A late Cammy Keith penalty salvaged a 2-2 draw for Formartine United at Deveronvale on Saturday.
The point was welcomed by new manager Kris Hunter who wanted to avoid starting his reign with a defeat.
A draw was probably a fair enough reflection on the course of the 90 minutes of a stuttering, patchy and rather muddled looking Formartine performance against a team of hard- working, fast-moving youngsters many of whom had been pressed into first team action.
The game began at a brisk pace and for the first few minutes Formartine were looking the part - a free kick thirty five yards out was driven into the box by Anderson and United, having pushed up Hay and Jeffrey, were able to sustain enough pressure at the back post to force keeper Fyfe into action.
But it was Vale who took the lead in the 12th minute. Sean Keith’s corner was met by Forbes who stooped to head strongly past Shearer.
As a wake up call to Formartine, this was partly successful and they began to push into Vale territory and get the better of what were generally rather scrappy midfield exchanges.
Clark and McVitie were as usual fairly effective in the ball-winning department and broke up play quite industriously, but uncharacteristically, their distribution was not of the normal standard.
However, United drew level in the 26th minute when Fyfe failed to deal with a Keith header from a free kick and the ball dropped between full back Rae and Stuart McKay before ending up in the net.
Formartine generally dominated the rest of the first half with Vale still looking dangerous on the break, particularly through the fast, direct running of Charlesworth.
Dingwall was quietly effective for Formartine and linked well enough with Smith to ensure that at least half of the United back four was reasonably steady.
There were hopes that the visitors would settle after the resumption but it was Vale who were the first to show with some concentrated pressure down the left which was ultimately relieved when a Roger shot from about twelve yards flew inches past Shearer’s left hand.
Formartine responded with a bit of a push but lacked the cohesion to capitalise on their pressure.
The home side took the lead again in the 57th minute when keeper Shearer brought down Charlesworth in the box and Roger slotted home the penalty.
With time beginning to run out, Formartine committed as many forward as they dared and had Vale pinned back.
But they had to wait until added time before grabbing the equaliser through Keith from the penalty spot after Bagshaw had been fouled.
Kris Hunter vuiewed it all and has some really good players. But can he get them to deliver when they need to? Time will tell.
Deveronvale: Fyfe, Rae, McKillop, Rennie, Cowie, Dunbar, Rodger, Charlesworth, Simpson, Keith, Forbes. Substitutes: Sutherland, Mutch, Aitken, Buchan, Patterson.
Formartine United: Shearer, Jeffrey, Dingwall, Smith, Hay, Anderson, McVitie, Cklark, Keith, Mackay, Napier. Substitutes: Madle, Bagshaw, Munro, Paterson. Lawrence, Watson.