JOHN POTTER saluted the impact from his bench as Kelty Hearts reached the last 16 of the SPFL Trust Trophy.

Jamie Barjonas' stoppage time goal, his second strike in as many games, gave the New Central Park outfit a 2-1 victory at League Two Annan Athletic last Friday evening.

In a repeat of the scoreline when the two teams last met - on the final day of last season, with Kelty already promoted as champions - recent loan signing from Arbroath, Nicky Low, gave them the lead just before the hour mark from the penalty spot.

However, just five minutes later, Low then conceded a spot-kick at the other end for a foul on Chris Johnston, which allowed Tommy Goss to draw the hosts level.

However, in the third minute of additional time, Barjonas won it for Kelty, ensuring they bounced back from their defeat at Peterhead in their previous match.

Alfredo Agyeman, Joe Cardle and Robbie McNab all appeared from the bench to help the visitors to victory, and Potter told Kelty Hearts TV afterwards: "I thought we were good for large spells and deserved it.

"I know it was late but, at that point, we were pushing trying to win the game. We deserved to go 1-0 up but for them to get one back pretty quick, I was disappointed, but maybe when before we'd feel sorry for ourselves a little bit, we pushed on again.

"The subs made a difference, made an impact, and we deserved to win the game."

Potter, who said that he would need to wait and assess a knock Kallum Higginbotham took to his knee, which saw him substituted for Agyeman midway through the first half, was delighted with Low's contribution, continuing: "I thought he was really good.

"He's a threat, he's a good footballer, he's energetic, he's clever on the ball, makes passes, and he'll be a good signing for the club.

"He knows he needs some games, to catch up fitness wise, but he looked fit out there and it's great to have him."

Kelty return to league business this weekend, welcoming high-flying Airdrieonians to New Central Park, who Potter got the better of in last season's Championship play-off final whilst with Queen's Park.

He recognises his side face a tough challenge, adding: "They're a good team. They score a lot of goals and they go forward with numbers.

"It'll be a difficult game but it's one hopefully we can look forward to."

Meanwhile, ahead of that encounter, the club's general manager has called on everyone to "stick together and dig deep" following a tough start to life in League One.

Dean McKenzie issued a rallying cry as the club attempt to improve on its current position of second bottom, with four points gained from seven matches.

"We are approaching the first quarter of the season and it's fair to say that it has been a disappointing start for us all," he said in an update to supporters.

"There is nobody more determined than the manager, his staff and the players to get back to winning ways. Everyone is putting in extra just now to get a run going, with us as a board and committee supporting them in the background.

"We are a club used to winning the past few years, as with every club as you move up the levels, things become more difficult. We have all got to stick together and dig deep into that mining spirit we have in the village to progress once again.

"We can fix our bad start by getting a couple of good wins on the bounce and hitting a bit form. This league is so tight, a couple of wins on the trot can get us up that table. Keep supporting and let's get up that table.

"We have a big home game to look forward to this week as we welcome Airdrieonians to New Central Park for the first time in competitive action."