Formartine United swept to a fine 3-0 victory over in-form Cove Rangers at North Lodge Park on Saturday.
To put three past Cove without reply is a rare and major achievement, to do so when they are on a long run of victories, including beating Brora at Dudgeon Park, must rank as one of Formartine’s greatest achievements since beginning their SHFL career.
Significant though the result was, it must be the manner in which it was achieved that brings the greater satisfaction to management and players.
The team performance was of a very high standard throughout and try though Cove might, they simply could not match the pace and work rate of a silky home side firing on all cylinders.
This was arguably the best defensive offering from Formartine this season and set the foundation on which the victory was to be built. Not only did United control things at the back, they were able to build from there and push forward through midfield and up front to sustain periods of pressure.
United took the lead in the 25th minute when Anderson curled in a corner and Hay with immaculate timing got in ahead of the keeper to fire a fierce header well beyond his reach.
A minute before half-time it was 2-0.
A break by Madle down the right started off the move which ended with Bagshaw hammering the ball home from the 18-yard line for his fifth goal in six outings.
The two-goal interval lead was welcome indeed but there was still apprehension that Cove would find a way back into the match.
The Aberdeen side tried to assert themselves after the break and forced bookings for Clark and McVitie. A 25-yard drooping shot by Duff had Shearer furiously back pedalling to tip the ball over the top in the 66th minute.
For all their possession and territory, Cove did not look as if they had the penetration to trouble Formartine.
United added a third two minutes from time. Madle picked up a clearance in the centre circle, rode two tackles and almost lost the ball to the advancing keeper before reacting faster to score from a tight angle.
Formartine United: Shearer, McVitie, Smith, Jeffrey, Hay, Clark, Napier, Madle, Keith, Anderson, Bagshaw. Substitutes: McKay, Munro, Dingwall, Mathers, Duguid, Watson.
Cove Rangers: Kinnaird, Redford, Yule, McBain, Watson, Kelly, Park, Duff, Watt, Nicol, Scully. Substitutes: Smith, Selfridge, Burnett, Reid.