Inverurie Locos boss Neil Cooper hailed goalie Andy Reid after his penalty save helped them into the Irn-Bru Challenge Cup first round.
After a 2-2 draw with Fraserburgh at Harlaw Park the Railwaymen won the preliminary round tie 5-4 on penalties.
The Garioch side looked to be heading out but keeper Reid saved Cameron Buchan’s penalty to force sudden death before Joe McCabe scored and Michael Rae missed to put Locos through.
Cooper said: “It could have gone either way but we got the break. We thought we were going to be out and then Andy Reid made a great save on the last penalty.
“Overall both teams took great penalties, but Andy made the save to keep us in and we went on to win.
“We’re delighted to get through and I think the boys deserve it. It was harsh on Fraserburgh but I’m delighted for my players.”
Cooper was also pleased with his side’s resilience as it saw off a late Broch onslaught to take the tie to penalties.
He added: “It was a hard game and I think Fraserburgh were the better team in the first half.
“We lost a poor goal from our point of view, but we came back and scored a good goal with Joe McCabe’s great finish,
“We did better in the second half and got in front but after that Fraserburgh came back at us as they always do and got the equaliser.
“We dug in because they were on the front foot. When they were losing 2-1 they think they’re out so when they score it gives them more impetus and our boys could have thought they’ve thrown it away.”
Fraserburgh boss Mark Cowie said: “It’s always a disappointment to go out of cup competitions, especially one that we wanted to have right go in because it was new for us.
“But I can’t fault the players. I thought we were the better team in the 90 minutes, we had more of the ball and more chances and we had them under pressure.
“I know we can play better, but if we compete like that over the season I’ll be very happy.
“I think we were very unlucky. It was harsh on Cameron Buchan because I thought he was the best player on the park.
“I changed the team and he slotted in there really well, he was excellent and he was unlucky because somebody has to miss when it goes to penalties.”
The Broch made the breakthrough in the eighth minute.
Marc Dickson’s long ball was deftly flicked on by Gary Harris and Jamie BEAGRIE burst through, collected the ball and fired low into the right corner from 12 yards.
The Broch kept pressing with Scott Barbour curling a shot inches over from the edge of the box.
But eight minutes from half-time Locos were level when McCABE curled a superb right-foot effort into the top left corner via the underside of the crossbar.
The second half started with the game flowing from end to end, the Broch were close with Graham Johnston’s looping header from a Ryan Cowie cross going just wide and Jonny Smith fizzed a 25-yard past the post for Inverurie.
Midway through the half Locos took the lead. Stuart Duff crossed from the left, sub Neil Gauld was free at the back post and should have buried it.
But he scuffed his effort across goal and it bounced off SMITH and into the net, his first goal for Locos.
After falling behind the Broch pushed on in an attempt to equalise, and they did get level with five minutes left when two subs combined. Sean Butcher flicked on and Paul CAMPBELL gathered the ball and steered it into the bottom left corner from 10 yards. With the score at 2-2, the game went to penalties.
Gauld, Chris Angus and Jordan Leyden netted Locos’ first three and Campbell, Butcher and Ryan Christie scored for the Broch.
Smith had his spot-kick saved by Peter Tait before Bryan Hay and Duff netted.
Buchan had the chance to win it, but Reid saved, McCabe scored and Rae blazed over the bar to send Inverurie through to face Formartine United.