Formartine United player-manager Paul Lawson didn’t think his team deserved anything more than their 2-2 draw with Gala Fairydean Rovers.
The Pitmedden men’s Scottish Cup stalemate means they must now travel to Galashiels on Saturday for a second-round replay.
Despite starting well, United found themselves trailing 1-0 at half-time. They equalised soon after the break, conceded once more and then levelled again late on.
Lawson said: “It was a more than disappointing first half.
“We started OK, but never really created anything.
“Their goal was soft I think, and you’re asking for a bit more.
“We got a little reaction (in the second half), got ourselves back in the game – but again we shoot ourselves in the foot.
“We have to chase it again and get back into it.
“I’m disappointed with the result, but we get another crack at it.
“We’ve got a second chance to go down there on Saturday and put things right.”
Lawson didn’t think his team did enough to break down their well-organised Lowland League visitors, with the gaffer bemoaning the fact Formartine will now miss their Highland League clash with Rothes, adding: “When teams come here, they sit back and it’s up to us to break them down.
“We couldn’t do that on Saturday. We had a couple of other chances and one right at the end.
“If we’d scored that, it probably would’ve been nicked in a sense, because I don’t think we would’ve deserved it.
“The disappointing thing is losing ground in the league, with other teams playing next Saturday.
“But it’s our own doing and we need to get on with things.”
Formartine had looked certain to score early on at North Lodge Park, but after they dropped off slightly, Gala’s Scott Taylor Mackenzie lashed home left-footed from long range.
It could’ve been worse by the break, with visiting No 9 Alexander Murray hitting the post on the stroke of half-time.
United came out and scored not long into the second period, with Kieran Lawrence’s cross hooked into the far corner by Garry Wood.
They looked to be back on top, but – on 68 minutes – defender Darryn Kelly lost out to Gala winger Jack Campbell, who broke into the box and shot over Kevin Main into the net.
It never felt like Formartine panicked at finding themselves down again and, on 78 minutes, sub Scott Lisle knocked down in the area to provide Dan Park with a simple side-foot finish.
Before full-time, Murray hit the bar for Gala and Formartine’s Conor Gethins forced a good save from Fraser Norton in the game’s final chance.
Lawson – who said he could only take his side’s double fightback and still being in the Cup as positives from Saturday – added: “It’s a very big journey.
“It’s not ideal.
“Credit to Gala, they came up here and put in a good performance.
“They were great and their energy was excellent.
“We need to match that.”