Cove Rangers midfielder Jamie Masson says his side’s Scottish Cup tie against Falkirk has strengthened its desire to achieve the dream of reaching the SPFL.
The Highland League leaders matched the Championship side for long spells during an entertaining fifth round tie but exited the competition with a 3-1 defeat at Harlaw Park.
Masson says Cove will now turn their attention to clinching the Highland League title and reaching the SPFL play-offs.
The former Aberdeen midfielder said: “We played really well and I think matching a team like Falkirk shows how good we are as a team.
“We lost some poor goals at the start of the first half and the second half, which took a bit of the sting out of the game.
“But we still created a lot of chances so we have to try to kick on in the league now.
“We feel if we can compete with Falkirk then we can do the same in League 2.
“Hopefully we can win the Highland League and qualify for the play-offs. There are some very good teams in the Lowland League and if we reach the play-offs it will be two really good games.”
Masson almost netted a spectacular free kick from 45 yards just before the break, which would have given John Sheran’s men a 2-1 advantage at half-time.
He said: “I scored one like that at Hamilton in the IRN-BRU Cup earlier this season.
“I spotted the goalkeeper (Conor Hazard) off his line so I decided to go for it but I think the fact that he is 6ft 6in meant he was able to get to it.
“Had he been slightly smaller it would have been straight in the top corner.”
Falkirk striker Alex Jakubiak sees no reason why his side can’t emulate the Bairns side that reached the 2015 Scottish Cup final, where they were beaten 2-1 by Caley Thistle.
The on-loan Watford player said: “Cove made it so difficult for us, particularly in the first half.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
“The two goals early in the second half killed off the game.
“We play on an artificial pitch so we weren’t really used to that type of surface.
“It was real football and a good experience for us.
“We are in the quarter-finals and now we have got this far there is no reason why we can’t get to the final. We are in it to win it.”