Peterhead boss Jim McInally was disappointed some of his younger players couldn’t make more of the starting chances they were given in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup.
The Blue Toon lost 7-6 on penalties to Highland League Formartine United after a 0-0 draw in Tuesday’s second round tie.
After impressive displays as subs in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with East Fife, Scott Hooper, 24, Aaron Norris, 21 and Ross Willox, 20, were given starts and 21-year-old Ben Armour also started.
Hooper had to come off in the first half with a recurrence of an ankle injury that has kept him out for the last few weeks.
That meant Norris was then pitched in at right-back, while Willox looked to impose himself in midfield.
McInally, pictured, said: “It’s fine for players coming on at East Fife and doing well, but when they get an opportunity from the start they need to take it.
“That’s why the older guys we rested have had good careers because they churn it out all the time.
“Hopefully, there have been lessons learned, especially by the younger ones. It was asking them to go and win a game of football against a good Highland League team and they came up a wee bit short.
“Sometimes with younger players they need a helping hand from experienced players.
“Our experienced outfield players in the team were Jamie Stevenson, who did well until having to come off with a hamstring injury in the second half, and Rory McAllister and Gary Fraser, who were chasing fitness.
“We didn’t have the guys to sometimes help them through, but they’re not babies.
“It’s not their fault we didn’t go through, but we wanted them to push on and make team selection more difficult, but they haven’t really given me too much of a problem.”