Inverurie Locos boss Andy Low conceded Fraserburgh were deserved victors after the 3-1 triumph at the Balmoral Stadium.
The Harlaw Park side had been level at the break, with Paul Campbell’s goal cancelled out by Chris Angus, but a goal from Scott Barbour and a second from Campbell took the trophy back to the Broch.
Low said: “I thought the first half was even and I thought in the first 20 to 25 minutes we were the better side and could’ve been two up.
“We had two really good chances and then Fraserburgh came back into it for a 15 minute spell and then we finished the first half better.
“I thought it was a fair score at half-time, but Fraserburgh were the better team in the second half and they dominated the second half. We lost our shape and Fraserburgh managed the game a lot better than us and deserved their victory.”
Low was fulsome in his praise of Barbour’s performance, with the striker scoring once but impressing with his chance creation and the problems he posed to the Locos defence.
He added: “He was a big difference, Scott gave Fraserburgh an out ball, I felt we cancelled them out well. But he was the out ball and in the second half he got space and when you give him space he’ll hurt you and he did.
“He’s strong, quick and a good player and good players hurt you.
“We need to regroup because the boys did a lot of good stuff and things we’d worked on in training, but not for long enough.”
Locos return to league action on Saturday and are still second in the Highland League, with the Inverurie boss reckoning there are positive signs of progress from his time in charge so far.
Low said: “I think we are making progress and we’re getting closer to teams like Fraserburgh.
“There is a gap to be filled and I saw it as soon as I came in and it’s going to be filled through hard work and young lads learning.”