Cove Rangers manager John Sheran praised his players for a plucky display after their Scottish Cup run was halted by Championship side Falkirk.
The Highland League leaders were level at the break after Mitch Megginson cancelled out Alex Jakubiak’s opener but two early second half goals from Craig Sibbald and Jakubiak ensured progression to the quarter-finals for Paul Hartley’s Bairns.
Sheran said: “I thought we created more chances than Falkirk over the course of the game.
“After losing the early goal, I felt we were the better team in the first half and could have gone into the break ahead.
“There was nothing between the teams in the second half, aside from the opening five minutes.
“Falkirk took their chances and ultimately it is about who manages to put the ball in the net.
“We’re disappointed but I’m proud of my players.”
Sheran says reaching the last 16 of the Scottish Cup has been a confidence boost for his side as they close in on the Highland League title.
He added: “We have got more important things to focus on now, such as winning the Highland League and getting into the play-offs.
“The Scottish Cup has been a bonus and this was a great day for everybody connected with Cove Rangers.
“We have played against a few SPFL teams this season and we certainly feel we can compete with them.
“A one-off game is always easier than being in there every week but we are certainly building towards a squad that can compete every week at that level.”
Falkirk manager Hartley admitted it was an uncomfortable afternoon for his side against part-time opposition.
He said: “I have got to give Cove all the credit as they played well.
“They were better than us at times.
“We made a perfect start to the game but we conceded quickly and they were much better than us in the first half.
“We didn’t handle the conditions but we made a really good start to the second half.
“Cove are a good team with some good players but the main thing for us was getting into the next round.
“We had more than 800 fans up for the game, which was great, and I’m delighted we are through to the quarter-finals.”