The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

For­mar­tine’s late, late show.

Rodger de­rails Lo­cos and seals For­mar­tine’s cup pas­sage

- BY DANNY LAW Sports · Formartine United F.C. · Pitmedden · Andy Reid

HIGH­LAND LEAGUE CUP FOR­MAR­TINE 1 INVERURIEL­OCOS 0

Amo­ment of magic from mid­fielder Graeme Rodger was enough to earn For­mar­tine United vic­tory against In­verurie Lo­cos and a place in the sec­ond round of the High­land League Cup.

The Pitmed­den side have reached the last three fi­nals of the com­pe­ti­tion, beat­ing Fraser­burgh 2-1 in 2018 and los­ing against Cove Rangers in 2017 and last sea­son.

Satur­day’s en­counter was the sec­ond meet­ing be­tween United and Lo­cos at North Lodge Park within a fort­night, with the vis­i­tors hop­ing to em­u­late the 2-1 vic­tory they recorded ear­lier this month.

But Rodger’s strike 11 min­utes from time helped the hosts gain re­venge and set up a sec­ond round show­down with For­res Me­chan­ics at Mos­set Park.

For­mar­tine play­er­man­ager Paul Law­son said: “I felt we de­served the win.

“We played some good foot­ball and nul­li­fied their threat, although Kevin Main made some good saves to keep us in it.

“The most pleas­ing thing was the re­ac­tion we got from the boys fol­low­ing the last game against Lo­cos.

“We de­fended well. Stu­art Smith came in at cen­tre-half and was ex­cel­lent along­side Dar­ryn Kelly.

“It was Jonny Craw­ford’s first game back in a long time and he showed great fit­ness.

“Hav­ing Wayne Mack­in­tosh in the side was cru­cial to winning the bat­tle in mid­field and I thought Garry Wood led the line very well.

“I could say good things about ev­ery­one all over the park but Graeme Rodger de­serves a spe­cial men­tion. He cov­ered ev­ery blade of grass and fully de­served his goal, which was a great fin­ish.”

For­mar­tine cre­ated the game’s first open­ing with Lo­cos goal­keeper Andy Reid turn­ing a

Scott Lisle header around the post before Lo­cos al­most prof­ited when some slack de­fend­ing at the other end al­lowed Ryan Stott to race clear on goal only to drag his ef­fort wide.

The hosts en­joyed the bulk of pos­ses­sion in the first half and went close

again when Garry Wood fizzed a pow­er­ful ef­fort from 25 yards over the cross­bar.

Lo­cos upped the ante after the break with Sam Bur­nett go­ing close with a curl­ing ef­fort that was tipped over by Kevin Main before the vis­i­tors al­most fell behind when a Rodger cross was headed inches over his own cross­bar by Ryan Broad­hurst.

Lo­cos then went ag­o­nis­ingly close on the hour mark after some strong run­ning from the im­pres­sive Neil McLean gave Neil Gauld a glimpse of goal but his low drive was su­perbly saved by Main.

The winning goal even­tu­ally ar­rived after 79 min­utes and it proved worth the wait with Rodger af­forded too much space on the edge of the Lo­cos penalty area to ex­pertly curl the ball be­yond Andy Reid.

In­verurie Lo­cos boss Andy Low said: “We cre­ated a heap of chances but goal­keep­ers were on top.

“The one bit of real qual­ity in the game came from Graeme Rodger.

“They were a lit­tle bit more com­posed in

pos­ses­sion than we were. We had more chances but Kevin Main was prob­a­bly their best player and Andy Reid was prob­a­bly our best player.

“It was just one of those games with two teams can­celling each other out.”

 ??  ??
 ?? Pho­to­graphs by Paul Glen­dell ?? MAX­I­MUM EF­FORT: In­verurie keeper Andrew Reid makes a save after one of For­mar­tine’s drives for­ward.
Pho­to­graphs by Paul Glen­dell MAX­I­MUM EF­FORT: In­verurie keeper Andrew Reid makes a save after one of For­mar­tine’s drives for­ward.
 ??  ?? Tackle: In­verurie Lo­cos’ Gary McGowan, right, brings down Ryan Broad­hurst of For­mar­tine
Tackle: In­verurie Lo­cos’ Gary McGowan, right, brings down Ryan Broad­hurst of For­mar­tine
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 ??  ?? Safe hands: Kevin Main keeps For­mar­tine in the game
Safe hands: Kevin Main keeps For­mar­tine in the game

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