Sean Butcher felt the Fraserburgh players did themselves proud against Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic as they came up short in their quest to reach the pyramid play-off final.
Trailing 3-1 from the first leg at New Dundas Park the Broch threw everything at the Lowland League champions with Kieran Simpson’s second half header earning them a 1-0 win.
Striker Butcher, 28, said: “The management team asked us to give it everything we’ve got and see where that takes us.
“We put everything into it, we weren’t far away but we just couldn’t get that second goal.
“The crowd was right behind us until the final whistle and their support was unbelievable.
“The place was buzzing and when we scored they must have heard the roar in Peterhead it was that loud.
“At the start of the season we were wanting to get promoted so we’re gutted.
“But we’ve done the town proud by winning the league, we wanted to go that step further, but we’ll be back next season trying to challenge again.
“The positive we’ve got to take is winning the league. It shows the attitude of the boys that everyone was gutted.
“But we’ve achieved something massive by winning the league, however, we wanted to go that step further.
“When we reflect on things over the next couple of weeks we’ll enjoy it because we’ve won the league for the first time in 20 years.
“But just now it hurts because we felt we were so close to going further.”
Buchan men stay in the game
Playing up the slope and into the wind in the first half it was important Fraserburgh stayed in the contest and they did, offering up just one clear opening in the 15th minute.
Keiran McGachie broke down the right and turned inside Bryan Hay, who slipped, but with only Paul Leask to beat and team-mate Ross Gray in support McGachie fired well wide.
Early in the second half McGachie lobbed just wide from the edge of the box with Leask back-tracking and at the other end Butcher’s snap-shot from 35 yards was just off target.
The Broch continued to turn the screw and on the hour mark Ryan Sargent’s neat footwork allowed him to stand up a cross from the left wing.
Paul Campbell’s met it with a downward header which was brilliantly clawed onto the left post by goalkeeper Mark Weir before the rebound was scrambled to safety.
Five minutes later Weir spilled Campbell’s powerful free-kick from long range but made an excellent recovery to block Hay’s follow-up attempt at point-blank range.
However, from the corner on the left which followed Scott Barbour’s delivery was headed through a crowd of players by Simpson and was ruled to have crossed the line by the officials before it was cleared.
Bonnyrigg almost equalised on 73 minutes with Paul Young clearing a Kerr Young header from Lee Currie’s corner off the goal-line.
In the closing stages Fraserburgh piled on the pressure, but the visiting rearguard stood firm, despite goalkeeper Paul Leask venturing forward for an injury time free-kick.
After the full-time whistle McGachie received a second yellow card from referee Mike Roncone for goading the home supporters.
Bonnyrigg now face Cowdenbeath in the pyramid play-off final and although Fraserburgh’s season is now over they can take great pride from their efforts in the play-offs and over the whole campaign.