A pulsating eight-goal thriller of a William Hill Scottish Cup tie at Victoria Park ended with Dunfermline taking their place in the fourth round but it was Highland League Buckie Thistle who took all the plaudits for their heroic display.
Buckie manager Graeme Stewart was proud of his players’ efforts.
He said: “We were a bit unlucky not to get the draw. With the amount of effort we put in a draw would have been a fair result. I’m delighted with the performance.
“As long as there were only two goals in it I thought we had a chance and when we did get the third goal I thought there was only one team who looked like scoring at the end. I’m not bothered about the fifth goal as we piled everyone forward and got caught on the break.
“Kevin Fraser and Chris Angus were outstanding and showed they could probably play at this level.”
Pars manager Allan Johnston was pleased to be in the hat for the next round. He said: “We knew it was going to be a tough game. The most important thing in these ties is to get into the next round and we’ve managed that.
“Credit to Buckie. They had some really good players. McLeod has scored a lot of goals and Fraser in the middle of the park is a very talented player. They caused us problems. All the goals we lost today were poor. We need to defend better.”
Dunfermline opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Michael Paton’s corner was headed goalwards and unfortunately turned into his own net from close range by Hamish Munro.
Buckie responded brilliantly and equalised within 30 seconds, Cieran McLean bulldozing his way through the visiting defence to set up John McLeod to sweep the ball home from 12 yards.
The visitors were back in front in the 16th minute when Michael Moffat went clean through and was tripped in the penalty area by Ross Salmon. Paton slotted the penalty into the bottom right corner.
In the 34th minute a superb 60-yard pass from Mackinnon put Chris Angus through on goal and his effort was well saved by Murdoch but within a minute the Jags number 10 made amends with an excellent finish low into the far corner from 12 yards to draw the Jags level.
Salmon produced a superb save two minutes before the break to keep Buckie level after Nicky Clark controlled well and spun to strike at goal from eight yards.
Kallum Higginbotham came on for Paton at the start of the second half for Dunfermline and 12 minutes into the second period he put the Pars back in front. Moffat got in behind the home defence again and pulled the ball back to Higginbotham, who drove the ball low into the net via the hand of Salmon.
Two minutes later it was four after a brilliant individual goal by the ever dangerous Paul McMullan. The winger waltzed past three defenders and dinked the ball past Salmon from eight yards.
Buckie were back in it after 67 minutes, Kevin Fraser doing well to set up McLeod, his effort was saved by Murdoch before spinning on to the head of Angus to nod in from right on the goalline.
A late free kick from Munro caused panic in the visiting defence before finally being cleared to safety. Dunfermline sealed the win with a fifth goal at the death, Moffat racing clear and setting up McMullan for an easy finish.