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A pulsating eight-goal thriller of a Scottish Cup tie at Victoria Park ended with Dunfermline taking their place in the Fourth Round, but it was Highland League Buckie Thistle who took all the plaudits for their heroic display.  

Pars boss Allan Johnston was pleased to be in the hat for the next round: 

"We knew it was going to be a tough game and the most important thing in these games is to get into the next round and we've managed that. We definitely need to improve because we made it really difficult for ourselves. 

It must have been a great game for the fans to watch and credit to Buckie, I thought they had some really good players. McLeod has scored a lot of goals and Fraser in the middle of the park is a very talented player. They caused us problems but when you score five goals you should win the game comfortably. 
 
All the goals we lost today were poor, I thought we had cut that out of our game, but we certainly need to defend better to give ourselves a chance of winning games." 

Buckie manager Graeme Stewart was proud of his player's efforts: 

"I think we were a bit unlucky not to get the draw, with the amount of effort we put in a draw would have been a fair result.  

I'm delighted with the performance, I just said to the boys that if they didn't think they were a good team before the game, after that performance they must believe it now. 

As long as there was only two goals in it I thought we had a chance and when we did get the third goal I thought there was only one team who looked like scoring at the end. I'm not bothered about the fifth goal as we piled everyone forward and got caught on the break. 

I thought Kevin Fraser and Chris Angus were outstanding and showed that they could probably play at this level."    

Dunfermline opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Michael Paton's corner was headed goalwards and unfortunately turned into his own net from close range by Hamish Munro. 

Buckie responded brilliantly and equalised within 30 seconds, Cieran McLean bulldozing his way through the visiting defence to set up John McLeod to sweep the ball home from 12 yards. 

It was a pulsating cup tie and the visitors were soon back in front in the 16th minute when Michael Moffat went clean through and was tripped in the penalty area by Ross Salmon. Michael Paton confidently slotted the penalty into the bottom right corner. 

In the 34th minute a superb 60-yard pass from Mackinnon put Angus through on goal and his effort was well saved by Murdoch, but within a minute the Jags number ten made amends with an excellent finish low into the far corner from 12 yards to draw the Jags level. 

Salmon produced a superb save two minutes before the break to keep Buckie level after Nicky Clark controlled well and spun to strike at goal from eight yards. 

Kallum Higginbotham came on for Paton at half time for Dunfermline and twelve minutes into the second period he put The Pars back in front. Moffat got in behind the home defence again and pulled the ball back to Higginbotham, who drove the ball low home via the hand of Salmon. 
 
Two minutes later it was four after a brilliant individual goal by the ever dangerous Paul McMullan. The diminutive winger waltzed past three defenders and dinked the ball past Salmon from eight yards. 
 
Buckie weren't done yet and were back in it after 67 minutes, Kevin Fraser doing well to set up McLeod, his effort was saved by Murdoch before spinning onto the head of Angus to nod in from right on the goal line. 
 
A late free kick from Munro caused panic in the visiting defence before finally being cleared to safety, then Dunfermline sealed the win with a fifth goal at the death, Moffat racing clear and unselfishly setting up McMullan for an easy finish. 

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Press and Journal Highland League 2016-17

Rank Teams Played GD Points
1 Buckie Thistle 34 94 82
2 Cove Rangers 34 79 82
3 Brora Rangers 34 80 81
4 Formartine United 34 35 73
5 Fraserburgh 34 29 63
6 Forres Mechanics 34 21 58
7 Turriff United 34 14 58
8 Wick Academy 34 23 53
9 Inverurie Locos 34 18 50
10 Keith 34 -14 47
11 Clachnacuddin 34 -24 41
12 Lossiemouth 34 -18 38
13 Nairn County 34 -17 34
14 Huntly 34 -43 34
15 Deveronvale 34 -24 30
16 Rothes 34 -69 26
17 Fort William 34 -92 11
18 Strathspey Thistle 34 -92 9

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