Formartine United manager Paul Lawson hailed his side’s backs to wall display to progress in the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup.
Goals from Graeme Rodger and Jonny Smith gave the Pitmedden side a 2-1 win against Buckie Thistle at Victoria Park which sets up a home quarter-final tie against Huntly.
Formartine lost in the final of the 2020-21 Shire Cup – which was carried over from last season – last midweek, but have responded well.
Lawson said: “We’re pleased to get through, the aim in a cup game is to get through and we’ve done that.
“I thought we played well, you can’t expect to come to places like Buckie and get it all your own way and we rode our luck at times.
“Our first goal was a superb move, we had a couple of other chances and then Jonny tucks away the penalty.
“It’s been a good response since the final. We played some good stuff on Saturday and scored some really good goals (in a 4-1 win against Forres).
“Then against Buckie we knew we weren’t going to have it easy so I think it was a good performance to get through.
“You have to dig in, when they scored to make it 2-1 it was backs to the wall. But the boys defended well and held their ground.”
United take their chances
Formartine made the breakthrough on nine minutes with Kevin Hanratty slipping in Andrew Greig on the right flank and his cross was finished well at the back post by Rodger.
Buckie almost grabbed an instant equaliser with Scott Adams shooting against the right post from inside the box.
The Jags began to take control of proceedings and Sam Pugh headed Andrew MacAskill’s corner against the crossbar after half an hour.
Six minutes into the second half Smith made it 2-0, scoring from the penalty spot after referee Kevin Buchanan ruled Sam Morrison had tripped Hanratty.
Buckie pulled one back on 75 minutes with captain Kevin Fraser rounding goalkeeper Balint Demus before scoring from an acute angle.
Despite throwing everything at Formartine in the closing stages the Jags couldn’t find the equaliser which would have forced penalties.
Jags gaffer disappointed
Buckie boss Graeme Stewart said: “It’s disappointing, we created more than enough chances to win the game but we didn’t take them.
“Fair play to Formartine they took their chances.
“There were two or three mistakes for the first goal which was upsetting.
“We dominated the game after that and hit the post and the bar and should go in 3-1 up.
“I don’t think it’s a penalty, but I’ve seen them given and it meant we had a mountain to climb.
“The sting was taken out of the game, we finally got our second wind with 15 minutes to go but it was maybe slightly too late and they managed to see it out.
“I felt we played better than them and had more chances to win the game, but we didn’t deserve it because we didn’t take our chances.”