Annan Athletic 2 Kelty Hearts 2

MICHAEL TIDSER has praised the bravery of his Kelty Hearts stars after watching them fight back twice to earn a late point at Annan Athletic.

Lewis Moore's penalty with two minutes to go salvaged a draw for the New Central Park outfit, who twice trailed at Galabank, as they remain in the promotion play-off places.

The visitors had been held by their promoted opponents in their first meeting of the season in September, when Aidan Smith's late leveller cancelled out Craig Johnston's opener, but there was a role reversal on Saturday.

Peter Murphy's hosts opened the scoring after 15 minutes when Michael Garrity's right-foot shot from outside the box found the bottom corner, but Reece Lyon, four minutes from half-time, responded by scoring his fifth goal for Kelty with a finish from inside the area.

Midway through the second period, Smith notched his second goal in as many games against Tidser's side to give Annan the lead for a second time, but their hopes of a first win in six were dashed two minutes from time.

Referee Ross Hardie pointed to the spot after Craig Johnston was felled in the penalty area, allowing Moore to step up and equalise with his fourth goal of the season, and second in as many matches.

"I thought we were going to win the game," Tidser told Kelty Hearts TV post-match.

"Apart from their goal, we've not really had anything to deal with, and we've missed right good chances.

"There's a few scrambles on the line, we then get the penalty by being on the front foot, and then again, with the last five minutes, it looks like we're going to try and score to win the game.

"Overall, I'm disappointed that it's only a point to be honest with you, but you take the point and move on."

The player / boss also said that he would keep encouraging his team to play out from the back, and continued: "I'll never change as long as I'm here in terms of trying to play.

"To be fair to the lads, they're brave, they get on it and I believe you always get more space if you're brave.

"I thought Lewis O'Donnell was outstanding today. Equally, there was four or five of them really, really good. The rest of the boys were good as well, I just single him out because I thought he was real top level.

"As I say, it's a point on the road, and we're in a good place. This month, we've picked up a few victories, there's a draw today, so we just need to keep building on that and see where it takes us."

Kelty, who are fourth in the table on 18 points, behind Montrose on goal difference, welcome a resurgent Cove Rangers to New Central Park this weekend.

After opening the campaign with just one win, and four defeats, from their first six outings since being relegated from last season's Championship, Paul Hartley's side are unbeaten in their last half-dozen, winning their last three.

The teams shared the points in a 2-2 draw at the Balmoral Stadium in September, and Tidser added: "Cove are a good side. We managed to get a point up there last time, but I think they've tweaked their team a wee bit, so it'll be a real tough test for us.

"They're another full-time club, and it's something we're looking forward to. We'll assess it this week, see how the boys are feeling, and we'll be at it next Saturday."