Kelty Hearts 1
Peterhead win 5-3 on penalties
Peterhead came away from New Central Park with two points thanks to a 5-3 penalty kick success over Lowland League Champions Kelty Hearts following a 1-1 draw between the sides.
It was a game that Peterhead could have won in the second half with a strong performance or lost after being second best in the first half or indeed only picked up one point had captain Scott Brown, Gary Fraser, Steven Boyd, Derek Lyle and Ryan Conroy not kept their nerve in the shoot-out with Kelty skipper Michael Tider erring with the Fife side’s first spot-kick when he sent it against the woodwork.
Goalkeeper Joshua Rae dropped out after falling ill with Lenny Wilson making his debut after joining in the summer of 2019 with Kelty having three former Blue Toon players – Jamie Stevenson, Paddy Boyle and Scott Hooper in their starting line-up with a fourth former team-mate Craig Reid on the bench.
Lyall Cameron was given an early opportunity when Kelty keeper Darren Jamieson failed to clear correctly however Hooper got back to stop the danger.
Boyle fired over the Peterhead bar before Wilson made a smart stop from another ex-team-mate Jamie Stevenson who tried his luck from the edge of the box.
The hosts had been the better side in the first half and Peterhead manager reacted to this at the break by taking off Cameron and Alan Cook and replacing them with Derek Lyle and Steven Boyd.
The changes made an instant impact with the Balmoor men grabbing the lead four minutes into the restart in spectacular fashion with Gary Fraser thundering home a shot from 25 yards.
Ben Armour was denied a second for the visitors by Jamieson however Kelty came close to a leveller when Hooper became the third former blue and white player to go close when he headed towards goal.
It looked like Boyd would settle Peterhead nerves and secure the three points with 18 minutes left when he ran clear on goal however the striker slipped his effort just wide of goal.
Kelty took full advantage of that reprieve with Stevenson hitting a trademark free-kick from long distance and Wilson let his effort squirm through his hands and legs to set up the penalty shoot-out.
Peterhead won the extra point to set up a winner takes all affair with St Johnstone on Saturday.
Peterhead – Wilson, Bailey, Freeman, Brown, Conroy, Cameron (Boyd 46), McCarthy (Bakar 81), Fraser, Brown, Cook (Lyle 46), Armour (Ferry 63)
Unused substitutes – Kesson