Formartine United 4 - 1 Banks O'DeeAberdeenshire Shield - Final
Wednesday, February 13th, 2019, 8:00 PM at The Balmoral Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Graeme Beaton
|Formartine United||Banks O'Dee|
Mark Gilmour (o.g.) (15)
Archie MacPhee (31)
Garry Wood (42)
Graeme Rodger (54)
|Jamie Buglass (68)|
|Paul Lawson||Jamie Watt & Tommy Forbes|
Ryan Stott for Aaron Norris (37)
Liam Burnett for Kieran Lawrence (67)
Conor Gethins for Andrew Greig (76)
Mark Hamilton for Callum Murray (65)
Lachie MacLeod for Luke Barbour (67)
Graeme Rodger (43)
Johnny Crawford (59)
Kane Winton (56)
Jamie Buglass (60)
Appearances & Goals To Date
|Kevin Main (GK)||38 apps||-|
|Jevan Anderson||65 apps||3 goals|
|Craig McKeown||106 apps||19 goals|
|Johnny Crawford||123 apps||7 goals|
|Stuart Smith||225 apps||21 goals|
|Andrew Greig||51 apps||20 goals|
|Graeme Rodger||172 apps||61 goals|
|Aaron Norris||22 apps||2 goals|
|Kieran Lawrence||48 apps||2 goals|
|Archie MacPhee||76 apps||57 goals|
|Garry Wood||130 apps||66 goals|
|Ryan Stott (sub)||23 apps||7 goals|
|Liam Burnett (sub)||70 apps||8 goals|
|Conor Gethins (sub)||97 apps||39 goals|
|Youngest Player:||Jevan Anderson (18 years 351 days)|
|Oldest Player:||Kevin Main (36 years 336 days)|
|Average Player Age:||27 years 166 days|
|Domestic Players:||11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)|
|Youngest Player:||Joe MacPherson (18 years 166 days)|
|Oldest Player:||Kevin Main (36 years 336 days)|
|Average Player Age:||27 years 207 days|
|Domestic Players:||17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)|
First Team Debuts
In the end Formartine ran out very comfortable winners of the Morrison Motors Aberdeenshire Shield after a game that they began by facing a classic “hiding to nothing” scenario. Their opponents were the current big cheeses of the Junior Super -League and reached this final by dint of seeing off Highland League opposition at each stage of the way. Formartine did likewise and included the scalp of Cove Rangers on their journey to this final.
However, although this was not quite David and Goliath stuff the fact remained that defeat for United would be acutely embarrassing while victory would be regarded as their having done no more than was expected of them. Their only safe option really was to treat their opponents with the utmost respect but give them a damned good thrashing in the process. That is more or less what happened. There was a fair difference in class between the two sides and United had the game pretty well sewn up by half time and despite possibly taking their foot somewhat off the throttle after going 4-0 up and allowing Banks a consolation goal, they cruised to a win comfortable enough for keeper Main to have made only one save of any significance and that was in the last two or three minutes.
United started with the strongest available starting eleven took a firm grip of proceedings early on. Dee were the first to show with a foray down the right spearheaded by Henderson who managed to get the ball right to left across the United box towards Barbour but the Formartine defence marshalled by McKeown had it well covered, intercepted and cleared the ball forward left and out to Greig to set up a counter attack on the opposite flank. This concluded after the wide man's cross was met by Wood whose shot rebounded from a knot of bodies in the six yard box but United were beginning even this early to exert some pressure on their opponents. A clever lob flipped over the box by MacPhee was met by the head of Wood but he was unable to get enough downward pressure on it and the ball went over the bar.
Dee were spirited and keen to attack and did well from box to box but were having little success in getting the ball into any threatening positions in the United box. They worked hard for each other and Henderson, Barbour and Philipson each in their way worked defenders hard enough to make them show their higher league credentials. Collectively, however they struggled to create enough to really stretch the well organised rearguard of the Highland League side.
United were attacking on both flanks as well as through the middle whereas most of the Dee impetus came from the right. Greig was a threat on the left and in the 11th minute got the better of Gilmour and whipped the ball across the goal face where it just eluded both Wood and MacPhee who were set to nick it into the net at the back post.
Despite the nerviness that often attends cup finals United were looking confident and well drilled and consistent with this they managed a relatively early opening goal to settle the nerves. A little burst of sustained pressure around and eventually inside the Dee box did the trick. The attack started with Greig on the left but the ball was quickly worked over to the right through MacPhee and Norris and on to Wood before pouncing on a right to left feed immediately in front of the left post RODGER turned the ball neatly into the net from close range.
This set up United for their most lethal spell of the match when over the next thirty minutes they did all that was needed to all but guarantee a comfortable victory with a couple of top drawer goals. Their second goal really showed the difference in class between the two sides and went along way to imposing their overall superiority on this final. Around the half hour mark Dee persisting in chasing an equaliser had enjoyed a wee spell of possession in the area around the front edge of the united box before Murray was dispossessed by Jevan Anderson who fed the ball onto Rodger and instantly the break was on. Rodger, flat out blasted through the middle and MacPhee immediately clocking what was on began a parallel run to the right Rodger. The pair were on the fringes of the Dee box - about 25 yards out - and Rodger without breaking stride simply clipped the ball into the path of MACPHEE who skelped the ball, low and hard past the outstretched right hand of former Formartine keeper Andy Shearer for a goal worthy of any cup final.
Five minutes later United almost made it three when a charge down the left flank by Stuart Smith was capped off by a low driven cross to the back stick that Wood just failed to reach. A rather hefty tackle on Norris forced him to limp off to be replaced by Stott in the 37th minute. It was a case of replacing one exceptionally fast player with another and the pressure on Dee was undiminished.
The game as a serious contest was all but over in the 42nd minute when Gary Wood having been twice thwarted on the point pulling the trigger in the previous few minutes got the goal his pressure warranted. An open flowing attack staring in the middle of United's half saw midfielders and forwards flood forward. The ball was worked from the centre to wide left, back to the middle and then clipped forward by MacPhee to WOOD who whipped the ball right to left and into the far corner of the net for 3-0.
If there was to be any way back for Dee, they needed to get a goal early in the second half. Formartine could see that just as well as they did and made perfectly sure that that was never on the cards by the simple expedient of applying enough pressure of the Junior side to get themselves another goal. They maintained the impetus that had given the three goal advantage and spent most of the early part of the second half pressing Dee into their own final third. The ball was swung about from wing to wing and opportunities for them to venture forward were severely limited. It was almost inevitable that another goal would come United's way and it took less than ten minutes for it to come. The Spain Park men were well on the back foot when Rodger forced his way between Gilmour and Allan and through a ruck of opposing players drove the ball home for his second of the evening in the 54th minute.
United had done all that was needed and a bit more too and can hardly be criticised too severely if their tempo seemed to drop a bit thereafter. They still had the lions share of possession and with a busy schedule ahead of them were certainly not up for taking any risks on the artificial grass. The game as a spectacle faded a bit but there was still some spirit about the Banks o’Dee and they got a consolation goal in the 67th minute when sub BUGLASS capitalised on some inattention in the United rearguard to crack one home from an under-protected position, fairly central about 15 yards out.
It made little difference really as after using up their allocation of subs, Winton had to go off injured and reduced his side to 10. United made life easy for themselves by spreading the ball about, maintaining possession comfortably and running down the clock before collecting the rather spectacular shield.
Match report by Colin Keenan
Photography by Ian Rennie