Boss Mark Cowie felt Fraserburgh’s 3-2 Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup first round loss to Ross County colts was a missed opportunity.
The Broch pushed the 10-man Staggies close at Bellslea with Aidan Combe having a penalty saved, but the full-timers edged through to face Raith Rovers in round two.
Buchan gaffer Cowie said: “I think it was a missed opportunity because we didn’t kick on when they went down to 10 men.
“I thought we should kick on in the second half, but we’ve not really done that, we had spells, but they kept the ball well.
“I can’t fault our boys because they’re up against full-time players and put in a shift. The penalty is a big moment because it would have put us 2-1 up, but I don’t think it affected our play.
“I freshened things up by making seven changes to the team which beat Formartine 2-1 on Saturday.
“It was good for the players who came in, youngsters Logan Watt and Andrew Hannar both held their own and they’ll keep improving. I’m happy with what we got from the players.
“I’ve still got four or five players missing with injury, but even with the changes I made we showed our strength in depth.
“We have to look after the squad because we want to make a real challenge in the Highland League.”
Ross County included first-team players Ross Draper and Davis Keillor-Dunn in their side.
The Broch’s opener arrived on 23 minutes when Combe’s curling shot was tipped just over by keeper Tommy Dixon-Hodge.
From Ryan Cowie’s inswinging corner on the right, Jamie BEAGRIE powered home a diving header from three yards.
Two minutes later, County hit back when Mark Gallagher played a short corner on the right to Declan Hughes and his cross was headed home at the back post by Jack MURRAY.
In first half injury time, Staggies striker Joel MacBeath was sent off by ref Dan McFarlane for wrestling Kieran Simpson to the ground at a corner.
MacBeath was given a second yellow card and a red but Combe’s spot-kick was saved by Dixon-Hodge diving to his left.
Nine minutes into the second period, the 10 men led when GALLAGHER’S attempted cross from the left side of the box looped over Broch goalie Edward Flinn and into the far corner.
County made it 3-1 midway through the second half with KEILLOR-DUNN blasting a fabulous free-kick into the roof of the net from just outside the box.
The Broch kept pushing in a bid to come back into the game and in the second minute of stoppage time sub Scott BARBOUR fired home from 12 yards, but they couldn’t grab an equaliser.
Elsewhere, Formartine United beat Livingston colts 3-1 at the Tony Macaroni Arena with goals from Gary McGowan, Conor Gethins and Garry Wood to set up a second round tie with Peterhead.
Brora Rangers thrashed Aberdeen colts 6-0 at Dudgeon Park.