Huntly progressed to the second round of the Scottish Cup with a 3-1 victory over Cumbernauld Colts.
After four postponements at Christie Park this first round tie was played at Cove Rangers’ Balmoral Stadium.
The Black and Golds’ reward for winning is an away tie in round two against League One side Dumbarton this weekend.
The sides previously met in the competition in January 1992 when a brace from Dave McGinlay earned Steve Paterson’s Huntly side a memorable 2-0 victory at Boghead.
Huntly made one change from their last game – a 2-2 draw with Lossiemouth on December 19 – with Cameron Booth coming in to replace Cai Matthew.
Visitors Cumbernauld included two former Aberdeen players, Craig Murray and Stephen O’Neill, in their side.
— Huntly Football Club (@huntlyfc) January 6, 2021
The game started in temperatures below zero and the Black and Golds were caught cold as the Lowland League side took the lead after only three minutes.
William Mortimer capitalised on a poor touch by Joe Gauld and broke clear down the right and Mortimer’s low delivery was swept into the net by Fraser Team.
Cumbernauld very nearly made it 2-0 soon after when O’Neill’s inswinging corner from the left resulted in a scramble in the six-yard box with Cameron Foy directing his effort against the crossbar.
The Colts’ midfield was dominating the contest and as result they continued to threaten with O’Neill’s cross from the right headed narrowly wide by Murray at the back post.
In contrast Huntly were disjointed and struggled to keep possession in the opening quarter which meant they were seldom able to utilise the pace and trickery of Gavin Elphinstone and Reece McKeown on either flank.
However, after half an hour the Highland League outfit scored a stunning equaliser.
Glenn Murison collected a loose ball, beat his man and then curled a superb right-footed shot into the top right corner from 25 yards.
The leveller sparked Huntly into life and they played with greater aggression and won far more second balls and 50-50s after restoring parity.
But it was Cumbernauld who came closest to netting again before half-time with Murray’s effort from the edge of the penalty area drifting wide.
Having been under pressure in the early stages reaching the interval level was a decent outcome for Huntly.
Huntly started the second half purposefully with Murison’s low strike from 25 yards flashing wide.
At the other end goalkeeper Euan Storrier saved O’Neill’s attempt from an acute angle after neat set-up play from Martin Wright.
But the ‘home’ side took the lead in the 54th minute. Ross Still set McKeown away down the left with an intelligent through ball, once he was in the box the winger cut back onto his right foot and curled a shot which found the right corner despite a touch from keeper Jonathan Grier.
Cumbernauld looked to respond with the dangerous Mortimer teeing up Team, but his snapshot from 14 yards was straight at Storrier.
The Colts kept probing in their search for a leveller and Foy did have the ball in the net after a Murray free-kick was flicked into his path following a misjudgement by Storrier, but the defender was flagged offside.
With 12 minutes remaining Cumbernauld sub Lewis Bonar wasted a great chance when he got in behind but slashed a shot wide.
As the visitors pressed Huntly put the tie beyond doubt with a minute remaining when sub Cai Matthew released Elphinstone with a switch of play and the coolly slotted beyond Grier.