Aberdeen development coach Scott Anderson says they need to be better after edging past Keith in the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup.
The Dons won this quarter-final tie 3-2 at Peterhead’s Balmoor Stadium thanks to a hat-trick from Aaron Reid, which was completed in stoppage time.
The Maroons were 2-0 up in the first half before their full-time opponents battled back.
Anderson said: “We made hard work of it, we started poorly and we found it hard to lift ourselves out of that slumber.
“I didn’t feel we showed enough quality in the game. But it’s a cup competition and sometimes you need to learn as young players that you’ll have days like that.
“It’s about finding a way and they managed to find a way.
“We need to learn and bring our quality in every game to ensure that in the next round we’re better than that.”
Highland League side start well
Keith took the lead after four minutes. Jake Stewart dispossessed Dylan Lobban, drove into the area on the right and his powerful low shot went through goalkeeper Tom Ritchie and into the net.
In response Aaron Reid twice threatened for the Dons before the Maroons doubled their advantage on 18 minutes.
Nathan McKeown’s ball in behind released Michael Ironside and although his lob rattled the crossbar, Gavin Elphinstone followed up to finish the rebound.
Barely a minute later Aberdeen pulled a goal back. A miscued clearance by Keith goalkeeper Craig Reid went straight to Aaron Reid and he raced through and finished calmly.
Just shy of the half hour mark Reid hammered a right foot shot from 20 yards into the bottom left corner to restore parity.
Early the second period Lobban and Adam Emslie forced saves from Craig Reid.
At the other Keith pushed to retake the lead with Ritchie making a good stop to thwart Craig Gill from 12 yards before Emslie’s fine block denied James Brownie.
But in the second minute of stoppage time Aberdeen secured their place in the next round.
After referee Joel Kennedy had dismissed claims for a foul on Elphinstone the Dons went forward and Brendan Hamilton’s cross from the left was headed into the right corner by Aaron Reid.
Disappointment for Ewen
Keith boss Craig Ewen said: “I’m gutted for the players. I don’t think we deserved to lose.
“Aberdeen had more possession but I thought we were a match for them all over the pitch.
“Our shape was good throughout and we got a good start, we gave them a goal back, which is putting it nicely.
“At the end of the game I think there’s a foul on Gavin Elphinstone in the middle of the pitch and unfortunately it hasn’t been given.
“It looked like the defender went through the back of him, it’s a clear foul. From that the ball goes forward and Aberdeen end up crossing and scoring a goal.
“It’s quite hard to take, but I’m proud of the players.”
Deveronvale 2-3 Buckie Thistle
Buckie Thistle came from two down to defeat Deveronvale 3-2 and advance to the semi-finals of the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup.
Jags midfielder Andy MacAskill went close early on with a stinging drive from 22 yards that was well saved by Sean McIntosh.
Vale took the lead on eight minutes when a great ball from Jayden Goldie was headed superbly past Euan Storrier by Jamie MacLellan.
Kyle Dalling pulled up injured for Vale and was replaced by Jaydan Bradford.
MacLellan made it two with an even better strike on 23 minutes, finding the top corner from 25 yards.
Buckie pulled one back six minutes later through Max Barry’s tremendous volley which flew into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.
Joe McCabe levelled matters on 66 minutes, sliding the ball home from six yards from Jack Murray’s ball across goal.
Jack MacIver was denied by another crucial block by Aaron Hamilton as he drove his shot beyond McIntosh from 15 yards.
The Jags number 18 was then played in behind by MacAskill, but his shot was blocked behind for a corner.
Buckie grabbed the winner from another corner, the ball falling kindly for Lyall Keir and he slotted high into the net from ten yards.