This was a Scottish Cup tie of two halves as Inverurie Locos recovered from a two-goal half-time deficit to deflate battling Wick Academy.
Locos boss Neil Cooper, a Scottish Cup winner with St Mirren in 1987, celebrated winning his first tie in the national competition since joining the Inverurie club.
He said: “Wick are a good side. They passed the ball well but I felt we were a bit unlucky to be two behind at the interval.
“I thought we had the best chances but bad defending helped them get the first goal and then Andy Watt slipping on the ball gave Craig Gunn the opportunity to score a real pearler.
“We hadn’t closed down quick enough but after getting a goal back the momentum was with us. The plan was always to get the ball up quick to the strikers. Chris Angus took his goals well while Andy Reid had to make a great save near the end.”
Injury hit Locos fell behind after six minutes when neat footwork by Alan Hughes was followed by a deft pass for Gunn to flick over Andy Reid and into the net.
Claims for a penalty for an apparent handball in the Wick area were waved away before an Andy Hunter free-kick was turned around the post by Sean McCarthy.
A second blow struck the Red and Blacks in 32 minutes when Gunn took advantage of Watt slipping on the ball and fired home a low drive.
Playing down the hill after half-time, Locos were back in the tie in 55 minutes when Angus tucked home from close range. Midway through the half a long kick out by Reid was touched on by substitute Neil Gauld for Angus to curl past McCarthy for the equaliser.
Angus clinched his hat-trick in 71 minutes when another punt by Reid into the sun befuddled the Scorries defenders and Angus let the ball bounce before driving past the keeper.
The visiting fans were almost celebrating a Gunn hat-trick which would have forced a replay but Reid made an outstanding save to deny the forward.
Wick boss Tom McKenna said: “It’s disappointing to give away a two-goal lead but I don’t think we warranted anything else. Inverurie did well but we didn’t do enough in the second half.”