Debutants Darvel moved on to the Scottish Cup second round at the expense of Highland League Keith following a hard-fought 2-1 win at Kynoch Park.
The West of Scotland Premier League side raced in to an early two-goal lead, but a battling second half performance by the Maroons, which saw them pull a goal back via Przemyslaw Nawrocki’s penalty, meant the visitors didn’t have it all their own way.
Keith manager Craig Ewen, who felt Nawrocki should have had a second penalty and chance to earn a replay from the spot, said: “It was the old cliché – a game of two halves.
“In the first half, we weren’t at it at all, Darvel were the better team. In the second half, it was completely different, and on another day we could have been going down the road for a replay.
“It was a big decision by the referee, we felt it was a stonewall penalty. The guy we felt made the foul was already on a yellow card”.
Darvel were awarded the first penalty on the afternoon in the seventh minute, which man of the match Craig Reid brilliantly saved from Darren Miller, but Miller reacted quickest to slam home the loose ball.
Then, with only 13 minutes played, another brilliant Reid parry went unrewarded when Allan McKenzie pounced to put Darvel two goals ahead.
Midway through the first half, the Maroons suffered a further blow when teenage defender Connor Grant was forced to limp off.
Goalkeeper Reid kept his team in the hunt with a string of fine saves before the interval, and a more aggressive looking home side got back into the game within seven minutes of the restart.
Striker Nawrocki was upended inside the box and he rattled home the spot-kick for his sixth goal of the season.
With the home side pressing forward they were denied another penalty on the hour mark, when Nawrocki was pulled down again – but no award was given.
Darvel manager Michael Kennedy was delighted, and said: “The most important thing was heading back down the road in the next round.
“To be fair, we should have been more comfortable at 2-0, but Keith did well to come back into the game.”