Inverurie Loco Works 3 Formartine United 0

February 28, 2024

Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup.  Wednesday 28th February 2024, Harlaw Park.

Inverurie Loco Works 3

Scorers: Mark Souter (19), Milos Ochmanski (50), Paul Coutts (86 Pen).

Formartine United 0

 Match Report by Colin Keenan

As far as local bragging rights are concerned Formartine supporters do not take kindly to any defeat at the hands [or feet] of arch rivals Locos. This one was in the quarter finals of the Aberdeenshire Cup and substantial in both the margin and nature of the Locos victory. On the night they were clearly the better side and deservedly move on to face Aberdeen in the next stage.

The result seems at odds with the performances of the sides on league business where United remain albeit tenuously in contention for the League title, while Locos are in the lower half of the table nearly twenty points behind them. In the circumstances where Locos looked visibly the hungrier for victory the question of whether United saw this cup game as respite from the demands of league competition will have crossed the minds of the odd cynic. Others will have different concerns not least of which is a recently developed tendency to concede soft, apparently careless goals. Although not applicable to this game a tendency to drop points against teams they could reasonably be expected to beat is a recent and growing concern.

It was no surprise that Locos elected to hit United hard and early although the pace and overall physicality of the approach adopted by the hosts, which skirted the fringes of legality throughout, turned out to be enough to rock United.

Opening exchanges were end to end and neither side showed any advantage in terms of possession or territory. This brisk end to end process endured until the 20th minute when defender SOUTER collected a pass within the centre circle in his own half and pressed forward entirely unmolested to a point a bit forward of the circle yet near enough forty yards out. With keeper Macdonald a step or two in advance of his line the defender let fly with a shot that the rapidly retreating keeper was unable to divert to safety or otherwise prevent from entering the net just beneath the bar at the centre point. It was a superb ping but it definitely raised the fundamental question: should any keeper at this level ever be beaten from that range in that way?

United certainly had plenty of time to recover but to do that they really needed to raise the tempo enough to gain midfield dominance, but instead found the home side very quick to press the ball and swarm round any United player in possession. United weren’t quite shirking but Locos were setting the pace and winning more than their share of second balls, The interval did not really bring about a change to that and starting the second spell with the intensity with which they began the first Locos got themselves firmly ensconced in the driving seal in the 50th minute. This goal too was in its own way something of an embarrassment for United. In as much as a free header from a corner kick should ever come about. The onus is on the defending side to prevent that. Yet Coutts’ in-swinger found the untracked OCHMANSKI with more time and space than Dr Who to head home for number two.

Formartine were now in deep trouble having to chase the game whilst ensuring that the commitment to attack needed did not leave them vulnerable on the counter. This was a balance they never quite achieved and despite efforts from Wade including a whiz bang drive that from a twenty five yard free kick that slipped past the right upright and a close range effort that was blocked by a last ditch tackle the Locos were pretty much in charge of their own destiny.

A push down the left side by Meres saw him break into the box at the left corner and trying to get away from Norris who was inside him tracking the run across the box. The forward turned inside to get goal side of the defender and went down in the attempt and a penalty was awarded, COUTTS hammered it high right as the keeper went low to his right and there was no way back for Formartine.

Inverurie Loco Works: Zack Ellis, Mark Souter, Thomas Reid (19. Anton Chauvin 88 min), Jay Halliday (15. Blair Smith 88 min), Paul Coutts ©, Cole Anderson (14. Callum Duncan 88 min), Lloyd Robertson (20. Calum Dingwall 86 min), Milosz Ochmanski, Nathan Meres, Myles Gaffney (17. Sam Robertson 86 min), Logan Johnstone. Unused Subs: Liam Morrison, Demi Yunus, Blessing Oluyemi (GK)

Formartine United: 1. Ewen MacDonald, 2. Johnny Crawford, 3. Ryan Spink (12. Aiden Combe 56 min), 4. Lewis Wilson, 5. Stuart Smith, 6. Marc Lawrence (14. Lewis Duncan 80 min), 7. Julian Wade, 8. Graeme Rodger ©, 9. Paul Campbell (17. Brody Alberts 80 min), 10. Aaron Norris, 11. Scott Lisle (15. Kevin Hanratty 56 min). Unused Subs: 16. Kieran Adams, 21. Cameron Middleton (GK).