Formartine United and Fraserburgh had to settle for a share of the points in a 1-1 draw at North Lodge Park on Wednesday night, writes Martyn Simpson.
Formartine had the game under control for the first 10 minutes as Fraserburgh struggled to settle into the match. Gary Clark’s shot from 20 yards after just two minutes was a low powerful drive that went inches wide of the far post.
Calum Dingwall and Marek Madle both had opportunities in the earlier encounters with Dingwall’s shot from the edge of the area taking a bobble and ending up safely in Scott Cowe’s gloves while Madle had a strong header from a Paul Napier corner which went across the face of goal and wide.
Courtney Cooper had Fraserburgh’s first chance of the match when he blasted a shot well over from outside the area.
After this, Fraserburgh steadied and went on to dominate the rest of the half.
Twenty minutes in and a Graham Hay back-header for Formartine was poor and allowed Scott Barbour to get in behind the defence and go through one-on-one with Andy Shearer but Fraserburgh’s top goal scorer dragged his shot wide of the far post.
Not long after and Willie West could have got the opener but headed wide from a Ryan Cowie curling free kick.
On the half hour mark Barbour missed another opportunity to put his side in front when he got on the end of Russel McBride’s free kick towards the near post but the striker’s flicked shot went past.
Fraserburgh continued to put the pressure on and Steven Davidson’s deflected shot hit the outside of the post before Barbour broke into the box and rounded Andy Shearer but left himself no angle to shoot and fired into the side netting.
Three minutes before half time and Davidson finally got the breakthrough goal for Fraserburgh. Cowie’s cross took a touch on its way into the box and found Davidson who had got himself in front of his marker to power a header past Shearer from 10 yards.
Formartine nearly levelled just before the break but Cowe produced a good save to tip over Napier’s shot from 20 yards.
The contest was more even in the second half with both sides having chances but it was Graham Johnston who came closest when his beautifully curled free kick gave Shearer no chance - but luckily for Formartine the ball came back off the woodwork and was cleared.
Just after the hour mark Formartine brought on Stuart McKay and Craig Duguid and moments after McKay should have scored with his first touch of the ball.
Cammy Keith beat McBride on the edge of the box before playing the ball across the face of goal to McKay level with the penalty spot, but the substitute’s effort was poor.
Formartine levelled the match in the 75th minute.
Stuart McKay made up for his earlier miss with an excellent ball over the top of the Fraserburgh defence which Cammy Keith got on the end of eight yards out to clip the ball over Cowe.
Formartine manager Steve Paterson felt a draw was probably a fair result.
He said: “I think the result was fair. In the first half Fraserburgh had quite a few good chances and were the better team but we got better, made a double substitution and that seemed to give us a spark.
“We pushed the game on a bit and I think a draw was probably a fair outcome.
“In the end I was satisfied, Fraserburgh are a good side and are on a good run and from our point of view it might not be the best result but it’s acceptable.”