Scott Anderson is thrilled Aberdeen will have the chance to win the Morrison Motors (Turriff) Aberdeenshire Shield for the first time.
Anderson’s young Dons defeated Breedon Highland League side Buckie Thistle 5-3 in the semi-final at Peterhead’s Balmoor Stadium to set-up a final against either Huntly or Banks o’ Dee.
Aberdeen have never won the Aberdeenshire Shield, which was first staged in season 1990-91, with their only previous final appearance being a loss to Turriff United in 2011.
Development coach Anderson said: “That (winning the Shield for the first time) is something for the players and I’ll let them know about that.
“The final provides another learning opportunity for them in terms of dealing with the pressure that will be on them.
“It’s all a step in their learning process, we want to win these games, it’s a young group we’ve got but we look forward to it.”
Reflecting on the win against Buckie, he added: “There were a lot of goals and we’re pleased with the character and the mettle they showed in the second half to see the game out.
“When Buckie got their (second) goal we could sink, but we showed character and managed to see it out.”
Buckie took the lead in the 10th minute when Darryl McHardy found Josh Peters, who side-stepped a challenge before finishing from 14 yards.
Four minutes later it was level as Aaron Reid released strike partner Alfie Bavidge on the right side of the box and he made no mistake.
Peters then rattled the right post with a strike from a tight angle and also sent a six-yard header over as the Jags pressed.
But on 37 minutes the Dons led when Adam Emslie weaved in off the right flank and finished from the edge of the area.
Three minutes later the Reds netted a third when Dylan Lobban’s free-kick from 20 yards took a deflection off the Thistle wall and nestled in the top right corner.
After an hour Buckie hit back with Jack Murray hammering a shot from 25 yards into the right corner.
On 69 minutes Aberdeen’s two-goal cushion was restored when they played the ball into the box following a drop ball and Murray – under pressure from Reid – diverted it into his own net as goalkeeper Stuart Knight came off his line trying to gather.
In the 83rd minute the Dons sealed victory as Alfie Stewart played in Bavidge to notch his second.
Three minutes into stoppage time Max Barry finished from eight yards for the Jags’ third.
Buckie’s quest to win a first trophy since 2017 continues, assistant manager Lewis MacKinnon took the team with boss Graeme Stewart abroad due to work commitments.
MacKinnon said: “I’m very disappointed with the outcome, it’s another chance missed to potentially pick up silverware.
“I can’t fault the boys’ effort and work-rate, it excellent, they ran to the death, but we weren’t clinical in either box.
“We scored three goals and got beat, the defending was crazy – that’s the only description for it.”