KEVIN THOMSON’S Kelty Hearts have been crowned League 2 champions after a dramatic 1-0 win over Stenhousemuir.
With just six minutes to go, Ukrainian midfielder Max Kucheriavyi – on loan from St Johnstone – claimed the only strike of the afternoon at New Central Park.
The club’s status as champions was confirmed as closest challengers Annan Athletic – who had to match Kelty’s result to delay their celebrations – lost 4-2 against Albion Rovers.
The Fife team, who were promoted after sealing the Lowland League championship a year ago before beating Brechin City in a play-off, are now 18 points clear with five games still to play.
Thomson, who took over from former Rangers team-mate Barry Ferguson after his switch to Alloa, told BBC Sport: “It’s a wonderful day for the club and the town.
“It’s been a long time coming. You can hear it in my voice and that’s not just from today, that’s from the last eight or nine months trying to drive the standards of the group and make sure we’re fully focused week in, week out.
CROWNING GLORY…Kelty Hearts celebrate winning the League 2 championship.
“It was not easy, these boys have jobs through the day, so massive plaudits to all the players, all the committee and all the staff throughout the season. Everybody has worked tirelessly from the day we took the job.
“The players will enjoy it and I’ll have a wee glass of wine and we’ll look forward to next season.”
Chief executive Neil Doncaster added: “Everyone at the SPFL would like to congratulate the players, management team and directors at Kelty Hearts on winning cinch League 2.
“The team has shown incredible consistency throughout the season and this is a much-deserved title.
“The achievement is made all the more impressive by the fact this is the club’s first season in cinch League 2.
“There is still much to play for in the division, with final play-off positions still to be determined and I wish all clubs involved the very best of luck for the rest of the season.”