Arbroath and Kelty Hearts played out a thrilling five-goal encounter at Gayfield on Saturday as the Angus side progressed into the last 16 of the Premier Sports League Cup.
At one point Kelty were two goals up and cruising towards the knockout stage but they were pegged back by a rampant Arbroath side in the second period.
Arbroath are now in the hat for Sunday’s Premier Sports League Cup draw.
And with the new league campaign kicking off on Saturday, what did Courier Sport learn from this game?
Arbroath: Smells like team spirit
Arbroath’s cup run has shown their famous team spirit is alive and well.
At key points in their four group games, they have looked to be on the brink of defeat.
Firstly, at home to East Fife, keeper Calum Antell’s red card seemingly threw Arbroath’s plans into disarray.
However, with the game poised at 0-0, midfielder David Gold bravely put on the gloves and kept a clean sheet.
Two late goals from Red Lichties sealed the win.
On Saturday, Arbroath could have capitulated after clinical finishing by Kallum Higginbotham and Joe Cardle put them two goals down inside 27 minutes.
However, roared on by an expectant crowd, the Gayfield side pulled a goal back through Luke Donnelly to make it 2-1 at the break.
Last 1️⃣6️⃣☑️ pic.twitter.com/G5xtWplool
— Arbroath FC (@ArbroathFC) July 24, 2021
In the second period, after a half-time dressing down from Dick Campbell, Arbroath were simply sensational and worthy winners.
The phrase ‘we showed character’ is much overused but it sums up Arbroath right now.
They have a happy camp that welcomes new signings to a WhatsApp group chat via a Karaoke initiation.
Clearly the team that sings together, plays together.
Arbroath midfielder Nicky Low can boss this year’s Championship
— Ewan Smith (@ewansmithpr) July 24, 2021
By his own admission, Nicky Low is a crowd-pleaser.
The former Dundee and Aberdeen star thrives on an atmosphere. He’s exactly the sort of player you need to roll up his sleeves for a battle.
Arbroath’s third consecutive season in the Championship promises to be the biggest challenge yet.
As the only part-time side, they will be favourites for the drop. You should write any Dick Campbell side off at your peril.
Smells like Team Spirit!
What a night!
Those terraces were built for our fans and we were so glad to see each and everyone of you back tonight.
That win is for you! pic.twitter.com/Yrt048apcz
— Arbroath FC (@ArbroathFC) July 14, 2021
Low is the archetypal Campbell signing – a battler with a point to prove.
His outstanding passing ability and set-piece delivery will ensure he’s a real asset to Arbroath and a key player in the Championship.
Kelty Hearts will be a force to be reckoned with in League Two
With a three-pronged attack of Kallum Higginbotham, Joe Cardle and Nathan Austin, Kelty fans are certain to see a flood of goals.
If they can sort out defensive lapses, then they will be the team to beat in League Two.
For spells, they more than matched Arbroath on Saturday.
Low said in a post-match interview he expects Kelty Hearts to be a Championship side at some point.
Their biggest opponent will be complacency.
If they believe the hype then teams such as a very well-drilled Forfar, an experienced Edinburgh City or a revamped Stirling Albion could put a spoke in their works.