Barry Ferguson: Kelty Hearts are playing to make history - we're going to Brechin to win
Kelty Hearts manager Barry Ferguson admitted his team were disappointed despite beating Brechin City in the first leg of the pyramid play-off final.
A 2-1 victory courtesy of goals from Kallum Higginbotham and Cammy Russell gives the Fife club a slender advantage for Sunday’s return leg at Glebe Park.
Ferguson revealed his players were frustrated that their performance didn’t reach higher levels – adding that their motivation is to win the second leg and make history by taking Brechin’s League Two place for next season.
“We’re actually disappointed with the performance which is crazy because we have just won a game of football,” said Ferguson. “I walked into the dressing room and before I could say anything, the lads were saying to me: ‘It’s not good enough, gaffer. We need to play a bit better.’
“That’s the standards and demands I put on them. I thought in flashes we were really good but we lost a bad goal and felt a bit sorry for ourselves.
“We just need to look forward to Sunday and we’ll go to Brechin to win the game. There’s pressure on Brechin, they’re playing to stay in the SPFL but there’s pressure on us because we’re playing to make history.”
Michael Paton, Brechin’s player-manager, believed his team deserved parity for a gutsy display in front of 250 Kelty fans. He hopes the return of supporters to Glebe Park on Sunday will be pivotal.
“I think we deserved a bit more,” said Paton. “I can't fault anyone for effort. A draw would have reflected our performance but it's over two games. We're at home with the advantage of home fans next week and I'm really excited for the players to experience that.
“The fans are desperate to make a connection with the players. It would be great if we get 500 in. We all crave that support and it will be like having a 12th man.
“Some of our players haven't experienced playing in front of crowds – young boys on loan who hadn't played a competitive game until this season. I'm excited for Sunday because the support and belief around this club is unbelievable.”