United suffer another setback

Formartine United draw Buckie Thistle in the first round of the Breedon Aggregates Highland Football League Cup. The tie will be played at Victoria Park on February 7.'Pictured, left to right, are  Alan Mckenzie, of Breedon Aggregates, Steven Rattray, Highland  League, and Raymond Cardno, Highland League vice-president. Picture: Paul Douglas.
Formartine United draw Buckie Thistle in the first round of the Breedon Aggregates Highland Football League Cup. The tie will be played at Victoria Park on February 7.'Pictured, left to right, are Alan Mckenzie, of Breedon Aggregates, Steven Rattray, Highland League, and Raymond Cardno, Highland League vice-president. Picture: Paul Douglas.

Formartine United blew a two-goal lead to lose further ground in the title race at Lossiemouth on Saturday.

This was a game United could and should have won by a three or four goal margin but in the end had to settle for a 2-2 draw.

Formartine are beginning to get a bit of a reputation for folding under well-organised persistence from teams with far poorer records.

Recently this has been seen against Rothes, Buckie and now Lossie and it utterly undermines any serious claims to be challengers at the top end of the table.

Formartine took the lead in the 23rd minute through the in-form Marek Madle.

He brought the ball under control in the box and neatly chipped it over Bell and Flett and under the bar for a superb finish.

United continued to press and passed up opportunities before adding a second in the 37th minute. Neil McVitie got his reward for patience as he nipped in late to pick up a panicked clearance attempt and drilled it past advancing defenders and the keeper.

This looked set to put the Pitmedden side in total command but they were stung on the stroke of half-time when Lossie pulled one back.

A miss-hit pass by Bagshaw was picked up by Farquhar who played a simple one-two with Gordon before outpacing the defence over 30 yards and drilling the ball past the diving Barney for the goal that turned the game.

The home side emerged for the second half fired up and prepared to challenge Formartine at every turn.

The visitors still looked like they thought they could cruise to victory and generally failed to match the work rate and urgency shown by their opponents.

Within 15 minutes Lossie had drawn level.

Again a bit of slackness in midfield left the gap for a breakaway. This time it was Bailey who broke through the centre and outstripped the defence before hammering the ball past Barney from about fifteen yards.

Lossie tails were up and Formartine were in panic mode. The pace of the game was ramped up and it took on all the end-to-end aspects of a cup tie.

United generally did better in terms of possession and territory, but not by enough to do anything with it. Lossie treasured their prospect of a point and were prepared to get eight or more players at a time behind the ball – as many as it took - to hold on to it.

Formartine tried to change up a gear but not even the replacement of Dingwall with Cammy Keith could get them a goal.

Lossiemouth: Hall, A Ross, Chambers, Bell, Flett, Miller, R Farquhar, Gordon, Dunn, Duguid, Bailey. Substitutes: Hector, C Ross, McBain, Green, Mitchell, Alexander, C Farquhar.

Formartine United: Barney, Duguid, Smith, Munro, Hay, Bagshaw, Napier, McVitie, Madle, Anderson, Dingwall. Substitutes: Keith, Clark, McKay, Mathers, Shearer.