Peterhead defender David Wilson labelled the pain of the Blue Toon’s Scottish Cup exit after Ayr Utd’s late show at Balmoor as “brutal”.
The League Two side were on the brink of a big upset, courtesy of a Kieran Shanks strike, until they conceded Sean McGinty’s 96th minute equaliser.
The tie went to extra time and Championship side Ayr struck in the 116th minute through substitute Fraser Bryden to sicken the hosts.
Wilson said: “The boys are gutted.
“We put so much into it and to concede so late in normal time and then to concede late again in extra time, it’s brutal.
“But we were fantastic and more than competed against a full-time Championship team.
“Once we scored, Ayr piled forward and you just hope you can weather the storm and hold out but unfortunately we didn’t.”
Wilson felt the outcome was harsh on a patched up, committed Blue Toon as injury and illness ultimately took their toll.
The former Elgin City player added: “There were boys being sick in the dressing room before the game.
“Others were playing through injury and we ran out of substitutions at the end as well.
“We had no subs for extra time whereas Ayr were bringing on boys who were fresh and good to go.
“Our players put everything they could into the game and I thought they were all excellent and unfortunate to come out on the wrong end of the result.”
Shanks on target for Blue Toon
A closely fought tie swung in Peterhead’s favour on the hour after a dreadful error from Jamie Murphy, whose attempted backpass was pounced upon by Shanks and his cool finish sneaked inside the far post.
Ayr ramped up the pressure to try and get back level but the Blue Toon rearguard, alongside goalkeeper Stuart McKenzie, were up to the task and looked like holding out for a cup shock they would have deserved.
However, in the dying embers, McGinty stabbed home from close range following a corner to silence the home support.
The equaliser gave the Honest Men the momentum and they advanced to the fourth round thanks to a rising 10-yard shot from substitute Bryden with four minutes remaining in extra time.
Frustrated Peterhead co-manager Ryan Strachan was informed the lengthy amount of stoppage time, which resulted in Ayr’s leveller, was because of his team’s attempts to run the clock down.
Strachan said: “I am more than aware that we were over six minutes but there was a comment that we were time-wasting so it had go beyond that.
“We were really unlucky.
“I thought in terms of game-management, we were excellent and they scored with the last touch of the ball.
“I had a couple of chats with the referee but the game is done and there have been some words said in our dressing room.
“The boys have knocked their pans in.
“Some played with knocks and others were ill but I thought every single player contributed against a Championship team.
“They were excellent and they should be really proud of their performance.”