BARRY FERGUSON admitted that his emotions were "all over the place" after he watched Kelty Hearts reach the SPFL for the first time in their history.

The former Rangers and Scotland captain, who was appointed as New Central Park manager in October 2018, saw Michael Tidser seal a 1-0 win at Brechin City for a 3-1 aggregate success in the League Two play-off final.

It means that, just four years after quitting the juniors to move into the senior pyramid and the East of Scotland League, Kelty will play in Scottish football's fourth tier when it kicks off on July 31.

Skipper Tidser's goal settled what had been a tense and fraight afternoon at Glebe Park, where Brechin's Chris McKee was shown red in the 40th minute for foul and abuse language.

Kelty defender, Scott Hooper, was also given his marching orders with seven minutes to go for a foul on Rory Currie, but nothing could take away the joy felt by the away team's players, backroom staff, committee members and Ferguson himself.

"My emotions are all over the place if I’m being honest with you," he told Press Sport at full-time.

"What can I say – it’s been a long road. It’s been a long 33 months but I knew if we kept at it, and I was building a good team, that if we got that opportunity to get into the play-off we would take it.

"It wasn’t great today, I’ll be honest with you. It was a hard watch – you’d probably seen that yourself – but even at that, we could’ve won the game by three or four goals and we played well below our standards. But I’m just delighted.

"I'm delighted for everybody. I'm delighted for my staff, who have put up with me, I'm delighted for the players - I scream and bawl and shout at them, but they've been absolutely brilliant.

"They're a special group and, whatever happens in the future, I'll always remember this moment."

Match-winner Tidser said: "I'm delighted.

"It's been a long time coming, but we finally got over the line. It's massive for theclub; as I said to the previous boys in the press, it's a great achievement for the club, considering where they've been.

"The manager's been great, the board have been great, the players have been great - I'm just thrilled for everybody."

For Brechin, it meant that their 67-year stay in the leagues that constitute the current SPFL was brought to an end.

Their manager, former Pars midfielder Michael Paton, was appointed in November but couldn't save them from a third relegation in four seasons.

"It’s a mixture of feeling gutted and proud at the same time because of the position where the club is, but proud of the performance levels I got from my players today," he said.

"For 15 minutes, it was an uphill battle after the red card, going down to 10 men, but we were still creating. The players were still giving me everything, so I can't fault their effort levels after that game."

On the red card for McKee Paton, who said the on-loan Rangers player was left in tears after the game, continued: "The ref has said he's heard something he's not happy with.

"Chris is in absolute state. He's in there upset; I can't get a word out of him, so I'm going to have a chat with him after this and see what's actually went on.

"I don't know what's been said but the referee was really not happy with it."