Peterhead boss Jim McInally was encouraged by his side’s display in their 3-0 League Cup defeat to Dunfermline and insists they can still qualify for the last 16.
The Blue Toon played well for long spells at East End Park, but two late goals from the Pars added gloss to the scoreline.
The result leaves the Buchan men with two points from two games in the League Cup group stage.
It means they will need wins against Stirling Albion on Saturday and Dundee on Tuesday to reach the knockout stages of the cup.
McInally said: “I thought we played some good stuff and maybe the scoreline was a wee bit harsh.
“We tired badly towards the end, you could see it.
“But it was a great lesson for us defensively with the young centre-halves getting pulled about by clever players like Kallum Higginbotham.
“That will stand us in really good stead because they eventually got stronger the boys.
“I wondered how well they were doing, you think you might be overexaggerating how well they’re doing, but they showed they could defend.
“We have still got to try and qualify. We don’t throw the towel in and we want to build on that on Saturday.
“We will try to win the game on Saturday.
“If we do that then we know we have five points.
“If we can pull off another shock against Dundee then who knows.”
The Blue Toon had the first effort on seven minutes when Jack Leitch’s cross was nearly headed into his own net by Pars skipper Lee Ashcroft, but Lee Robinson made a great save.
Miles Hippolyte curled a 20-yard free-kick on to the roof of the net on the half hour and a minute later goalie Greg Fleming made a good save to push away Louis Longridge’s angled 14 yard effort.
But Dunfermline’s breakthrough arrived three minutes before half-time when Ryan Williamson got to the byline on the right and his cross was nodded home at the back post by HIPPOLYTE.
Peterhead started the second period well and hit the left post twice in the space of 10 seconds in the 53rd minute.
Rory McAllister’s low free-kick from 25 yards hit the base of the upright and when Russell McLean tried to cross the ball on the follow up it hit the woodwork again.
As the second half wore on the hosts had more chances but Fleming made some fine saves to deny the Pars and sub Aidan Connolly saw his free-kick hit the bar.
But with three minutes left Dunfermline wrapped up the win when Willie Gibson felled Connolly in the box and Kallum HIGGINBOTHAM knocked the penalty home in style with a chip down the middle and sub Andy RYAN netted a third in injury time.