Formartine United kept up their pursuit of league leaders Cove Rangers with a convincing 5-1 home win over Nairn County on Wednesday night.
United won with flair and pace and a bit of a swagger to their play and, with the exception of a brief period of no more than 10 minutes at the start of the second half, completely dominated their visitors in all areas of the park and in every aspect of play.
A fine hat-trick from Garry Wood provided the framework of a victory that was never in any doubt from start to finish.
Formartine went for the jugular with breaks down the right conducted at blistering pace. Orchestrated by McVitie at the back they brought in and overlapped with Barbour who played with greater assurance than he has shown of late.
The home side took the lead in the 11th minute when the ball was played through to Rodger who fired a fierce 25-yarder past Antell.
Formartine remained in the driving seat and added a second when a Barbour shot was deflected past Ancell by Pollock.
The pressure was unrelenting and after a couple of decent saves by Antell it was 3-0 in the 36th minute.
Anderson and Barbour combined with a slick exchange of passes and Barbour’s cross was forced home by Garry Wood.
The second half was just a minute old when Nairn pulled one back.
A Gethins drive was parried by Reid only as far as MacKenzie on the edge of the box and he slipped the ball to Pollock who drove it home through a ruck of defenders.
But County’s hopes of a comeback were dashed in the 56th minute when Rodger jinked his way into the box and was brought down. Wood netted from the penalty spot.
Formartine pressure continued and the only surprise was that it took until the 74th minute for them to score another.
Wood grabbed his hat-trick when he headed home a Lawson corner.
This was a well-worked win by Formartine who showed a hunger for the ball and a real desire for victory that yielded fast, free-flowing and hard-tackling football in the process.
Formartine United: Reid, McVitie, Smith, McKeown, Crawford, Lawson, Rodger, Anderson, Wood, Masson, Barbour. Substitutes: Gauld, Keith, Michie, Bagshaw, Dingwall, Axten, MacDonald.
Nairn County: Antell, Webb, Naismith, Morrison, MacLeod, MacKintosh, Halsman, Pollock, Duncanson, Gethins, McKenzie.