Formartine win first derby bragging rights

Formartine Utd won the bragging rights in the first local Highland League derby meeting with Inverurie Locos this season.

But it took two very late counters by Stuart Soane and Barrie Stephen to win the match after an absolute screamer of a goal by Craig Ross looked like winning the game.

The Friday night football deal looked like backfiring with the rain coming on steadily in the hour leading up to kick off and lasting throughout the first half.

The home side lined up with a 4-4-2 up against Locos with only Neil Gauld in front of as five man engine room.

The Pitmedden team started impressively, Ryan Strachan playing a shot across the face of the goal which John Maitland saw out, after Barrie Stephen had picked up a ball on the break and gone one on one with Simon Scott retreating in the box.

A few minutes later Stephen was again menacing, winning another corner after a deadly breakaway while in 17 minutes Stuart Smith went down too easily in the box with Keith Thomson alongside him and it was never going to be a penalty.

After an opening in which they were finding their passing game without threatening, Locos finally came to life in 26 minutes. Craig Ross’s delivery picking out Clark Bain whose low angled right foot volley was pushed to his side by the diving Derek Soute.

Locos’ best move of the game so far saw Bain send a sweeping ball wide left to Marc Young, one of four players in the starting line ups playing against his old side.

The speedy winger quickly played the ball into the box but with too much power and Neil Gauld, stretching forward sent his header high and wide In the lead up to half time Ross Campbell rose to head a free kick wide while at the other end an incisive Scott Begg pass sent Young in on goal but the No 11 fired into the side net with his supporters thinking it was a goal The half time thinking was that one goal could be enough to win this game.

It almost came for Steve Paterson’s side. Kieran Adams’ scything tackle on Barrie Stephen set up Bobby Mann for the free kick left of centre 22 yards out but Andy Reid was alive to his on target shot diving left to parry for a corner.

At the other end Souter produced a save of similar stature to deny Scott Begg while it was then back to Reid to do the business, parrying Kyle McAulay’s low drive from distance

The ex-Huntly duo Stuart Soane and Michael McGinlay linked up on a 1-2 after coming on as subs, Soane unlucky on the stretch not to connect with the pass from his colleague.

In 71 minutes Locos went 1-0 up and it looked a goal fit to win the game. Tommy Wilson produced the pass of perfection from the right over the home defence with Craig Ross angling his body and leathering a right foot cracker to Souter’s left into the net.

Execution and technique to match anything you will see in the English Premiership Formartine pushed and pushed for the leller but the Red and Black defence was standing firm until 87 miniutes.

Stuart Smith sent in an inswinging free kick and up rose Stuart Soane to head away from the reach of Reid Just as everyone thought a draw would be the outcome, Formartine won it in the third minute of injury time.

Adams dived into a tackle on the right side of defence and when the ball was passed on to the right Barrie Stephen used the space he had to hit the winner into the roof of the net Cruel luck on Locos but they were beaten by a side which had shown a never say die attude and were determined to get something out of it

Formartine Utd: Soutar, Cumming, Smith, Mann, Campbell, McVitie, Rennie( Davidson 76), Strachan( McGinlay 60), McKay, MacAulay( Soane 66), Stephen Subs: Coyle, Bremner Booked: McGinlay(69), Cumming(78) Inverurie Locos Reid, Thomson( Graham 86), Maitland, Wilson, Adams, Scott, Ross, Bain, Gauld, Begg(Michie 76), Young Subs: J Strachan, R Strachan, Crosby

After the match Inverurie Locos boss Scott Buchan was finding it difficult to believe what had just happened at the end, saying: “I’m absolutely gutted. I don’t know what Kenny Coull and myself and the players have done of late to get the luck or lack of it at the minute.

“We were losing the plot a bit at the end because we were naive. Away from home, 1-0 up and five minutes to go, still going gung ho. We have to learn to sit back, keep the ball.

“That’s what we did after the first 20 minutes. We got our passing game, we were the better side by a distance Stuart McKay is an excellent player, the guys at the back did an excellent job but Formartine kept going, plugging away.

“They have the experience. We lack it in certain areas Big Kieran Adams dived in at the end. But as long as he learns he’ll be fine. Our luck will change. The game was played at pace. What a great pass from Tommy Wilson, and a sublime goal from Craig Ross should have won us the game”