Formartine book quarter-final spot in Aberdeenshire Cup

It’s the perceived wisdom of Highland League football that if you want to win anything you have to beat Buckie first and the fact that they are widely regarded by HFL aficionados as this season’s favourites for the League title meant this first round tie in the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup was a significant test for a fairly substantially rebuilt United side in its first competitive home game of the season.

Formartine won 4-3 on penalties
Formartine won 4-3 on penalties

The game began with Buckie playing towards the village end starting with an opening blitzkreig that rocked United back on their heels for the first twenty minutes or more.

It wasn’t so much successive waves of attack that they brought to bear as much as a sustained onslaught on the final third of the home pitch that prevented United from achieving any significant progress beyond the half way line – an absolute baptism of fire for the home back four where the central pair of Mclean and Adams were at a very early stage in their relationship.

With that level of relenltless pummelling it seemed initially that the visitors’ progress to the next round would be simply attained. Macleod, Macaskill and Urquhart all made dangerous looking incursions to the United box early on. Macaskill breaking in from centre left had a shot that rebounded off Mclean for an unrewarded corner before setting up Fraser for a drive from 15 yards out on the right.

This went inches over the top before a lobbed effort from Urquhart was tipped over the top by keeper Macdonald. A cunningly chipped ball in by Pugh from about 25 yards out landed just behind Adams but Macleod was denied access to the ball by the intervention of Mclean.

A Buckie goal seemed inevitable and it came in the 19th minute.

Pugh played in Mcleod at the left side of the box. He jinked forward a yard or two before neatly clipping the ball to meet the run of Fraser from the right. who struck the ball from about 15 yards past Macdonald and into the opposite corner of the net.

Buckie continued their pressure almost uninterrupted save for a pop from about 25 yards out by Mykyta that went only slightly too high. Buckie were still firmly in the driving seat with major advantage in possession and territory, but there was some sense that for all that dominance and only a single goal advantage from it, United could come back to bite them. And they did.

It came gradually, but from about 30 minutes in United began to get more of the ball and began to use it to make a foray or two into Buckie territory. At the other end defensive confidence began to build and the Buckie attack looked less dangerous as they found access to the home box increasingly difficult to attain.

In the 40th minute a break down the left by Smith yielded a corner that was played shortish to the near side of the box where Wade picked up, spun right and clinically despatched it low and hard past the left hand of Demus to equalise.

From then until the interval each side gave as good as they got without altering the score line a pattern that continued but with increasing tempo until Formartine got their noses in front.

Wade made himself some space in crowded penalty box and rode a tackle or two during his left to right progress. Turning goalwards he drew the keeper to sucker him with a feint before rounding him to slot the ball home in the far corner in the 57th minute.

Buckie struck back within four minutes as new signing, sub Peters,netted with his first kick of the ball. A Macaskill free from 25 yards rebounded back to him from the wall. He chipped the ball over the advancing defenders to PETERs who clipped ihome from close range. Buckie tails were up and they were pressing hard again and gained a softish looking penalty in the 70th minute. which Urquhart leathered hard and low but an inch or two the wrong side of Madoald’s right stick.

The game continued at a scorching end to end pace but the deadlock persisted until the penalty shoot out followed directly after the 90th minute.

Crawford, Wade, Smith and Rodger all netted for United while Murray, Macaskill and Pugh did so for Buckie.

Mykyta missed for United and while Wood and Peters did likewise for Buckie.

Teams:

Formartine United: Macdonald, Crawford, S.Smith, Adams, Mclean, Gallagher, (J.Smith 85), Wade, Rodger, Lyle, Mykyta, Norris.

Subs Anderson, Spink, Lynch, J.Smith, Addison, Mackay

Buckie Thistle: demus, Wood, McLauchlan (Ramsay 44), Murray, Fraser, Macleod, Macaskill, Urquhart, McCabe, Pugh, Goodall.

Subs: Mackinnon, Peters, Ramsay, Milne, Munro, Adams, Herbert