Binos boss Dave Mackay admits his side were not at their best in the 2-0 win against Wick Academy at Forthbank but was pleased to get the job done.
Goals from Blair Henderson and new signing Dylan Nguene Bikey sealed a fourth-round tie at home to Clyde or Arbroath next month but the Highland League side were tough opponents.
Mackay said: “It wasn’t pretty but it’s the result that matters in the end and thankfully we got through. There was little spells in the game I was happy with but overall there is a lot of work to be done.
“There is a bit of a relief because they were probably the better team in the second half until the latter stages and too many players didn’t hit the heights.
“Ross McMillan was feeling unwell which is why we took him off at half-time. There has been a bit of a bug going about the club which has affected a few people and that’s why Bryan Hodge wasn’t in the squad.”
Wick manager Gordon Connelly said: “It was a good performance considering we haven’t played or even trained properly for three weeks.
“I thought their goalkeeper was fantastic – he had a one-handed save from Davie Allan at an important point that could have turned the game but it wasn’t to be and it summed up the day when we missed the penalty.”