we settled back down. Obviously we got a great goal and then, in the second half, we just couldn't get that vital third.

"We just need to look forward to Sunday, we need to dust ourselves down, and we go again. We'll recover as best as possible and we'll go to Brechin to win the game."

Goalscorer Higginbotham commented: "A 2-1 victory, we would've taken that before the game, but the overall feeling after the game is disappointment.

"We're at home, I think we could've gone and got a few more goals, but at the end of the day, we would've taken the victory at the beginning of the game and it's a massive game now on Sunday."

City boss Paton, who was a Dunfermline player for three seasons, was proud of his side's reaction after falling behind to Higginbotham's goal.

"My overall feeling is that I think we deserved a wee bit more than the result," he said.

"Effort-wise, I can't fault any player; I think they stood up in every area of the park. I think a draw would really reflect the performance but, look, it's over two games.

"We go into our home ground next week and we have the advantage of the home fans. I'm really excited for some of these players to experience that because the home fans are really bursting to make some connection with the players.

"It's only half-time so we knew we had to keep ourselves in it. I thought the boys reacted really well after going down a goal quite early. Through the season at times, being such a young squad, the heads have went down but it was great to see today that it was the opposite. It was a great worked corner that we did in training, and luckily it's went in.

"The boys reacted really well. Going in 2-1 at half-time, the boys reacted second half really great. We were on the front foot, limited them to chances, and I thought we could've maybe got that equaliser."