Formartine United 2 Lossiemouth 2

February 24, 2024

Breedon Scottish Highland Football League.  Saturday 24th February 2024, North Lodge.

Formartine United 2

Scorers: Paul Campbell (37), Adam Emslie (67)

Lossiemouth 2

Scorers: Brandon Hutcheson (45), Ross Morrison (53).

Match Report by Colin Keenan

This was the first time since Formartine joined the highland League more than a decade ago that Lossiemouth have ever departed North Lodge with as much as a single point for their efforts. Not only that but the fact that Formartine had serious ambitions for the League title at the time makes this score line more than a slight embarrassment.

After taking the lead in the 38th minute Formartine conceded two sloppy goals before equalising with more than 25 minutes left and failing to convert an absolute bombardment of the visiting rear guard into anything more substantial than an opportunity for the visitors to demonstrate a resolute determination to preserve what they had achieved.

Games between these two often have a bit of a slow burn beginning to them before Formartine open the scoring then changing up a gear or two on the road to victory. This looked initially like it would follow a similar pattern. Lossie were careful in defence and were prepared to work hard off the ball to contain Formartine to longer spells in midfield than they might have wished. Even then United probably shaded the stats in terms of possession and territorial advantage, and although largely contained to areas out with the Lossie box they moved the ball well up to that point and forced a few corners in the process. Pressure was slowly but inexorably mounting on the Coasters and keeper Farquhar did well to preserve his clean sheet with a superb reflex save at the base of his left stick from a diving header by Reid from a sneaky Lawrence feed . It looked to be going United’s way and although Lossie’s well organised defence which would happily invest up to 8 at a time behind the ball when needed limited the number of opportunities that came United’s way. The breakthrough came in the 37th minute following a long throw into the box from Mclean on the right. This was partially cleared but immediately knocked back into the mix where CAMPBELL got the loose ball under control just inside the box a shade right of centre to leather it low and hard past the keeper into the left corner of the net.

That looked like it would set United on track to victory but almost on the stroke of half time Lossie struck back, a riposte that fundamentally altered the course and character of the game.

A free kick about 35 yards out and five in from the left was taken quickly by Kennedy and played fairly conventionally to the back post area where a static United defence made little move to stop HUTCHESON reaching the ball that he hit first time into the opposite corner to level the game.

The second half began with United on the offensive trying to take charge of the game but contrary to expectations it was Lossie that took the lead with a breakaway goal that caught Formartine on the hop. Moving from defence Farquhar played the ball out wide right ahead of MORRISON who saw a thinly populated home defence and made a beeline for the box where he collected the ball and made himself enough space to slide the ball below the diving MacDonald and put his side in the driving seat.

From that point on it was all about United trying to redeem their position. It didn’t take them long to equalise and it was a simple enough goal when it came in the 63 minute. A free kick in United territory was played down the left in two stages to Wade who jinked into the box and slipped the ball low right into the path of the advancing EMSLIE who lashed the ball home from the edge of the 6 yard box.

That certainly provided Formartine with the momentum to take the game to Lossie. From then on they produced wave upon wave of attack, subjecting the visitors to almost incessant pressure. However, pressure does not always yield goals and Lossie were able to handle it. Keeper Farquhar was in inspirational form making saves from Wade, Rodger and Combe to protect the precious point Formartine was so eager to deny his side. As time went on Formartine’s high tempo, high press, high energy approach began to look increasingly panicky and with composure waning United became less of a threat and Lossie looked increasingly likely if not to win, certainly to maintain parity

 Formartine United: 1. Ewen MacDonald, 2. Johnny Crawford ©, 3. Ryan Spink, 4. Lewis Wilson (16. Lewis Duncan 75 min), 5. Matthew McLean, 6. Marc Lawrence (Graeme Rodger 60 min), 7. Julian Wade, 8. Aaron Norris, 9. Paul Campbell, 10. Aaron Reid (12. Aiden Combe 60 min), 11. Adam Emslie. Unused Subs: 15. Scott Lisle, 17. Kevin Hanratty, 18. Kieran Adams, 19. Brody Alberts, 20. Stuart Smith, 21. Cameron Middleton.

Lossiemouth: 1. Cameron Farquhar, 6. Liam Archibald, 7. Ryan Farquhar, 8. Brodie Mitchell,9. Brandon Hutcheson, 12. Connor MacAuley (2. Michael Weir 82min), 15. Lewis McAndrew, 17. Jared Kennedy, 18. Niall Kennedy, 20. Ross Morrison, 23. Ryan O’Halloran. Unused Subs: 4. Stuan Fraser, 10. Dylan Lawrence, 14. Cameron Lell, 16. Aiden Cruickshank, 19. Noah Murray, 21. Jack Sim (GK).