Brechin City 0 KELTY HEARTS 1, League Two Play-Off Final, second leg. Kelty Hearts win 3-1 on aggregate.

KELTY HEARTS will play SPFL football for the first time in their history after they defeated Brechin City this afternoon.

Michael Tidser's late goal settled a nervy contest that saw both teams end with 10 men after red cards for Chris McKee and Scott Hooper.

It was an emotional end to the afternoon for Barry Ferguson, who said afterwards that he was only thinking of celebrating rather than what next season will bring, his players and everybody connected with the New Central Park club.

A junior club until 2017, Kelty made the decision to move into the senior pyramid in the East of Scotland League, with the aim of eventually reaching the SPFL.

They won promotion to the Lowland League in their first season within the East of Scotland League, but last year were denied a possible play-off after being declared Lowland League champions when the season was curtailed due to Coronavirus.

This season, Kelty were top after 13 games when the season was again halted early, and they were declared winners on a points per game basis.

This time round, play-offs were given the go-ahead and, after beating Brora Rangers, they have now defeated Brechin to seal a place in League Two next season.

It wasn't a game that will be remembered as a classic, but the scenes at full-time as champagne corks popped and those of a Kelty persuasion celebrated will love long in the memory.

Ferguson made just one alternation to the side that defeated Brechin at home on Tuesday, with Dougie Hill stepping in for Jamie Stevenson, who dropped to the bench after going off during the first leg with injury.

There was no doubt that both teams were up for the game, but it was a tense and nervy opening as neither set of players wanted to make a costly error.

Paton, who named himself in the starting line-up, came close early on with a decent effort off-target but he should have done better 25 minutes in.

Just like they had to in the early part of the second half on Tuesday, Kelty needed goalkeeper Darren Jamieson to be on top form and produce a fine stop.

A good home move saw the hosts pick out Bobby Barr on the left edge of the box, with the winger forcing Jamieson into a good piece of goalkeeping.

He parried and the loose ball fell for Paton at the edge of the box, but he could only drag his shot wide of goal.

Hill - a rock at the back - forced David Hutton into a smart save with a header from a Tidser delivery at the other end but, with five minutes to go to half-time, the game burst into life with a red card for the home side.

Dylan Easton had been felled on the far side and was receiving treatment when, suddenly, referee Craig Napier flashed a red card at Chris McKee.

There had been no obvious offence but it was later revealed that he had been sent packing for foul and abusive language, leaving Brechin with 10 men and firmly up against it.

Two minutes into the second half, the tie was almost put firmly in Kelty's hands when Nathan Austin came desperately close to giving them the lead on the day.

He showed excellent strength and pace to hold off Gregor Jordan and latch on to a Jamieson clearance and shoot, but could only watch in agony as the ball struck the near post.

Easton then showed tremendous skill to beat two men and pull back for Ross Philp, who shot straight at Hutton, before the former tried a delicate chip from the edge of the box which didn't quite come off.

Brechin, to their great credit, refused to buckle or give in and kept at it, with Jordan forcing Jamieson into action with a header at goal, but the visitors defended balls thrown into their box resolutely.

As time went on, they had to take more risks and Hutton produced a top class piece of goalkeeping to deny Philp with his foot after the midfielder moved into the box from the left and sent a shot - with a deflection - towards the near post corner.

Hutton soon saved well again from Philp before Kelty were themselves reduced to 10 men with seven minutes to go.

Hooper's challenge on Kieran Inglis and was not to Napier's liking, leaving both sides a man short and the tie still in the balance.

However, with two minutes to go, Kelty launched a counter-attack and got the goal they wanted.

It was unfortunate for the hosts with Barr, who subsequently had to go off, lying injured with what looked like a hamstring issue midway inside his own half.

Down the other end, Kelty maintained possession and Kallum Higginbotham sent a ball long.

Rodgers slipped it into Tidser's path and, moving in from the left and into the box, he sent a left-footer beyond the reach of Hutton and into the back of the net, sparking wild celebrations as Kelty clinched a place in SPFL League Two for the first time in their history.

Brechin City: Hutton, McIntosh, Page, Coupe (Currie 62), Inglis, Barr (McLevy 90), Osman, Reekie, Jordan (C. Paton 73), McKee, M.Paton.

Subs: Bollan, O'Connor, Slaven, O'Neil.

Red card: McKee (40).

Booked: Barr (18).

Kelty Hearts: Jamieson, Reid, Boyle, Hooper, Hill, Reilly, Higginbotham, Tidser, Austin (Russell 70) (McNab 86), Easton (Rodgers 80), Philp.

Subs not used: Flynn, Stevenson, Scobbie, Donaldson.

Booked: Higginbotham (74), Rodgers (81).

Goal: Tidser (88).

Red card: Hooper (83).

Referee: Craig Napier.