FORMARTINE United came from behind to complete a two goal margin of victory over neighbours Inverurie Locos at Harlaw Park on Saturday, after their Pitmedden Park had failed a pitch inspection on Friday afternoon. It is a result which gets Steve Paterson’s side right in the mix after an untimely five week lay off, but leaves the Locos playing points catch up.
The crowd was slow to appear on what started a mild day then turned bitterly cold by the end. A good early run by recent signing, ex-Don Davie Donald, saw the right back get down the right flank and find Michael Ewen but the top scorer was off balance and sent his effort high and wide.
Locos scored a surprise opener from their first attack of the game. Neil McLean took a quick corner on the left, and it looked like a training move as midfielder Scott BEGG came from nowhere to side-foot the ball into Andy Shearer’s left corner from an unmarked position with the former Keith keeper rooted to the spot.
The response from the visitors came within four minutes. Daniel Park was fouled by Kieran Adams and Kevin WEBSTER stepped up to spin the free kick round the wall and in off the underside of the bar leaving Andy Reid similarly dumbfounded.
A soft penalty award gave Formartine the lead when Adams appeared clumsy as he and opposite number Craig McKeown collided. Referee Morag Pirie immediately pointed to the spot, and Kevin WEBSTER sent Reid the wrong way, putting the ball to his right side.
Midway through the half came the crucial third goal. Calum Bagshaw made the driving run and found Michael EWEN who, from 10 yards, slipped the ball under Reid and sent the visiting fans into raptures.
Locos hoped to reduce the leeway, Stuart McKay’s header from a right wing cross going just over while Craig Ross, who had seen earlier header tipped over by Shearer fired in a cross which found no takers.
A fine save by Reid at the feet of Ewen, who had got away from Simon Scott in the box, saved the blushes of the home side who ended on a high, Andy Low and Clark Bain firing in decent shots.
The second half response from Locos was forceful although it came in delayed fashion, the three officials wasting time in re-appearing due to some inconsequential technology breakdown of their own. The rumour was they had been locked in and who would’ve complained?
Clark Bain’s deflected shot came off the post and slowly rolled towards Neil Gauld who was unlucky not to get on to the ball. Shearer then saved a direct effort from Andy Low and Gauld was almost lurking again following a Scott Begg shot.
With complaints on the officiating growing to fever pitch and half decent penalty claims turned down, time was running out but Neil McLean, sub Nicky Gordon and Gauld all went close to at least reducing the leeway
A great end to 2012 for the North Lodgers but time is running out on the Locos League aspirations. Only a run of straight wins will get them back with a serious chance.
Inverurie Locos: Reid, Young. McLean, Bain, Adams, Scott, Ross, Begg, Gauld, McKay (Gordon 66), Low
Subs: Souter, Coull, Maitland, Gray
Formartin: Shearer, Donald, S Smith, McKeown, M Smith Bagshaw (Wilson 82), Munro, McVitie, Park, Ewen (McGinlay 82), Webster (Dingwall 86)
Subs: McKibben, Davidson
Referee: M Pirie
Commenting after the game Inverurie Locos First Team CoachIain Alexander said: “As in a few games this season we’ve given ourselves too much to do by not performing in the first half. Off to a great start, good goal by Scott Begg although we were not playing particularly well. Players didn’t want the ball. We didn’t cover ourselves in glory.
“In the second half the effort was good, we created lots of chances but the ball didn’t run for us. We needed a couple of decisions that Formartine got in the first half. However, Formartine are a good side.
“I spoke to Kieran Adams in the dressing room, he was running with Craig McKeown, Craig took a check, Kieran ran in the back of him. So either a bit clever from Craig or a bit clumsy from Kieran, we don’t know, It certainly wasn’t as soft as the free kick they got the equaliser from. Daniel Park was backing into Kieran as a good centre forward does. “Very frustrating the way the decisions went, there seemed to be more going their way. We have to concentrate on the Strathspey game now, try and get on a run of a few wins”