Formartine get off to a fine start

Formartine haven’t lost at Lossie since 2011 and have drawn only once since.

Formartine's Mark Gallagher scores the opener. (Photo courtesy of Ian Rennie)
Formartine's Mark Gallagher scores the opener. (Photo courtesy of Ian Rennie)

That might suggest this would be a gentle enough opener to new manager Stuart Anderson’s competitive career, but despite the array of decent results achieved at Grant Park, United have often struggled there against a side that have regularly made life more difficult than anticipated for them.

In the event United, with three new signings (Maclean, Gallagher and Wade) hit their hosts hard and early to establish the final score before the interval.

They showed their teeth almost from the get go as Mykyta and Park exchanged passes before playing in Rodger who returned the ball for Mykyta to rattle in a 15 yard drive that nicked Ross’s left upright on its way out of play.

United were quick to establish a high back line and press play into the home half.

It was clear that Lisle and Wade were going to make life very difficult for the Lossie rearguard who struggled with the pace and direct running of the former and the movement and trickery of the latter.

It took only until the 4th minute for United to force the opener: Rodger powered his way into Lossie territory before slipping the ball forward right to Lisle who eluded Weir before brining in Wade who released the ball with perfect timing into the path of Gallagher who calmly despatched it beyond the reach of the diving Ross from about 3 yards out.

Formartine were dominant at this stage while the home defence looked rather jittery as it struggled to cope with the pace and relentless commitment to attack generated by Formartine.

Time and again they carved open the Lossie defence only to be thwarted by occasional over elaboration on their own part, a couple of decent saves by Ross from Park, and Mykyta and and the deflection of a Ward effort.

Pressure was intense and sustained before United extended their lead in the 24th minute with a well worked second from Lisle.

Again the move started with Rodger pressing forward in central midfield before releasing the ball right to Norris who crossed it left as Lisle scorched forward to hammer the ball past the keeper’s left hand.

Lossie had been showing some signs of settling just before this but had the resilience not to panic and began to get a bit of traction in midfield.

Formartine were not getting things all their own way anymore and their next goal was the result of a counter attack following some pressure from the homeside.

The ball was played centrally from defence by Maclean to Park who exchanged passes with Rodger and played in Mykyta who left footed the ball for Wade to finish from 12 yards in the 37th minute.

Lossie however continued to plug away and remarkably came close to getting themselves right back in it when they had United on the back foot after Martin Charlesworth pounced on a loose ball well inside his own half and with United over commited to attack, burst forward, reached the box, rounded the keeper and clipped the ball home.

Energised by this 42nd minute counter Lossie came close to further reducing the deficit.

Norris was dipossessed by Elliot and was off like a hare pursued by the embarrassed Norris.

Having reached the left side of the United box, he turned goalwards only to be felled by a crude knee high lunge by his pursuer.

He took the inevitable penalty himself, but smacked the ball off the cross bar before it was hoofed away to safety a minute before half time.

The second half was much more even as Lossie began to do enough in midfield to limit Formartine’s supply to Lisle and Wade.

Rodger, Park and Mykyta had been generous Ellon timesproviders to the front men but were now more closely shackled as the game changed character to a tight midfield battle with goalmouth action at a premium.

Gallagher was impressive and would consider himself unfortunate not to have earned a penalty when he was tripped in the box by Edwards in the 56th minute shortly before a Lossie corner on the right was headed firmly goalwards to draw and outstanding save by Macdonald.

As the goaless half proceded United began to reassert themselves with longer periods of possession but the home defence better protected by its midfield than formerly did enough to contain them.

A Mykyta free from 19 yards went inches over the top and a late drive by Maciver was thwarted by the diving Ross after a well patterned period of United possession had carved out the chance.

Teams:

Lossiemouth: Ross, Weir, Macandrew, Edwards, O’Halloran, L.Archibald, Thomson (R.Archibald 80), Morrison, Stuart (Miller 66), Elliot, Charlesworth (Forbes 72)

Subs: R.Archibald, Miller, Forbes, Kennedy, Macarthur, Allen, Farquhar

Formartine United: Macdonald, Crawford, Smith, Norris, (Adams 60), Maclean, Gallager, Wade, Rodger,Lisle, Mykyta (Maciver 73), Park (Spink 85)

Subs: C. Anderson, Spink, Adams, Addison, Lynch, Maciver, Mackay

Next up, Formartine United are at home to Strathspey Thistle while Lossiemouth are away to Deveronvale on Saturday, July 30. Kick off at 3pm.