The Highland League championship race moves on to Mosset Park on Saturday, where Cove need just a point to retain their title.
However, the champions-elect had to work their socks off to get the better of a Maroons side who were in their face throughout the 90 minutes.
The only goal of the game came from a Martin Scott rebound on the hour after his first effort had been blocked by Keith goalkeeper Simpson.
Keith were at full strength with the return of keeper Greg Simpson, who missed last Saturday’s 4-0 victory at Strathspey Thistle as he was watching the Grand National at Aintree.
Cove manager John Sheran rested the Highland League’s top goal-scorer, leaving Mitchel Megginson to warm the bench alongside Daniel Park and Ryan Strachan, with Paul McManus taking his place up front.
Harry Milne had an early half-chance for the reigning champions, but his rising drive from distance flew well wide of the target.
In the 21st minute a spot of pin-ball in the Keith box, in which a Jordan MacRae drive was cleared off the line and a Milne thunderbolt cannoned back off the crossbar, ended with the ball being diverted for a fruitless corner.
Cove then forced a couple of corners, the second of which Simpson palmed to safety before MacRae sent a 15-yard drive past the upright.
Ten minutes from the break, Jamie McAllister tried his luck from distance but he was unable to keep his 25-yarder down and it ballooned over the Cove crossbar.
MacRae had the ball in the Keith net just before the break, but it was rightly ruled out for a foul on Simpson. Two minutes after the restart, a Milne trundler was safely gathered in by the diving Simpson on the bobbly surface.
In the 50th minute, Cove boss Sheran brought on top scorer Megginson and fellow striker Park in place of MacRae and McManus in an effort to find that elusive opener.
After a good run up the left, Milne was stifled out by two Keith defenders as the game started to stretch.
On the hour, Cove took the lead, Martin Scott’s effort was blocked by Simpson’s legs but the former Cowdenbeath man drilled home the rebound from eight yards.
You could see the pressure lift from the Cove players with that goal and they then started to stroke the ball about the pitch with renewed confidence.