Buckie Thistle boss Graeme Stewart hailed his side’s strength in depth after their 2-1 victory against Banks o’ Dee in the first round of the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup.
The Jags were 2-0 up at Spain Park inside 22 minutes thanks to strikes from Marcus Goodall and Scott Adams.
Banks o’ Dee halved the deficit through Hamish Macleod in the 28th minute, but Buckie held out for the win.
Stewart’s side will host Aberdeen at Victoria Park in the quarter-finals of the competition on Wednesday November 25.
The Buckie boss was impressed with his side’s display against the four-in-a-row North Region Superleague champions.
He said: “It was a great win considering the recent disappointment of our Highland League Cup final defeat against Rothes.
“We were up against a very good side who would definitely be one of the top three or four teams in the Highland League.
“To go to their pitch and play the way we did was very pleasing.
“It wasn’t pretty, but our fighting spirit was on show. It was exactly what we were looking for as the players gave everything.
“We got two early goals, which helped, and missed a couple of other chances.
“We conceded a poor goal from our own set-piece. They broke forward on the counter-attack and we were caught trying to play offside.
“The aggression we showed was pleasing as we were lacking that in the cup final.
“A performance like that shows the team don’t go into their shell after a big defeat. They bounced back.
“I made six changes from the starting line-up from the final and the team we put out on Saturday was probably just as strong as the cup final team.
“Craig Cowie and Kyle Macleod came in and were outstanding. They were the two best players on the pitch by a mile.
“When we have players coming into the team and stepping up like that it keeps everyone on their toes.”
Stewart is relishing a match against Aberdeen in Buckie a week on Wednesday.
He added: “It is good to play against a professional team. It will be a different challenge.
“They are going to be sharp, well-coached and fit.
“We will need to work hard,, but they will likely have some inexperienced players and it will be a challenge for them too.”
Banks o’ Dee co-manager Tommy Forbes taking positives from defeat
Banks o’ Dee co-manager Tommy Forbes felt he could take some positives from Saturday’s Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup match against Buckie Thistle.
The Spain Park men were beaten 2-1 by the Jags to miss out on the chance of a home tie against Aberdeen on November 25 in the quarter-finals of the competition.
But Forbes feels his players will benefit from undergoing a tough examination a week before the junior season gets under way, adding: “Buckie came with a gameplan and played really well.
“We switched off from a throw-in for the first goal and Scott Adams scored a great free-kick into the top corner for their second.
“Suddenly we were 2-0 down and we weren’t expecting that.
“We got back into the game with a really good goal from Hamish Macleod.
“We were shooting down the hill in the second half and had a lot of the play, but they defended really well.
“We didn’t have that cutting edge and the ball wouldn’t drop for us.
“We were disappointed to lose the game, but Buckie probably deserved to win.
“It was our first competitive game for a long time, while Buckie had played a couple of games in the Highland League Cup and you could see that with their intensity and movement.
“Our junior season gets up and running this Saturday against East End in the Grill Cup, so hopefully we will get the benefit of playing a competitive match on Saturday.
“I was impressed with Buckie.
“It is not often we lose at Spain Park, so it was a sore one, but we have to move on and hopefully take out our frustrations against East End on Saturday.”