JAGS assistant boss Lewis Mackinnon said Buckie Thistle were disappointed and frustrated at crashing out of the Scottish Cup at League One side Stranraer.
The home side triumphed 3-1 to progress to round four at Stair Park , however, Mackinnon admitted the players came off feeling Stranraer were there to be beaten.
“It was a good performance and we matched them overall. We were hugely disappointed because the game was there for the taking,” he said.
“We had a good spell in the first half when we were right on top. Poor marking at a corner cost us a goal and a great chance fell to Dennis (Wyness) on the stroke of half-time, and I would have put my mortgage on him to make it 1-1 but he blazed it over the bar.”
Luciano Nequecaur had headed Stranraer into a 13th minute lead.
After losing a second goal early in the second half to Mark McGuigan, Buckie responded straight away with one from Paul Napier, but couldn’t find a leveller before Stranraer grabbed a “freaky” third from Ryan Thomson.
The sending-off of Chris Angus late on for a badly timed tackle, which Mackinnon felt merited a yellow, ended any Buckie hopes of getting back into the game.
Despite Stranraer being two leagues above the Jags, Mackinnon said: “I didn’t feel there was a gulf at all. We ran them very close.
“Had we gone down there and got well beaten we would have taken it on the chin, but we were disappointed to lose the goals in the way we did, and we couldn’t score at crucial times.”
Mackinnon said it was a good experience for the younger boys in the squad to see the standard of competition in the Scottish Cup, and should stand them in good stead for next season.
Mackinnon also paid tribute to the Buckie fans who made the long journey to Stranraer and gave the team fantastic backing.
The aim now is to get more consistency in the Highland League between now and the end of the season, starting with Saturday’s home game against Fraserburgh, who pushed last season’s Scottish Cup finalists Falkirk all the way before losing 4-1 to the Championship side.