Banks o’ Dee co-manager Tommy Forbes was thrilled after two goals in a minute put his team on course to knock Inverurie Locos out of the Aberdeenshire Shield.
Junior Superleague leaders Dee progressed to the semi-finals with an accomplished 4-1 win over the Highland League title challengers at Harlaw Park and will now face Deveronvale at Spain Park for a place in the final.
Forbes said: “We’re delighted with the result and also the performance.
“The first half we said to the guys ‘for the first 15-20 minutes keep it tight’ and I thought we did that.
“The surface was better than we thought, it wasn’t as heavy as we thought it was going to be and we could get our passing game going.
“We went in at half-time at 1-0 and it was what we deserved – some of our play was decent.
“Second half, again, we said to keep it tight and that goes out the window with the goal in a minute. But it was a great response from our guys – two in a minute and the game turns on its head a wee bit.
“Obviously there was going to be gaps as they (Locos) were trying to get back into the game, but some of our play, our give and goes (were excellent).
“(Michael) Philipson was brilliant, but right through the team we didn’t have a weak link. We’re delighted.”
It was an untidy affair early on at Harlaw Park, with no real gilt-edged chances.
On 42 minutes, however, a Ryan Hall corner from the right for Dee found Henderson sprinting to the front post. His powerful header finding the net over Locos’ keeper Scott Mathieson’s head.
Within a minute of the restart, Locos’ skipper Neil McLean, on the right side of the Dee area, managed to slide the ball to Hunter at the penalty spot. The powerful striker swivelled at smashed a low shot across and past Andy Shearer in the Granite City side’s net.
It looked like on-form Locos were back in the groove, but the tide turned again … and quickly.
On 56 minutes, another Hall corner, this time from the left, fell to Dee defender Liam McCall to smash home.
Moments later, Mathieson cleared out Dee’s impressive number 10 Philipson and veteran striker Jamie Watt blasted the resulting penalty into the top corner.
Locos were wounded and it wasn’t until the 70th minute they managed to launch a fightback. Unfortunately, a Colin Charlesworth header which found the bottom corner was chalked off for offside after linesman Craig Veitch – incorrectly – flagged.
All Inverurie hope was then extinguished with three minutes left, when Philipson’s low cross left Mathieson stranded and Watt could prod home into an empty net for his 33rd goal of the season.
Locos boss Neil Cooper said: “We’re disappointed, but Banks o’ Dee thoroughly deserved to win the game.
“They played more as a team than we did. We got a good start to the second half then conceded really poor goals.
“We’ve not played for two or three weeks and we looked a bit rusty, but once we scored you expect us to come back into the game.”