Formartine United 5
Brora Rangers 5
After extra time
Brora won 5-3 on penalties
Formartine United surrendered a 5-3 lead to allow Brora Rangers to edge past them into the semi-finals of the Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup on Saturday.
It was a dramatic cup tie at North Lodge Park with the Sutherland side grabbing a last-gasp equaliser in normal time, then going on to clinch a thrilling match on penalties.
The clash of the title-chasers lived up to its billing with cracking goals and a tie packed with incident and drama.
Formartine manager Kris Hunter said he was disappointed to have lost, given the effort his players put in.
The champions took the lead in the 14th minute when Paul Brindle took a Graham pass and slid his shot under Andy Reid.
United had failed to get going but struck back in the 27th minute when Scott Barbour produced a fine cutback from the left for Graeme Rodger to power home a header from close range.
But Brora hit the home side with two quick-fire goals before the interval.
Gavin Morrison’s corner from the left in the 36th minute caused confusion in the home defence and defender Colin Williamson took advantage for 2-1 and two minutes later Martin Maclean added a third.
Formartine came out for the second half with all guns blazing and stunned the Cattachs with a three-goal blitz in six minutes.
Stuart Anderson made it 3-2 and Garry Wood levelled after a chip over the Rangers defence had stuck in the mud.
Then a Cammy Keith effort broke to midfielder Paul Lawson who fired home a stunning shot.
The turnaround in the tie left Brora on the ropes and it looked to be all over when Barbour made it 5-3 with a close-range header.
But the north side showed what they were made of by staging a stirring fightback.
Andrew Greig made it 5-4 a minute later and right on the final whistle Williamson grabbed the leveller to take the match into extra time.
Stand-in goalkeeper John McLeod - who came off the bench to replace the injured Malin - broke Formartine hearts when he saved Neil Gauld’s spot-kick and then Gillespie sealed Brora’s victory.