Last minute McVitie saves United blushes

Sam French netted a double to help his side reach the next round of the Scottish Cup.
Sam French netted a double to help his side reach the next round of the Scottish Cup.
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A late Neil McVitie strike gave Formartine United a 2-1 win at lowly Fort William on Saturday.

His 89th minute winner was cruel on the home side, but United had passed up plenty of chances to secure the points.

In previous victories at Claggan Park, Formartine had often to wait on tenterhooks for an opening goal to arrive before pushing on to a clear enough victory, not so this time.

An early opening goal for the visitors was quickly offset by a sharp reply from Fort who then went on battle tooth and nail to maintain parity until the very last minute.

United set out to pin their hosts back from the start and they forced several corners.

It was no surprise when they took the lead in the 11th minute and it was in-form Sam French on target again.

A break down the left with some overlap between Smith and Duguid was completed with the ball driven across the box to French who chested it to his right and fired a low drive past Harvey.

However, it took the home side only three minutes to equalise.

Grant fed McRitchie as Napier burst through the centre in pursuit of the latter’s long through ball. This was in McKeown territory but the defender was slow in clearing and Stein out-muscled and out-manoeuvred him, advanced a yard or two and hammered the ball past keeper Watson.

A stunned Formartine retaliated and it was more or less one way traffic for the remainder of the half with French heading against the bar and Bagshaw driving high and wide.

Into the second half and the pattern remained the same with the visitors unable to regain the lead.

French, the most dangerous looking of the Formartine forwards, was withdrawn just after the hour mark with what looked like a hamstring injury to be replaced by Madle in a like-for-like substitution.

United did get really close when a Stuart Smith drive from about ten yards range was deflected across the goal line to the right of the keeper and round the post for a corner.

Just as the match seemed to be heading for a draw, and with the corner count at 18-2 in Formartine’s favour, McVitie popped up to net from a tight angle and tie up the points.

Teams:

Fort William: Harvey, Foggo, Grant, Gemmell, Hardwick, McRitchie, McLelland, Millar, Stein, McCarrol, Tot. Substitutes: MaCkinnon, Moffat, Mainland, Broomfield.

Formartine United: Watson, Munro, Smith, McKeown, Duguid, Bashaw, Napier, McVitie, Keith, Anderson, French. Substitutes: Dingwall, Madle, McKay, Booth. Trialist.