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Highland League champions Brora Rangers face uphill task in bid to reach League 2 as Barry Ferguson's Kelty Hearts win at Dudgeon Park

By Craig Christie

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LOWLAND League winners Kelty Hearts won 2-0 in Brora on Tuesday night to emerge as favourites to meet Brechin City in the League 2 play-offs.

Brora Rangers are bidding to gain promotion from the Highland League. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Brora Rangers are bidding to gain promotion from the Highland League. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

The Fifers, managed by former Scotland and Rangers captain Barry Ferguson, showed their credentials to step up into the SPFL with a powerful display at Dudgeon Park.

Kelty even missed two penalty kicks in the opening ten minutes, both saved by ex-Ross County and Elgin City keeper Joe Malin.

Brora keeper Joe Malin saved two penalties against Kelty Hearts. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Brora keeper Joe Malin saved two penalties against Kelty Hearts. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Another former Elgin player Dylan Easton fired home a spectacular opener for the visitors and Kallum Higginbotham - who missed one of the first half spot kicks - took another and scored early in the second half to seal his team's win.

The second leg of the play-off is at Kelty on Saturday.

Elgin City sealed their place in the League 1 play-offs as Kane Hester's treble earned a 3-2 win over champions Queen's Park.

The Black and Whites finished third and now play second-placed Edinburgh City, with the first leg at Borough Briggs on Saturday.

Championship play-offs, semi-finals

Saturday May 8 – first leg

Cove Rangers v Airdrieonians

Montrose v Morton

Kick-off 3pm

Tuesday May 11 – second leg

Airdrieonians v Cove Rangers

Morton v Montrose

Kick-off 7.45pm

League 1 play-offs semi-finals

Saturday May 8 – first leg

Elgin City v Edinburgh City

Stranraer v Clyde or Dumbarton

Kick-off 3.00pm

Tuesday May 11 – second leg

Clyde or Dumbarton v Stranraer

Edinburgh City v Elgin City

Kick-off 7.45pm

Stranraer defeated Edinburgh 2-1 in Tuesday's other top half match to pip Stirling Albion to the play-offs.

The Stair Park side are at home in the semi-finals, first leg on Saturday but won't know their opponents until Thursday night.

They will meet the team that finishes ninth in League 1, which at the moment is Clyde but the Bully Wee play East Fife tomorrow needing a win to stay up.

Dumbarton moved out of the bottom two on Tuesday with a 3-2 win over Peterhead. helped by two goals from ex-Rothes striker Jaime Wilson, including a stoppage time winner.

But if Clyde win on Thursday, it will be Dumbarton who travel to Stranraer for the play-offs on Saturday.

At the top end of League 1, long-time leaders Falkirk missed out on even a play-off spot as they crashed to a 2-0 defeat against Airdrie, who noe play second-placed Cove Rangers in the semis.

Montrose netted a last minute winner against champions Partick Thistle to steal the final play-off slot from Falkirh, and now meet Morton, who finished second bottom of the Championship on goal difference.

In the big Fife derby, Dunfermline and Raith Rovers drew 0-0 at East End Park in the first leg of the Premiership play-offs quarter-finals.

The second leg is on Saturday with the winners playing Dundee in the semis for the right to have a crack at the club which finishes second-bottom of the Premiership.

Kilmarnock are the team currently in 11th spot, a point behind Ross County and two ahead of bottom side Hamilton, with two games to play in the top tier.

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