GOAL HERO Cammy Russell believes that Kelty Hearts have enough experience in their ranks to stay calm ahead of one of the biggest dates in the club's history.

The 23-year-old, who has previously turned out for Airdrieonians and East Kilbride, grabbed what could prove to be an all-important winner in the first leg of the League Two play-off final with Brechin City.

Russell's cool and composed finish on the stroke of half-time has given Barry Ferguson's side a 2-1 advantage going into the return at Glebe Park this afternoon, where they will reach the SPFL for the first time if they avoid defeat.

With a pool of players containing a vast amount of experience in the SPFL, though, Russell insists they aren't getting carried away ahead of a huge 90 minutes in Angus.

"There's enough experienced boys in that dressing room to keep everybody grounded," he said after the first leg on Tuesday evening.

"We know it's only halfway done and we're actually disappointed not to come away with a bigger lead.

"But we'll go again on Sunday and hopefully do the job.

"We're both fighting for different reasons and I'm sure it will be a tough game on Sunday.

"Hopefully that will be in our favour. We're fighting for our own reasons and hopefully we've got the motivation to do it on Sunday.

"With a 2-1 lead they need to come at us and if they do that then brilliant, because that opens up the game and hopefully we can try to grab another one or two goals and kill it."

Russell, who praised his team-mates as "great players and great guys", reckons that making that initial first step into the SPFL is the hardest to achieve.

Two clubs that have already done it - Edinburgh City and Cove Rangers - have gone on to enjoy success in League Two and beyond, and Russell says Kelty have the ambition to replicate that if they can see the job through this afternoon.

"When you look at it in previous years, it's always been the game that's hardest, the game to get up," he continued.

"With a lot of Lowland League teams you probably think they’d do well in the SPFL, you see that with Cove and Edinburgh City both being in the play-offs this year.

"You can see that if teams get up there they’ll push on and have that ambition.

"The club’s got that ambition. Even when I first came here, Dean (McKenzie, Kelty's general manager) said to me, ‘we want to be up in the next year or two years, and then we want to be pushing to go up again'.

“It’s not just about a one-year or two-year plan, they want to move up and up, and it’s great to be a part of that."

Russell proved to be a supersub for Kelty on Tuesday as, having replaced the injured Jamie Stevenson in 26 minutes, he went on to score the winner.

However, he also revealed that - aside from a few minutes against Brora - it was his first significant appearance since October, having had Achilles and ankle ligament injuries.

"It’s always tough to come on to a game like that. The tempo’s always so high that you just need to try to get to grips with it as quickly as you can. I think I managed to do that.

"I’ve been out for the last six or seven months. I did my Achilles and ankle ligaments, so it’s been quite a while coming.

"But it was my aim over these couple of games to get a couple of goals.

“Apart from a couple of minutes in the Brora game, it’s my first minutes since October, so I’m delighted.

“You always need to be ready to come on in these games, so it was good to get on and good to get a goal.

"I was literally about to start training again and then lockdown started. So, I was road-running for months.

"But it makes it all worth it in these games when you’re playing on this stage and contributing."

Russell was also delighted to net in front of a first crowd inside New Central Park since before last year's lockdown, as 250 fans attended the game.

Brechin hope to have double that figure inside Glebe Park today, and he added: "It was unbelievable.

"I said when I was warming up, ‘it feels kind of weird’. I was thinking back to when we last had fans, but it was brilliant to have them back.

“Hopefully we can do it for them on Sunday and then have SPFL football for them next season."