Michael Tidser believes Kelty Hearts should fear no-one after dumping holders St Johnstone out of the Scottish Cup.
The Kelty skipper anchored a superb display from the League Two leaders to dish out a 10th consecutive defeat for struggling Saints thanks to Kallum Higginbotham’s extra-time winner.
Tidser has confessed the Premiership side’s current struggles only served to heighten Kelty’s confidence that they could pull off an upset.
And the former Morton and Rotherham midfielder reckons the part-timers’ own form, which has seen them beaten only once in the league this season in their first campaign in the SPFL, can be a powerful factor no matter who they are playing.
With Kelty having been drawn to face St Mirren away in the fifth round, Tidser said: “Sometimes when you get that winning mentality you almost feel you can take on anybody, especially at home.
“We knew they (St Johnstone) have not been great but they’ve still got good players. There’s pressure on them, we knew there was pressure on them.
“People say it was a free hit for us but we backed ourselves.
“It might sound a bit cocky but anyone can beat anyone in any game.
“We knew they haven’t been on a great run of form and we’ve been doing well so we fancied it.
“I’m just delighted for everyone at the club, from the top all the way down.”
In an even first half, Kelty keeper Darren Jamieson kept out a Chris Kane header and an Ali Crawford shot before St Johnstone – bottom of the top-flight – stepped up the pace after the break.
But, with Jacob Butterfield going close with three long-range shots and Nadir Ciftci passing up two headed opportunities, Saints struggled to break down their lower-league hosts.
Crawford saw a free-kick crash back off the crossbar early in extra time, but Kelty stunned their visitors with the breakthrough in the 102nd minute.
Clearing a Saints corner, Hearts broke at pace and substitute Alfie Agyeman played in the supporting Higginbotham, who coolly cut inside before rolling his shot into the bottom corner.
Agyeman then hit the crossbar before Stevie May’s weak header with the last attack of the game summed up Saints’ afternoon.
Tidser added: “It’s huge for the club. I came here a couple of years ago when we were still in the Lowland League and the progression we’ve shown in the last couple of years has been outstanding.”
The result heaps pressure on Saints manager Callum Davidson but he has vowed to fight for his job and is hopeful of revamping his squad during this month’s transfer window.
He has confirmed the capture of Sligo Rovers defender John Mahon and is optimistic a deal can be struck after St Mirren recalled loan midfielder Cammy MacPherson, who has penned a pre-contract agreement with the McDiarmid Park side.
Davidson, whose side face second-bottom Dundee in midweek, said: “John Mahon has signed, he will be available for Wednesday.
“Cammy MacPherson has agreed a pre-contact with us so St Mirren recalled him. He played well the other night at Hearts so we will try to get something done.
“We need two or three more. I need players who are going to fight because it’s going to be a tough few months.”
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