Formartine United beat Banks O' Dee to lift Aberdeenshire Shield

Formartine players celebrate after winning the Aberdeenshire Shield for the first time in the club's history.
Formartine players celebrate after winning the Aberdeenshire Shield for the first time in the club's history.

Formartine United made history by winning the Aberdeenshire Shield for the first time making their first appearance in the final.

The match was originally scheduled for the Balmoral Stadium at the end of January but that was curtailed due to frost on the artificial surface. There was no danger of another postponement as a mild, dry night made for perfect conditions.

The Junior Superleague Champions went into the match full of confidence having already knocked out three Highland League sides this season and were on the back of a comfortable league win on Saturday.

They had, however, lost the three finals they had reached in the previous three years.

By contrast, Formartine were struggling for match fitness with the defeat to Fraserburgh the previous weekend their only game in a weather affect month of inactivity.

Dee certainly weren't overawed and took the game to United with a low driven cross from the right by Jack Henderson finding left back Dean Lawrie at the back post but his shot flew over with four minutes on the clock.

The Formartine response looked like producing the opener four minutes later.

A crossfield ball was gathered by diminutive winger Andrew Greig and his pass inside found Kieran Lawrence 22 yards out but his well struck, curling effort was brilliantly tipped over in spectacular fashion by Andy Shearer.

But the opener was only delayed as United took the lead on the quarter hour in unfortunate fashion.

Mark Gilmour attempted to clear his lines 12 yards out but under pressure from Graeme Rodger the ball ricochet off the unlucky defender and into his own net.

Dee continued to play with style passing the ball front to back with pace but their lack of a cutting edge in front of goal was to prove the difference between the sides.

However, the decisive second goal came after 31 minutes and was a thing of beauty. United broke forward from inside their own half and some sweeping interplay between Rodger and Archie McPhee saw the latter set free on the right side of the penalty area and his crisp finish low into the far corner was fit to win any trophy.

As half time approached Formartine were forced into a substitution, Ryan Stott replacing the limping Aaron Norris.

It was game over in ruthless fashion three minutes before the half time whistle.

Another fine save from Shearer denied a McPhee header but the ball broke to Garry Wood inside the six yard box and he slid home giving the score line a harsh look in favour of a deadly and clinical United side who were showing how much this final meant to them.

There was a chance for Banks to make a game of it five minutes after the restart, but a diving Kane Winton header following a corner kick was just wide of he right hand post.

However, four minutes later substitute Stott set up Rodger to side foot into the net from inside the six yard box and what had looked like being a closely contested match was rapidly turning into a rout.

Dee did manage the consolation goal they thoroughly deserved after 67 minutes, a left wing cross by Dean Lawrie, expertly drilled low into the net from eight yards at the back post by Jamie Buglass.

Speaking after the win, United manager Paul Lawson said: “Very pleased. Winning a final is great and that’s three in a row now.

"The boys got their just rewards for performances in the earlier rounds.

"At timers tonight we could have played a lot better but at the end of the day you cant argue with the score line.

"I thought Craig McKeown was outstanding again marshalling the defence.

"We had a better second half and maybe Graeme Rodger just edged it as man of the match.

"A few good performances but we were disappointed to lose the goal but these things happen but the main thing was to win the game."