Formartine United’s season slumped to a new low on Saturday when they lost 3-2 at home to struggling Huntly.
Once again United found one of the league’s basement clubs hard going but this time it ended up in a dismal defeat...and the departure of their manager.
It was a performance and result for which Formartine can and should have the decency not even to attempt to offer any excuses. They simply got from the game what their amateurish efforts deserved.
The home side recovered from conceding a soft early goasl but then went on to have a man sent off and the rest was pure frustration for their long-suffering fans.
Huntly went in front in les than two minutes. The powerful Dorrat combined with the nippy Booth to get the ball in behind the backline before the latter drove it from a tightish angle across the goal face and into the net off the far post.
It was slack defending from Formartine and it caught them cold but they didn’t take long o get back on level terms.
Hay, one of the few of the North Lodge squad to maintain professional levels of commitment throughout, atoned for the defence’s contribution to the Huntly goal by
rampaging forward down and firing home a ferocious 25-yard drive.
The Pitmedden side looked like they had set themselves well on track for all three points when they took the lead in the 14th minute with a well-worked goal by Callum Dingwall.
Anderson swung the ball out wide to Madle and he slipped it to Keith who moved it to Dingwall and his measured drive found the net.
The lead only lasted until the 23rd minute. Shearer had dealt with several Huntly efforts but could not prevent Cruickshank netting from close range.
By now Huntly had belief about them and were giving as good as they got before the 34th minute turning point when Napier was sent off for two yellow cards in quick succession.
With reduced numbers the weaker side is always vulnerable on the flanks and so it proved.
A breakaway prompted by a McCulloch through ball to McNamee set up a platform for a push up the park which ended with a simple enough close range finish where Cruickshank applied the finishing touch to get his second, the goal that won the game and sealed the fate of Steve Paterson as manager of Formartine.
The second half was patchy in the extreme and although there was no further scoring and Shearer was the busier of the two keepers,Formartine did enough not to concede any further goals.
Sadly it looked for at least some of the time that that was the summit of their ambitions. Huntly had the better of the chances.
McKay, to be fair, did play in Keith with a decent 80th minute chance from almost on the penalty spot but the finish was high, wide and not very handsome.
This was as poor a Formartine performance as North Lodge has seen in a year or two. The parting of the ways between the club and their manager has been announced as “amicable”. That is likely to be the case as the two hold each other in high regard. That performance was however of a nature that required a major change to be made. Both parties saw it the same way.
Formartine United: Shearer, Munro, Smith, Jeffrey, Hay, Duguid, Napier, Madle, Keith, Anderson, Dingwall. Substitutes: McKay, Clark, Paterson, McVitie.
Huntly: Hobday, Johnston, Davidson, Urquhart, Lawson, McCulloch, Cruikshank, McNamee, Davidson, Booth, Dorrat. Substitutes: Johnston, Shand, Thoirs, Harrison, A McNamee, Ingram, Fraser.