Formartine United returned to winning ways with a resounding 8-0 thrashing of lowly Strathspey Thistle on Saturday.
Cammy Keith grabbed a hat-trick, Mike Ewen a brace and Neil McVitie netted one and had a hand in five of the goals as the Pitmedden side kept their slender lead at the top of the table.
With Clark and Napier suspended after the ill-fated Locos double-header, Formartine signed Stuart Anderson from Brechin City through the week and immediately put him into the starting eleven. With Hamill delayed by transport problems and starting on the bench, it forced changes that saw Jeffrey return as a centre back in the absence of Campbell.
The home side went ahead in the 18th minute. McVitie worked the ball into the box following a slick move down the right and new boy Anderson netted with a stunning volley.
It was 2-0 three minutes later when Cammy Keith made space for himself before sending the ball low past Martin. Ten minutes later following constant pressure Mike Ewen added a third and five minutes from the break Keith headed in a fourth.
Just on half-time McVitie made it five from close range.
Within a minute of the resumption Keith rounded off his hat-trick when he peeled off to the back post, gathered the ball and sent it beyond Martin.
In the 62nd minute Keith turned provider when he teed up Bagshaw for number seven. A couple of minutes later Ewen took advantage of a defensive mix-up to complete the rout.
An eight-goal margin does wonders for Formartine’s goal difference and the scale and nature of the victory should go a
long way to restore the flair that had been seen but fleetingly in recent weeks.
Formartine United: Shearer, Munro, Smith, McKeown, Jeffrey, Anderson, Park, McVitie, Keith, Ewen, Bagshaw. Substitutes: Hamill, Dingwall, Davidson, Doak
Strathspey Thistle: Martin, Jones, Fraser, McShane, Bobrowski, Peters, Thomas, Smith, Fraser, Wardrope, Groat. Substitutes: Mochan, Tulloch, Dunbar, McConnel, Matheson.