Brora Rangers' conquerors Kelty Hearts close in on promotion to League 2
Brora Rangers’ conquerors Kelty Hearts remain on course for a place in the fourth tier of the Scottish football pyramid.
Lowland League champions Kelty – who defeated Highland League top dogs Brora 6-1 on aggregate in the League 2 play-off semi-final – won 2-1 at home to Brechin City in the first leg of the final on Tuesday night.
In front of 250 home fans at New Central Park, Barry Ferguson's Kelty side took the lead on 16 minutes when Kallum Higginbotham – once of Falkirk, Motherwell, Partick Thistle, Kilmarnock and Dunfermline – netted after Nathan Austin's shot was blocked by Hutton.
But the first leg was leve within five minutes as Brechin’s Jonathan Page scored after Bobby Barr's corner had been knocked towards goal by Chris McKee.
But Kelty were to gain themselves a narrow advantage for the second leg with a winner on the stroke of half-time.
After good work by Dylan Easton and Higginbotham, substitute Russell, on for Jamie Stevenson, regained the lead for the Fife outfit with a composed finish.
Kelty boss Ferguson said: "We're disappointed with the way we performed, which is crazy when we've just won a game. We had good stages in the game when we dominated but we didn't have that clinical edge.
"They sat in and tried to frustrate us, so hopefully they need to come out a bit more in the second leg. We'll go there and we'll go to win the game."
The return leg is at Glebe Park this Sunday, with Brechin facing a fight to continue their 68-year stretch in the senior leagues.