Formartine United maintained their quest for runners-up spot with a 3-1 win over Wick Academy at North Lodge Park on Saturday.
The match attracted only around 100 spectators but they did, however, get their money’s worth in a game that was played in a genuinely competitive spirit and which produced, in patches, some decent quality football and at least one cracking goal.
Conditions were bright and only slightly breezy as Formartine took the game to the visitors and quickly set up territorial superiority near the village end goalmouth.
United took the lead in 33rd minute through Gary Clark. He pounced on a Cammy Keith head flick to send a diagnonal shot beyond the reach of Gray.
Ten minutes later and Formartine added to their lead. Mike Ewen completed a one-two to hammer the ball home from 15 yards. Gray got a hand to the shot but could not keep it out.
Wick are nothing if not doughty fighters and gave as good as they got for periods of the second half without really threatening to win the game.
Five minutes after the restart Allan’s effort was comfortably held by Shearer after he had latched on to a through ball.
The visitors did pull one back in the 72nd minute when a Shearer clearance was picked up by Weir who slipped it forward to Allan and he picked his spot beyond the keeper’s reach.
Wick had some momentum going for them at this stage but Formartine regained their grip on the game and started to push forward in waves.
In the 84th minute, Ewen restored his side’s two-goal advantage with a superb strike out of nothing. From the edge of the box he sent a perfectly-judged lob over the defence and under the bar to wrap up the points.
There was no way back for Wick as Formartine simply sustained the pressure for the remaining few minutes to see out the game.
Formartine United: Shearer, Munro, Smith, McKeown, Clark, Jeffrey, Park, McVitie, Keith, Ewen, Bagshaw. Substitutes: Dingwall, Campbell, Mathers.
Wick Academy: Gray, Sinclair, Manson, Farquhar, Shearer, Cunningham, Mackay, James Pickles, Macaadie, Weir, Allan, Substitutes: Halliday, More, John Pickles, Hughes.