Formartine United 3 Clydebank 2 (Scottish Cup)

October 28, 2023

Scottish Gas Scottish Cup 2nd Round.  Saturday 28th October 2023, North Lodge.

Formartine United 3

Scorers: Julian Wade (27, 62). Adam Emslie (78).

Clydebank 2

Scorers: Nicky Low (1), Alan Kelly (87).

Against all the odds but utterly consistent with the balance of play, Formartine brushed aside the challenge of Clydebank to earn themselves a Scottish Gas Scottish Cup third round tie away to current League 1 leaders, Falkirk.

It was a sign of just how far Stewart Anderson’s side have matured this season that they overcame the substantial deficit of conceding a first minute goal to score three in return. That the visitors snatched a rather fluky second late on does nothing to tarnish an otherwise impressive victory.

The visitors kicked off and launched a long hopeful punt up the park which was headed comfortably into touch to his right by Lewis Wilson. From there it was worked cross field to ex Don Nicky LOW who crashed a curling thirty yarder past Macdonald. From start to finish it had taken 34 seconds and United’s sole contact with the ball was Wilson’s header.

It was crucial that United remained calm and maintained the highest levels of concentration and conditions did not help. It was bitterly cold and they were playing into the teeth of a strong blustery wind that brought squally sheets of rain with it. However they worked hard for each other and patiently worked the ball from back to front and gradually began to squeeze the visitors into their final third at the village end. It took time to turn the tide but United had patience, pace and trickery and Emslie, Lisle, Norris and in particular WADE, who was at his best, were too slippery for the visiting rear guard to entirely subdue. Darroch looked ponderous at times and United had patterns of well rehearsed movement that forced saves by Hughes from shots by all of them and Campbell too.

In the 26th minute just after a United attack from a corner had been dismantled, a long clearance was intercepted by Smith who slid the ball down the left flank to Campbell whose long deep cross towards the near post area was met by WADE who split two defenders to loop a header into the net at the back stick and equalise. The game was going gradually United’s way and although Clydebank could break at pace through Gallagher and Slattery they never really penetrated the inner sanctum of the home penalty area and although they tried one or two shots from out with , there was nothing much that troubled Macdonald that wasn’t blocked by what was essentially a back three of Wilson, Smith and MacLean [although Lobban had a deeper than usual role just in front of them].

United started the second half brightly and with some wind advantage [although it had dropped a bit by then] , they had the better of possession and territorial advantage.

By the hour mark the visitors were having increasing difficulty in coping with WADE as he broke through the inside right channel leaving defenders in his wake to fire in a low hard drive from about 12 yards out that stretched Hughes to keep out. Two minutes later the Dominica international doubled his haul with a lightning break from 40 odd yards out and down the same route. This time he drew the keeper shimmied past him and slipped the ball neatly into the net from 5 yards range.

Formartine were definitely in charge by now and were looking for the third goal that would all but guarantee their progress to the next round. The visitors were probably sick of the sight of Wade as this time he opted to break down the left.  He had both the pace and the upper body strength to shake off the attentions of McHugh as the United forward continued his run to the Clydebank box before sliding the ball slightly right for the speedy EMSLIE to slam low past the keeper’s right hand to the corner of the net.

It was last chance saloon for the fancied Clydesiders as they searched desperately for a route back into contention. United looked the fitter and fresher side by this stage , but with 3 minutes left they reduced the deficit with a rather freakish goal. A free kick near the centre circle by Darroch was lumped up to the front centre of the 18 yard box to KELLY who was closely guarded by Smith barely a foot in front and between him and the goal. His attempted shot almost inevitably rebounded off the defender but spun high into the air birling over the keeper and dropped into the net. That fired up the visitors for the remaining few minutes as they mounted a last ditch bid for extra time. A super reaction save by Macdonald from Littles drive put paid to that and United move on.

Formartine United Team: 1. Ewen MacDonald, 2. Lewis Wilson, 3. Stuart Smith, 4. Dylan Lobban, 5. Matthew McLean, 6. Scott Lisle (14. Marc Lawrence 86 min), 7. Julian Wade, 8. Graeme Rodger ©, 9. Paul Campbell (18. Johnny Crawford 86min), 10. Aaron Norris, 11. Adam Emslie. Unused Subs: 12. Rhys Thomas, 15. Ryan Spink, 16. Jake Stewart, 17. Brody Alberts, 19. Stuart Anderson, 21. Errol Watson (GK).

Clydebank Team: 20. Kieran Hughes (GK), 4. Matt Niven (9. Callum Graham 63 min), 5. Jamie Darroch, 7. Lee Gallacher, 8. Joe Slattery (17. Larry McMahon 81 min), 10. Nicky Little ©, 11. Liam McGonigle (21. Alan Kelly 70 min), 14. Thomas Collins (2. Adam Hodge 63 min), 15. Oisin McHugh, 23. Nicky Low, 24. James Grant. Unused Subs: 1 Lucas Ross (GK), 18. Jamie Fleming, 3. Daniel MacKenzie, 25. Daniel McGroary.