Fraserburgh defender Dean Cowie insists the Broch players can be proud of the way they performed in their Scottish Cup loss to Rangers.
A hat-trick from Josh Windass gave the Gers a 3-0 win in the rearranged fourth round tie at Bellslea.
The Highland League outfit were excellent against Premiership opposition and caused the Govan outfit a number of problems during the 90 minutes.
Cowie, a younger brother of Bellslea manager Mark, said: “It was tough because we are against Premiership experience and the class that Rangers have got and brought in.
“I thought we started really well and were the better team – we put them under pressure.
“There’s times when there was a bit of a lack of belief about us, because at times we had the chance to go and play and show them what we were capable of.
“But as for the goals the first one is very soft in my opinion.
“I think Ryan (Cowie) has got in front of the player and got the ball first, but the penalty was given – it’s a pity they didn’t have VAR.
“For the second one Jason Cummings has hit a shot which is going miles wide, but landed at Windass’ feet and he’s tucked it away. Then the third goal Windass has shown his sharpness and buried it.
“If we cut out those mistakes and get a bit of luck with the penalty shout on Willie West at 1-0 then you are looking at a very tight game. The boys have done really well and we’ve got belief to take forward from this.
“It has been some experience for the team and everyone involved and connected with the club.
“There’s been so much hype around the town and with the turn out and everything at the game it was a great experience.
“It just wasn’t meant to be, but we have done ourselves proud.”
Cowie was disappointed they weren’t awarded a penalty midway through the first half by referee Greg Aitken when West was shoved to the ground by Lee Hodson with the score 1-0 at the time.
He added: “Willie said it was a stone-waller because the boy had climbed over the top of him.
“It’s a stone-waller in my opinion and we had a couple of chances with free-kicks and on another day they go in the back of the net.”
The Broch started on the front foot before the crowd of 1,865 inside Bellslea and the millions watching around the world on television, but the Govan side took the lead on the quarter hour.
Jason Holt tangled with Ryan Cowie, it appeared Cowie had played the ball, but ref Aitken pointed to the spot and WINDASS scored past keeper Peter Tait.
Then the Buchan side had their appeal for Hodson’s shove on West turned away.
Just before the half hour Niko Kranjcar hit the crossbar for Rangers with a strike from 16 yards.
However, after this Fraserburgh were comfortable and more than matched the Gers until half-time. After the break West had a glancing header saved by Jak Alnwick from a Lewis Davidson corner.
But the killer second goal arrived on 56 minutes. Jason Cummings’ shot was heading wide, but went straight into WINDASS’ path and from 12 yards he rifled into the top corner.
The Broch battled on and Jamie Beagrie sent an angled effort across the goal-face, but WINDASS got his hat-trick on 67 minutes when he found space on the left and then drove inside Davidson before finishing with a low right-foot shot from 15 yards.
Paul Young’s 20-yard drive flew just over as the Buchan side searched for a goal. With five minutes to play sub Broch Graham Johnston, who had only been on for two minutes, was sent off for a two-footed lunge on Gers sub Joe Dodoo.
Gers boss Graeme Murty said: “I thought they were very organised, worked very hard, knew the conditions and made it very difficult for us. Overall they gave us some dicey moments and we gave them the respect of doing our job properly.”
Fraserburgh: Peter Tait, Marc Dickson, Dean Cowie, Bryan Hay, Ryan Cowie; Lewis Davidson, Jamie Beagrie, Ryan Christie (Michael Rae 68), Paul Young, William West (Paul Campbell 68), Gary Harris (Graham Johnston 83).
Subs not used: Cameron Buchan, Aidan Combe, Greg Buchan, Edward Flinn.
Rangers: Jak Alnwick, Declan John, Fabio Cardoso, Josh Windass (Eduardo Herrera 71), Andrew Halliday, Lee Hodson, Niko Kranjcar, Daniel Candeias (Jamie Murphy 79), Jason Holt, David Bates, Jason Cummings (Joe Dodoo 71).
Subs not used: Liam Kelly, Sean Goss, Aidan Wilson, Alfredo Morelos.