Cove Rangers were undone by David Cox’s late winner as Cowdenbeath won their Betfred Cup clash 1-0.
The game looked destined for a bonus-point penalty shootout before Cox struck with four minutes to go, handing Cowden their second win of the competition.
The Highland League champions will now await the outcome of an SPFL tribunal on Monday, which will decide the punishment for Hearts after they admitted fielding an ineligible player – Andrew Irving – in their 2-1 Group C win at the Balmoral Stadium on Wednesday.
Aside from a couple of tetchy moments, the players and coaching staffs kept a lid on emotions just two months after oth managers were sent to the stands and Cove had three players sent off, with their manager John Sheran heavily criticising the standard of officiating.
Both sides had made efforts to downplay any lingering tensions after the ill-tempered League 2 play-off final at Central Park in May.
Cove made one change from the 2-1 defeat against the Jambos in midweek, with Scott Ross coming in for Harry Milne. Cowdenbeath were unchanged from the side that lost 5-2 to Caley Thistle.
The visitors started with the greater urgency and came close after just 67 seconds, with Connor Scully’s free-kick rebounding off the crossbar.
Experienced forward Martin Scott, who joined the Blue Brazil from Stenhousemuir in the summer, had Cowdenbeath’s first opportunity with a curling effort from the edge of the box that Stuart McKenzie superbly tipped wide.
Neither side created many chances in the first 45 and the penultimate one went to Brad Smith, who scored the winner back in May. He showed full-back Cameron Milne inside and beat him before taking aim at the near post, with McKenzie parrying.
Ross came close to breaking the deadlock right on the stroke of half-time as he met Daniel Park’s corner at the back post. However, David McGurn got down quickly and made a sharp one-handed save.
Last season’s top-scorer Mitch Megginson came close to opening his account five minutes into the second half as he drifted in-field and went for goal from 30 yards, with the ball whistling over McGurn’s crossbar.
Both teams attempted to go direct in search of a winner and it was the Blue Brazil who got it, Sheerin breaking the offside trap and when his shot hit the post, Cox was on hand to sweep home the rebound.