Last season the Dons excelled in this competition, knocking out tonight's opponents before famously beating Arbroath, eventually being put out of the cup by Hamilton Accies. This year's side were a good bit younger - it was a starting XI mainly made up of the U18s plus first team squad members Ryan Duncan and Jack Milne. Tom Ritchie, on loan at Queen of the South, returned to B side after his heroics last season.
The Highland League outfit started strongly and on four minutes Max Ewan made a run down the left and won the first corner of the evening, which was punched clear but Ritchie at his near post.
Dale Gillespie then had a shooting opportunity in a central position but his shot from 20 yards was always on the rise. On seven minutes a clever ball by skipper Jack Milne over the top very nearly found the run of Alfie Bavidge, the striker inches away from being able to bring it under control.
A good ball by Jordan Maccrae found Ewan free on the right side of the box but he sliced his shot wide.
Apart from that opening it had been a decent start from the young Dons who were competing well.
On 15 minutes a Brora corner led to a swift break for the visitors, Bavidge set up Emslie but the winger had just gone too early and the linesman raised his flag. Then Ali Sutherland scooped it over the bar after a dangerous ball across the six yard box.
The young Dons then enjoyed a really good spell.
On 23 minutes Harvey was taken out by Mark Nicholson (who was booked), play was waved on, and Emslie picked out Bavidge but his first time volley went over the bar from about eight yards out. A great chance. Then Emslie again down the Dons left set up Marshall but he was crowded out before he could get a shot away.
The Dons were pressing well and frustrating the Highland League players, who were getting no time on the ball. They were also well up for the physical battle. The strike pairing of Harvey and Bavidge were doing very well, always giving an outlet. Ryan Duncan was also impressing, he was playing a deeper role which was allowing him to get on the ball and spray it about.
After a spell of dominance, the home side came back into it and they though they had won a penalty when Andy Macrare went to ground when the striker appear to get the wrong side of his marker but the referee booked the Brora player for diving. He did appear to go to ground too easily.
The game then came to life on the stroke of half time.
Jordan Macrae put over a low dangerous cross which just went beyond Andy Macrae. Then chances for both number 10s. Aberdeen produced a good move which resulted in Bavidge getting a shot away, but it was too close to keeper Joe Malin. Brora moved the ball quickly and Jordan Macrae forced Tom Ritchie into an excellent diving save at his near post.
Amongst all that Jack Milne was booked for what must have been descent.
HT Brora Rangers 0 Aberdeen B 0
Early pressure from the home side at the start of the second half. An Ally Macdonald cross found Andy Macrae but his flick was blocked by Milne before Ritchie did well to claim a corner.
Aberdeen then had a half chance when an Emslie cross was deflected towards the near post area and Harvey nearly got a touch.
After 68 minutes substitute Gregor Macdonald went close with a long range effort. The home side had made three substitutions and were starting to pin the Dons back for the first time. Aberdeen were defending bravely but in the 72 minute the home side took the lead.
It was a well worked goal with striker Jordan Macrae starting and finishing the move. He chested the ball down in the centre circle and the ball was played out to the left. Ross Gunn played over a good ball and Macrae produced a fine header to beat Ritchie from close range.
Brora then grabbed a second with just over 10 minutes left to seal the win, but it was a controversial decision.
Aberdeen initially cleared their lines from a free kick and when the ball was played back in, the ball bounced about before falling to Andy Macrae who looked to be in an offside position, the players appealed but the linesman failed to raise his flag and the Brora striker tucked it away. Aberdeen were clearly not happy with the decision.
Then in the closing stages Jack Milne received a straight red for a foul, the referee deciding that he was the last man, but there were other white shirts coming over to cover and the Brora player was moving away from goal. A poor decision. A shame an entertaining game should finish on a negative note.
A deserved win in the end for Brora but a battling performance for the U18s who now face Hearts at home on Friday afternoon at Cormack Park.