AN Aberdeenshire Cup Final badly affected by rain and high winds proved to be a game of two halves as Formartine Utd fought back from a two goal half time deficit to beat Inverurie Locos with three second half counters including a last gasp winner.
Both sides’ supports were well swelled by massive turnouts, hospitality packages ensuring it would be a loud afternoon. It was a first Bellslea hosting for a Cup Final and the Fraserburgh FC Committee and Aberdeenshire FA were to be commended for their joint excellent organisation of the proceedings.
Greg Mitchell was starting at right back again and in the seventh minute he sent Martin Bavidge away on the right. From the veteran’s cross, the ball was hurriedly cleared from danger.
Locos took the lead in 20 minutes when Mitchell played through an incisive pass to Martin BAVIDGE. The former Inverness Caley Thistle and Peterhead striker’s first touch was sublime, it took him away from Ross Campbell and he duly slipped the ball past the advancing Andy Shearer.
Even better was to follow in the 33rd minute. Dean Donaldson and David Ross exchanged passes and set up another teenager Andy HUNTER who nutmegged McKeown and he cleverly chipped the ball over Shearer from close range.
The wind was not helping the North Lodge Park side at all, the ball was running away from them as they attacked down the right channel, Gary Clark hitting wide after a rare good passing link as the Locos fans in the Main Stand continued to enjoy the occasion to the full by “noising out” their “neighbours”.
The talk at half time was on a big subject: the wind. If Formartine were to get into this Final they would need to make use of the ball as well if not better than Locos had done. Well the answer came within four minutes of the restart. Cammy Keith played a ball over from the left, it was only partially cleared to former Don Neil MCVITIE who fired high into the net from 12 yards.
Formartine eventually equalised with eight minutes left, inspirational skipper Craig MCKEOWN’S drive from inside the box only deflected into his own net by goalkeeper Andy Reid after ex Hearts man Joe Hamill had swung in a deadly ball from the right.
Extra time looked odds on until the first minute of injury time, Joe Hamill’s brilliantly flighted cross this time from the left headed powerfully home by Michael EWEN.
All the taunting from the early part of the game was getting thrown back at Locos. “We’re having a party and Locos are going home was the chant”. But what was missing from their victorious chant was the truth that two sides put a fantastic effort into the game and a travesty there had to be a loser
Formartine Shearer, Munro, S Smith, McKeown, Campbell, Clark, Park (Napier 70), McVitie, Keith, Ewen, Hamill.
Subs: M Smith, Jeffrey, Donnelly, Calder
Locos: Reid, McLean, Forsyth, Souter, Broadhurst, Anderson, Ross, Mitchell, Hunter (Low 76), Bavidge, Donaldson
Subs: Maitland, Begg, Young, Mathieson
Referee: R Milne
After the match Scott Buchan, Locos Co-Manager, said, “Well done to Formartine. They came out after the break and scored quickly after a great set up. The second was a bit scrappy, the winner caught us on the break when we were attacking. It looked like the game would go to extra time, both teams were going for it. We’re delighted with the boys’ contribution. They’re gutted, we’re gutted for them.”