Formartine head to final after seeing off Turriff in closely contested semi

Conor Gethins celebrating his goal
Conor Gethins celebrating his goal

Formartine United were triumphant in their semi-final match against Turriff United in the Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup, winning 1-0.

They now move onto the final on April 8 to play Cove Ranger at Bellslea Park, in Fraserburgh.

The semi-final started with a flurry of five minutes that suggested an exciting tie, but within the next 10 minutes the pattern for the game was set: each side managing to confine their opponents within their own territory.

A 13th minute corner on the right by Turra was partially cleared from the back post area by Young but picked up by Booth with back to goal. Some maneuvering set him up for his side’s first and only shot on target- a venomous drive that Reid beat away for an unrewarded corner.

The game resumed its prosaic pattern but Formartine were meeting some success in getting the ball wide, generally to Barbour but Chalmers more or less had the measure of him and with a number of very well timed tackles persisted in picking the ball off the tips of the forward’s toes.

Formartine could get the ball wide and from box to box but had little joy in getting beyond that. Some decent graft by Anderson and Roger in more central midfield areas again produced progress between the boxes but precious little penetration thereafter.

In the other direction Wood and Crawford, supported at each side by Young and Smith ensured equal parsimony and Turriff were forced into attempting to shoot from long range. Lack of accuracy in this meant that keeper Reid had little to occupy him.

Formartine started the second period with a wee bit of a push but again although they were able to maintain enough possession to work the ball around the Turriff box, the pressure was on rather than in the penalty area. The second half was remarkable chiefly in the utter lack of anything remarkable that took place.

This was a game that had extra time written all over it and when it came Formartine seemed the more enterprising side and the introduction of Dingwall for Masson and Ferries for Gauld saw increased pressure of the Turriff rearguard.

Two minutes before the end of the first 15 of extra time Dingwall broke through in the inside right channel and slipped the ball on to Ferries who cutely back- heeled the ball into the path of full back Young who had ventured well forward. He broke into the left side of the box but was blocked by Allan. He retrieved the ball in space between the edge of the box and the corner flag but with is back to goal had to turn before he could get the ball back into the danger area.

With sleight of foot the veteran jinked round and delivered a low pinged drive along the line between penalty spot and the six yard box. Despite the attentions of Herd and Bowden, Gethins beat the defenders to the ball and lashed it high into the net from just shy of the 6 yard line.