THIS semi-final in the Aberdeenshire Cup, which was a unwanted game, sandwiched in Huntly programme of attempting to reach the next round of the Scottish cup, having drawn Saturdays game and facing a long haul trip to face Wigtown and Bladnoch in the South of Scotland on Saturday. They came into the game with Guild, Stasiak, and Kleczkowski all unavailable through injury, which was a big relief for the home support, not least of which was the match announcer.
Both teams had a number of players who had performed for the opponents, and with Pele having managed Huntly, there was an element of spice and expectation in a healthy crowd, on a perfect evening for a display of attractive football. As it turned out they were not going to be disappointed. The home support at least were looking forward to an historical appearance by the home team in their first semi-final at this level of football.
The early exchanges were of 2 teams, sizing each other up, with Formartine beginning to establish a strong pattern of passing and possession. In 4 mins a Ewen header from Webster went wide. With Wilson dictating the play, Formartine were beginning to take control of the game. 7 mins gone and a Webster corner on the left was headed on by McVittie to Munro, whose speculative shot went high and wide. In 9 mins Huntly gained a free kick, wide on the right, taken by former Formartine youth player Coyle, whose deliver came to nothing.
A Ewan run and turn at 12 min resulted in a solid block by Hastie in the Huntly goal. By this time Formartine was exerting control over this game, with Somers defending well for Huntly, with a breakthrough on the cards, which was duly delivered in 17 mins, a Park shot from the left hit the far stick with Hastie well beaten, the rebound ball was met my MUNRO coming in at the far post, who rifled an unstoppable shot high into the net with Hastie stranded. At this time Munro was causing problems down the right flank, with searing runs.
21 mins gone and a piercing run and shot by Webster, was blocked by Somers. Continued pressure by Formartine, resulted in the ever dangerous Munro, being fouled by Michael Clark, earning him a yellow card. In 22mins with Somers in the heart of the Huntly defence, a run and shot from the edge of the box was blocked by him , who then followed up the rebound which again was blocked by Somers. Formartine turning the screw on Huntly. Occasional breakaways’ from Huntly, were easily mopped up by a well marshalled , McKeown back 4, limiting Huntly action in the hosts half of the park.
26 mins gone a cross from Jeffrey, was headed just wide by Ewen, an minute later a pinpoint Webster corner was headed on by Rusty Smith to the far post which Park hit on the volley , which went high and wide. A speculative shot by Neale Davidson , was comfortable collected by Shearer in the host goal. 32 min gone, another save from the head of Rusty Smith from a Webster cross, was well collected by Hastie. The next goal was coming and duly arrived with some excellent interchanges between Ewen and Webster who passed to McVITTIE arriving into the box who despatched the ball into the Huntly net for 2-0 in 39 mins.
Half time arrives with Huntly on the rack, with Formartine dominating proceedings and worthy of their early advantage, which may have been more.
Huntly started the second half chasing the game, with Somers playing as a lone striker, having performed well at central defence despite the score-line in the first half, with sub. Martin Skinner taking over the defensive duties.
Formartine restarted as they left off before the break, with Squish Munro causing the Huntly defence problems. Munro shot wide in 47 min. Webster had a shot blocked in 48min after a great set up by Webster. The Formartine unit was swiftly moving the ball about with pace and guile, leaving Huntly chasing shadows. 56 mins gone, a Webster free-kick wide on the right, hit with accuracy and pace, was met by the head of McKEOWN, how crashed an unstoppable ball, past the despairing Hastie to make it a comfortable 3-0 for Formartine.
Despite this an isolated run and shot from Booth, came back off the Formartine post and was cleared. Ewen had a shot blocked in 68mins.Soane on for Wilson then combined with Munro who shot just wide of Hastie’s far post. By 76 mins Formartine had taken the foot of the pedal a little, with Huntly beginning to get a little more into the game, which saw Grant Campbell, shooting over from 20 yards. 86 mins gone Formartine defence were undone with a Somers shot which flew past Shearer for a goal to Huntly, to make it 3-0.
In 88 mins, Dingwall who had replaced a tiring Park, had a jinking run into the Huntly box, despatched a pass to Webster whose shot flew over Hastie’s bar and to safety.
In the 90th minute Webster again delivered an inch perfect pass to the far post which was met by the marauding McKeown, whose header back across the goal, with no takers for the homesters. A stoppage time a careless pass from McVittie, which was collected by Somers, who being surprised at the arrival of the ball, promptly lost possession, which effectively closed off the game for a Formartine victory.
A historical match for Formartine, which qualified for their first cup final, in their 4th season, since promotion to the Scottish Highland Football League. They await the winners of the Broch vs Turriff semi-final. The development of Formartine from a promising start to the season , with Pele successfully bedding in his new arrivals for the season , into an effective operating unit.
Formartine United: Shearer; Jeffrey; Stuart Smith; McKeown; Wilson ( Soane 65); McVittie; Park (Dingwall 76) ; Ewen; Webster.
Huntly: Hastie ; Campbell; Davidson; Gray; Somers; McCarthy (Roberton 69); Booth; Clark; Fyfe; Coyle (Skinner 45); Stark ( Stewart 49).