Paul Hartley expected Cove Rangers’ play-off tie with Airdrieonians to go to the wire after the two sides drew 1-1 in the first leg of their semi-final.
Leighton McIntosh netted for Cove after an unfortunate deflection off Ross Graham had put the visitors in front at the Balmoral Stadium.
The two sides were separated by just two points in League One this season and prior to Saturday, had beaten each other once and drawn the other encounter in the league.
Cove arguably created the better chances in a fraught but pulsating contest on Saturday, with the tie very much up for grabs at the Penny Cars Stadium on Tuesday night.
Hartley said: “It’s in the balance. We knew it being a two-legged affair, we needed to go down there on Tuesday night still in the game.
“We had a lot of good chances and just maybe weren’t clinical enough in the final third. I was pleased with how we played.
“I thought it would be close. They had an opportunity to make it 2-0 but we had good opportunities in the game, so it was good that we came from a goal down.”
Cove had chances through Rory McAllister, who hit the post in the second half, and McIntosh put them in front on the day, but the tie remains finely-poised.
Hartley is expecting more of the same on Tuesday night, when the two sides battle it out again for the right to face Morton or Montrose in next week’s final.
He added: “The players have given it everything. It’s been a tough run of games for them over the last couple of weeks.
“Both teams are trying to get to the final, so I expect it to be another tough game on Tuesday night.”