Keith 2-3 Formartine United
Formartine United ended Keith’s run of six straight victories as they came from behind to win 3-2 at Kynoch Park despite a lackluster performance from the away side. It wasn’t pretty by Kris Hunter’s side but they got the job done and made sure their title hopes didn’t slip away from them yet.
Meanwhile a confident and determined performance from hosts who looked very comfortable until United got a goal back but couldn’t hold on for the win. A goal from Gary Wood and super sub Neil Gauld’s double secured the win. Even though Donald Fraser and Luke Barbour got on the scoresheet for the home side.
The first real chance of the game came for Formartine when Paul Lawson stepped up to strike a set piece from 15 yards which lacked the essential power with Daniel Bell saving it easily after Scott Barbour had been bundled over.
In the third minute the opener arrived for the hosts when the United defence was cut open with ease when a clever through ball from Hamish Ritchie found Donald Fraser who poked the ball home into the bottom corner of the net. Soon after Fraser almost doubled their lead as he let fly with a blitzing strike which went narrowly wide of the target.
Not long after Craig Cormack did a neat one two with Michael Ewen. Then Adam Clark picked up the ball and chipped it to Ewen. He controlled it well and played a great delivery into the box from the right flank but Andrew Reid gathered it.
Minutes later a wicked cross by Fraser nearly set up unmarked Ewen but he couldn’t get the right connect to it to produce a volley.
At the other end Barbour sent a delivery into the area however Cormack did well to header it to safety. Defender Michael Ralton made a fool of striker Cameron Keith who was having a bad day at the office against his former club as he skillfully put the ball through Keith’s legs.
Kris Hunter’s side were trying to be too clever with the ball which was proving to be their downfall as they kept on giving the ball away and the surface didn’t suit what style of football they were attempting to produce.
At the break Cameron Keith was taken off and replaced by Hamish Munro which meant Gary Wood was moved from the defence to up front which gave them a physical presence there.
With only a minute into the second half gone Allan Hale’s side doubled their lead when Cormack cut inside from the right flank to whipped the ball into Luke Barbour who headed it home. The away support began ripping into their team for their laziness and lack of hunger with their title hopes looking to be disappearing for this season. Manager Hunter had his hands over his face in frustration and he was so quiet that you could have heard a pin drop.
Soon after Wood powered a header which Bell tremendously tipped around the post. Then Fraser struck an effort from 10 yards which went over the bar.
The introduction of Neil Gauld for Johnny Crawford gave United the energy and drive which wasn’t being shown. In the 65th minute Scott Barbour on the left flank crossed the ball into the penalty area with Wood rising highest to head the ball into the net to get a goal back for traveling team.
Meanwhile captain Ewen went off to be replaced by Kris Duncan and Stuart Massie came on for Cormack.
Gauld almost made a instant impact when he was handed a glorious opportunity but composer deserted him so he hit it narrowly wide of the target. Again Gauld missed a chance when he hit a shot from three yards which Bell saved. Keith were putting bodies on the line to prevent United from getting past.
Jamie Masson was brought off with Callum Bagshaw coming on for him in the 72nd minute .Bagshaw made a dramatic impact as he crossed the ball into the box with Gauld slotting it home to level the match.
Formartine wouldn’t settle for a point so they pushed on to grab the winner at the death Gauld bundled the ball home to cause heartbreak for the hosts and huge celebrations for the visitors. He made up for his spot kick miss last weekend which result in his side crashing out of the Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup second round to Brora Rangers.
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