Despite dominating Lowland League opponents Bonnyrigg Rose, Fraserburgh succumbed to a sucker-punch as they lost an injury time goal to crash out of this season’s Scottish Cup.
It was the Broch’s first loss at home in the first round of the competition since a defeat to Dundee United in 1935.
The hosts, playing into a stiff breeze in the first half, denied Bonnyrigg any clear-cut chances in the first 45 minutes without creating opportunities themselves but the second half was a completely different affair as Fraserburgh had numerous chances to put the game to bed.
Broch manager Mark Cowie said he and his players were very disappointed with the late defeat. He said: “We weren’t at our best during the first half but we weathered anything they threw at us. We thought having come in at half-time all-square we would have a right go at it, which we did. On another day we would have won 4-0 or 5-0.
“It was just one of those days, though, when everything dropped to a yellow shirt in the box with our boys picking the wrong options at key times.
“Then we were hit with that late sucker-punch which left us with little or no time to get an equaliser.
“We’ve had a lot of success in this competition and we have worked hard to achieve that but this is maybe a time when that hard work hasn’t been rewarded.
“Their goalkeeper was excellent while the defence also did well – but it is definitely a wee bit of daylight robbery.
Once their manager has a think he will say that but to be honest he won’t care as it is his team who are in the next round and we wish them all the best.”
Bonnyrigg manager Robbie Horn admitted his side enjoyed a good slice of fortune to withstand almost constant pressure in the second half.
He said: “We showed some real quality defending while our goalkeeper was outstanding which kept us in the game until Dean Brett showed a real bit of class to get forward and set up the opening for George Hunter to score.”
Bonnyrigg could have earned a penalty within 90 seconds but Kieran Simpson’s challenge on Hunter was waved away by referee Scott Leslie before Scott Barbour was denied by Mark Weir.
Jonathon Brown looked impressive for Rose on the left and the full-back almost opened the scoring with a fine 25-yard strike that found the side-netting 10 minutes from the break.
Fraserburgh, with the wind behind them, saw Paul Campbell fire in a fantastic 30-yard shot that was net-bound until Weir tipped the ball over the bar before the keeper palmed Ryan Cowie’s deadball against the far post from the resultant corner.
Scott Barbour, Campbell and Michael Rae were all denied by Weir before Alan Horne’s last-gasp challenge in the box denied Owen Cairns the opener.
The sting in the tail came a minute into injury time as Brett set up Hunter to score with an eight-yard shot that found the target via the underside of the bar to see Bonnyrigg ensure their 366-mile round trip was worth it.