Brora Rangers manager Steven Mackay admitted his side lacked a cutting edge in their 1-0 defeat against Forfar Athletic at Dudgeon Park.
The Cattachs, beaten 3-0 by Montrose and 4-0 by Dundee in their opening Premier Sports Cup games in Group C, succumbed to a late strike from on-loan Aberdeen midfielder Mark Gallagher.
The Loons were awarded a penalty six minutes into the second half when Colin Williamson fouled Scott Shepherd but Ross Meechan was unable to convert from 12 yards.
But the visitors made the breakthrough 10 minutes from time when former Ross County midfielder Gallagher netted the game’s only goal with a smart finish.
Mackay said: “It was a pretty tight affair.
“It always looked like one goal was going to be enough to win the game.
“Forfar managed to get it and see the game out.
“I thought we looked pretty solid defensively.
“We needed to be a little bit more creative, albeit we had a couple of good chances in either half and it would have been a different story if we had managed to take them.
“From our perspective, the goal was avoidable.
“It came from a header from a left back that went over the top of us and they latched onto the end of it.
“It was a tidy finish but it was disappointing to lose a goal in that manner, especially in a game of very few chances.
“On the basis of chances created, Forfar deserved the victory but I still felt it was a game that was there for the taking if we had shown a bit more initiative.”
The victory takes Forfar to the top of Group C, despite having scored only one goal in their three games.
The Station Park side were awarded a 3-0 win in their opening game against Ross County who were forced to forfeit the match due to a Covid-19 outbreak.
They then defeated Montrose on penalties after drawing the match 0-0 with the win at Dudgeon Park putting them on eight points ahead of their final game against Dundee on Saturday.
Next up for Brora is the visit of Ross County who have been forced to forfeit their opening two games for Covid reasons.
The Staggies are confident Wednesday’s game will be on and Mackay is relishing the challenge.
He said: “I watched their friendly against Elgin before the issue they have had with Covid.
“They have been back training since Thursday.
“Their fitness levels may not be where Malky Mackay wants them to be but they will still be a very fit.
“We are expecting a very tough game but it will be good for us to put ourselves up against a team of that quality.
“If we defend as well as we did on Saturday then you never know what can happen.
“We just need to be braver on the ball and more positive in the final third.
“Josh Meekings did the warm up on Saturday so we are hopeful he will be available for the Ross County game.
“That would be a massive boost.
“We are still looking to bring in a couple of players before the Highland League season starts.”