Dryburgh introduced last season’s top scorer Ewan Stewart at half time, but he couldn’t capitalise when Callum Doran fumbled a swerving shot from Mcnaughton in the first minute of the second half.
Marcus Gray nearly scored an unorthodox equaliser, as a clearance cannoned off the Dryburgh midfielder and nearly dipped under the bar. Ryan Smith had a shot blocked at the edge of the box on the hour mark.
Strollers were dealing with everything that Dryburgh threw at them, but were reduced to 10-men when Bowie was given a second booking for dissent.
The hosts had a spring in their step, and were denied an equaliser after 71 minutes when Doran got down low to deny Smith one-on-one. The keeper was called into action less than a minute later, as he kept out a Mcnaughton free kick from 20 yards.
All Strollers’ good work in the match was nearly undone when a breakdown in communication saw Thomas Glendinning head the ball past Doran, but the Strollers man managed to get back and clear the ball before it could cross the line.
Doran made a diving save to deny Smith at the near post. His opposite number Cosgrove did well to tip over a free kick from Craig Fleming.
Dryburgh continued to pile on the pressure as the final whistle neared. Mcnaughton found Ben Wilson unmarked at a corner, but his powerful volley smacked Daniel Browne in the face before going out.
Ryan McKay met the subsequent delivery, but could only head wide, as Dryburgh saw their cup dreams ended.
This is a big blow for Dryburgh, who made it to the last 32 of the Scottish Cup last season, and will have had aspirations of going into the latter rounds again this time round.
On the day, they weren’t outplayed, but they were outfought and outworked, which will make the defeat even harder for them to stomach.
They will now turn their attentions to maintaining their domestic dominance and mounting a serious challenge in the East Region Cup, although, to achieve those goals, they will have to be far better than they were today.
As for Glenrothes Strollers, they have claimed a major scalp with this result. While the sending off gave Dryburgh the incentive to throw men forward, their defence stood strong, and on the few occasions they were breached, Callum Doran was in inspired form.
They have domestic aspirations of their own after narrowly missing out on the league title last season. It’s going to take a good side to beat them in any competition and they will be hoping to make it past the third round of this competition.