Peter Murphy believes Annan Athletic will face another “big challenge” when they try to book their Scottish League One promotion play-off final place at Stenhousemuir tomorrow.

Murphy’s men hold a two-goal advantage after strikes from Chris Johnston and Ayrton Sonkur gave them a 2-0 first-leg success at Galabank on Tuesday.

Tomorrow, the Black and Golds will look to finish the job at Ochilview Park and set-up a two-legged final against either Clyde or Edinburgh City.

“They have to go for it, being two goals down,” said manager Murphy, Carlisle United’s record outfield-appearance maker.

“So, tomorrow is probably going to be more of the same of the second half.

“But I’m very pleased to win 2-0 at home. They were two goals, as well. Chrissy Johnston, I’m delighted with his finish and Ayrton Sonkur, I don’t know how he scored that!

“Some of the football we played in the first half was excellent. We had opportunities from counter-attacks in the second half which didn’t come off, we didn’t get that third goal. 

“We’re definitely going to face a big challenge tomorrow.”

After a superb first-half Annan display, Stenhousemuir, managed by Colin McMenamin who counts Annan, Gretna and Celtic Nation among his former clubs from his playing days, responded well after the restart. And the scoreline could have been a lot closer ahead of the re-match, with Cumbrian goalkeeper Alex Mitchell forced to make a fine point-blank save to deny David Marsh on the hour mark.

Murphy said: “I think I said in my programme notes that we have tried to build on the clean sheets we have had. If you get clean sheets, you give yourselves more opportunities to win games.

“Mitchell made a great save and I think, before that, Steven Swinglehurst made two good blocks in a row.

“They were trying to build up a bit of momentum but, if our keeper makes saves like that, we can then go up the other end and try to score. 

“Everybody is working hard, the defenders are getting the plaudits, the forwards are getting the plaudits, the keeper is getting the plaudits, everyone is getting the plaudits because it’s a team game and a team effort. Everybody will be needed tomorrow again, as well.”

After the final whistle at the end of the first leg, there was a tunnel flare-up, understood to have involved experienced Athletic striker Christian Nade, which could offer another edge to the tie, ahead of the second leg.

Asked if he felt his side were handling the pressure around their promotion challenge, Murphy, who scored the winner as Carlisle beat Brentford 1-0 in the 2011 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final, said: “I hope so.

"Something happened at the end there, but I don’t think it was instigated by my players. I think it came from the opposition players. 

“That’s something we’ll have to manage tomorrow, to not get involved in anything and try to be street-wise and see how we get on.”

Carlisle lad Owen Moxon is also in Annan’s squad.