Formartine gave away a stoppage time goal and had to settle for a 2-2 draw in this Aberdeenshire League match at Banks o’ Dee.
From United’s perspective, it was an opportunity to test some players who because of injury and fixture postponements, were in need of some exposure to competitive football.
The North Lodgers should have opened their account in the 36th minute when a superbly timed over-the-top ball by Soane left Dingwall in the clear with only the keeper to beat from little more than twenty yards out.
He advanced to the front left edge of the box and hit a measured, curling ball wide of the keeper but it struck his left upright and was hacked away by Morrison.
Most of the Banks’ attempts on goal came from second phase play with Winton advancing late to the edge of the box and trying his luck from longish range, but he was rarely on target.
Formartine eventually went in front in the 51st minute after a brief period of sustained pressure. Keeper Stark, under pressure from McGinlay and Napier, flapped at the ball but managed to knock it away for a corner on the right.
When the ball came back, in-swinging, he again flapped at it, but this time new boy Napier was there to force the ball over the line from close range.
The goal did little to change the pattern of the game beyond perhaps raising the workrate of the home side.
Around the hour mark, United struggled twice in as many minutes to clear their lines and Allan went close after slipping past Goodwin before Hunter breaking through the centre went down under the pressure of what looked like a robust but legitimate tackle by Anderson. The referee decided otherwise and Allan struck home a superb penalty.
Formartine should have had the game won in the 86th minute.
Breaking at pace through the inside right channel, MacDonald hit a diagonal twenty yard pass that curled its way round and beyond Ritchie and Russell to the left foot of Dunbar. He struck a low, raking shot from twenty five yards out, that beat Stark and nestled in the far corner of the net.
It was a goal fit to win the game but the inconsistency in the Formartine side decreed otherwise.
A minute or more into stoppage time Dee’s persistence down the left flank yielded a corner. Allan struck it out-swinging to the head of the unmarked McLelland who simply nodded the ball home from about eight yards.
A rather embarrassed looking Formartine tried but failed to rectify the situation in the remaining minute or two.
Banks O’ Dee: Stark, McLelland, Morrison, Ritchie, Russell, Winton, Allan, Lyon, McCall, Jack, Hunter. Subs Henderson, Sinclair, Petrie,
Formartine United: Shearer, Goodwin, Taylor, Jeffrey, Anderson, Robertson, Napier, Soane, McGinlay, Dingwall, Mathers. Subs: MacDonald, Dunbar, Seacombes.