United cup dream over

Formartine United keeper Andrew Shearer.
Formartine United keeper Andrew Shearer.

Formartine United’s hopes of Ramsdens Cup glory were ended when they were beaten 4-0 at Annan Athletic on Saturday.

The quarter-final tie hinged on a dramatic incident in the 52nd minute when keeper Andy Shearer hauled down striker Kenny MacKay to give away a penalty - and was red-carded.

The home side took advantage and added three more before the end to clinch their semi-final place.

Until the sending off, Formartine had been matching their League 2 opponents on the artifical surface and, with the scoreline 0-0 at half-time, had high hopes of another cup upset.

Manager Steve Paterson said the red card was the turning point, adding that if Annan had just gone a goal up, he could have handled it.

United took time to find their feet on the Galabank pitch but gradually worked their way into the game and Cammy Keith had a fierce 20-yarder sail inches past the post.

Luck was against the Pitmedden side in 52 minutes when Shearer conceded the penalty and was sent off. Love slotted the kick past replacement keeper John Calder.

Twenty minutes later it was 2-0 when substitute Kieran Brannan, who had only just come on, fired home from 10 yards.

The tie was all over seven minutes later. The ever-dangerous MacKay sent a blistering drive into the roof of the net from 16 yards.

Just to rub it in, Anna added a fourth near the end from close range.

So, it was not to be for Formartine, but there was some consolation with Highland League rivals Wick Academy, Inverurie Locos, Nairn County and Cove Rangers, all dropping points in Saturday’s games.