Aberdeen reserve manager Paul Sheerin hopes they can go all the way in the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup after beating Deveronvale.
Goals in the closing stages from Seb Ross and Michael Ruth gave the young Dons a 2-0 win at Princess Royal Park against the determined Banffers.
The Reds will face Banks o’ Dee in the quarter-final, and Sheerin hopes they can progress further in the Shire Cup.
He said: “We want to go as far as we can in this cup. We got punished by Banks o’ Dee (4-3 loss) in the early stages last year.
“We’re in it to try to get through and we’re in it to win it if we can. That’s not going to be easy, but we’ll do all we can.
“It was tough. Deveronvale made it difficult for us by sitting off and not allowing us space in between the lines.
“The first half was really frustrating because I didn’t think our tempo was high enough and we didn’t move the ball quick enough.
“In the second half we moved the ball quicker and made more forward runs, which made a difference.
“The longer the game goes on the more frustrating it becomes because you’re not sure if the breakthrough will come.
“But in fairness to the players they kept going and stayed patient, and when the chances came along they took them and ultimately I think we deserved to win.”
Striker Stevie May played 65 minutes last night. The striker saw a move back to St Johnstone fall through last week, but he was his usual industrious self against Vale and Sheerin hailed his attitude.
He added: “He’s as honest as the day is long, Stevie. He’s always hard-working and industrious.
“He had a couple of opportunities he’ll maybe feel he could have done better with.
“For a senior player to come and show the attitude he did rubs off on the young players.
“Stevie’s attitude was never in doubt and I didn’t expect anything different from him.”
Early on May forced a save from Vale goalie Grant Pennet from an acute angle. Just after the half hour May’s mazy run allowed him to set-up Ross, but Pennet parried the strike from 12 yards.
Deveronvale matched the Dons for long spells, and in the first period Aberdeen keeper Sam Jackson did well to turn away Colin Charlesworth’s 15-yard grounder.
In the second period Aberdeen had plenty of possession but found it difficult to break through a stubborn home defence, although Ross did see a shot clip the crossbar.
The breakthrough arrived for the Dons with seven minutes left. A neat move started by Lloyd Robertson’s driving run down the right flank ended with Michael Ruth teeing up ROSS to fire home left-footed from 12 yards.
In stoppage time RUTH was felled in the box by Sam Robertson and converted the penalty to make it 2-0.
Vale boss Steve Dolan said: “I thought a draw might have been right. There wasn’t much between the teams.
“Both sides had chances in the first half and in the second they controlled it without really hurting us. It’s disappointing to be out of the cup, but I was pleased with how we played.”