Peterhead boss Jim McInally is relishing their shot at League Cup glory after a penalty shoot-out win over Kelty Hearts earned them two points.
The Blue Toon beat the Lowland League champions 5-3 on spot-kicks following a 1-1 draw at New Central Park.
Skipper Scott Brown, Gary Fraser, Steven Boyd, Derek Lyle and Ryan Conroy all netted from 12 yards, with Kelty captain Michael Tidser crucially off target with their first penalty.
With eight points Peterhead are second to Dundee United on goal difference in Group C.
Third-placed St Johnstone have seven points and visit Balmoor on Saturday. A point would secure second for the Blue Toon and may be enough to reach last 16 as one of the four best runners-up.
Anything more would see them top the section, and McInally said: “The guys took their penalties well and we move on to a really good game on Saturday.
“Regardless of what happens I think we should be proud of having eight points at this stage, because it’s not just hard playing against Dundee United and St Johnstone, Kelty are difficult to play as well.
“It’s been a good effort to reach this point and we’ll give it a go on Saturday and try to take something. We’ve got nothing to lose and we’ll give it our best shot.”
McInally was disappointed with his side’s first-half performance at New Central Park, while the low point of the second half was goalie Lenny Wilson – who was making his competitive debut for Peterhead – letting Jamie Stevenson’s long-range free-kick squirm through his hands for Kelty’s equaliser.
McInally added: “I’m really disappointed with the first half, we were really poor and didn’t get up to the speed of the game.
“But you have to take into account the quality of the opposition because Kelty are a very good team.
“The second half was a really good game. We scored a great goal and we had a chance to put the game out of their reach. The goal we lost was tough to take, but we kept at it.
“It’s all part of the learning curve for Lenny. With the way the score went with Dundee United we probably would have needed to get something on Saturday anyway, so I don’t think it has made much difference on that front.
“Lenny just needs to learn from that, it can happen in football and his handling was good after that and he didn’t go into his shell.”
After a first half in which Kelty dominated possession without creating any clear-cut chances, Peterhead took the lead in the 49th minute as Fraser fired a fantastic strike into the top right corner from 25 yards.
Fraser played Boyd through on 65 minutes, but he scuffed wide, and, two minutes later, ex-Blue Tooner Stevenson levelled with his powerful 35-yard free-kick going through Wilson. In a frantic last quarter, neither side could conjure up a winner.