Six goals, a clean sheet and no significant injuries is about as good an outcome as any team can take from a pre-season friendly.
The scale of Formartine United’s win over junior side Hall Russell United might raise an eyebrow or two about the capabilities of the opposition, but the Aberdeen side played for periods when they asked questions of their Highland League hosts.
However, they were unable to consistently match the intensity of the slick ball movement of Formartine, who simply absorbed what intermittent bursts of pressure they achieved before continuing the normal service of scoring at regular intervals.
The main interest for the North Lodge faithful lay in the debut of Gary Clark, signed from Buckie in the close season, and trialist Lucas Jarosiewicz.
In the event, both made convincing contributions to a midfield which some would describe as new-look and others, less charitably, as makeshift, but which was nevertheless more than fit for the purpose of providing enough ammunition to yield half a dozen goals.
Formartine started on the front foot and quickly created enough pressure to contain Halls mainly within their own territory.
After Mike Ewen and Dan Park had each gone close Callum Bagshaw broke the deadlock in the 21st minute minute with an accurate low drive despatched from twenty five yards beyond the reach of the diving keeper’s right hand for a splendid goal to open the season.
The home side increased their lead seven minutes later.
The move originated from one of McVitie’s forays down the right. The ball bobbed around in the danger area before being headed in at the back post by the predatory Mike Ewen.
Formartine were in complete control and although Halls mustered the odd decent breakaway, usually down the left and involving the overlap of Milne and Stuart, they never raised enough to disturb keeper Shearer.
The third goal followed barely a minute after the second. McKeown fed Bagshaw after he had dispossessed Stuart at the edge of his area and the midfielder worked the ball forward to Park, who noticed the keeper was stranded in no man’s land and simply passed the ball into the net.
The Superleaguers looked like they might hold their own or even reduce the deficit for the first fifteen minutes or so of the second period and the home side brought on some youngsters for a taste of first team action.
Formartine added a fourth goal in the 66th minute when Martin MacDonald opened his senior account with a coolly taken finish from 15 yards.
Watson and Ritchie were introduced and the latter netted a fifth when he netted from close range. Near the finish a Gary Clark feed took out two defenders and Park pounced to complete the rout.
Formartine United: Shearer, Smith, McVittie, McKeown, Jeffrey, Clark, Bagshaw, Jarosiewicz, Park, Ewen, Paterson. Substitutes: MacDonald,Abel, Anderson, Ritchie, Watson, Calder.
Hall Russell United: Simpson, Anderson, Milne, Russell, Robertson, Mackie, Campbell, Innes, Stuart, Milne, Hay. Substitutes: Clunas, Gibson, Forbes, Ray.