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MATCH PREVIEW: Formartine United v Forfar Athletic

Thursday, 16 November 2017 14:19


The ‘Loons’ head north on Saturday to meet Highland League side Formartine United at North Lodge Park, Pitmedden in the third round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

With the twelve Premiership sides and the top four seeded sides from the Championship due to come into the tournament at the next round stage, the financial stakes are high for both sides in what will be the first competitive clash between the clubs.

The Athies head into the tie in good heart following a distinct upturn in league fortunes as the squad has adjusted and most certainly reacted in a very positive manner to the methods of the new management regime.

They have taken seven points from their last three games and this was reflected in a re-discovered enthusiasm emanating from the terracing during last Saturday’s 2-0 win over East Fife.

Sadly another injury blow has been added to the list of long term ‘victims’ in the Station Park squad.

Murray MacKintosh so impressive in midfield since being recalled  in that role a month back by Jim Weir felt some soreness in his foot at the conclusion of last week’s match and an x ray on Monday revealed a broken bone which sadly will sideline the youngster for six to eight weeks.

Thankfully Darren Whyte, Josh Peters. Conner Duthie and Scott Lochhead have all been given permission to play by their parent clubs in the game with Conner a strong candidate to be Murray’s replacement, but others to will be in the frame.

Certainly few if any changes can be expected in defence following the solid performance from all concerned at the rear against the Fifers.

Formartine who were admitted to the Highland League in 2009 slipped to seventh place in the current table following last week’s 3-1 defeat from Inverurie Loco Works, this just seven days after a Garry Wood goal clinched Aberdeenshire Cup Final success against high flying Cove Rangers at Balmoor Stadium.

First choice goalkeeper Ewan MacDonald was forced to leave the field through injury in the first minute of last Saturday’s  game so may be a fitness doubt while striker Connor Gethins a prolific scorer in the Highlands for some years has been sidelined for a few weeks.

The ‘Loons’ and United drew 1-1 in a pre-season friendly at Station Park back in July, Formartine’s now Player-Manager Paul Lawson netting a penalty for the visitors, Andy Munro the scorer of the equaliser on the stroke of half time in that encounter.

Saturday’s tie which could well be a cracker and likely to be a close and hard fought affair will be refereed by Mike Roncone who by coincidence also handled Forfar’s Irn Bru cup tie with Aberdeen Colts at the same venue last term.

It looks like a healthy support are heading north with the Supporters Coach almost full and by all accounts quite a few others making the 130 mile round trip by car.

Admission prices will be £9 for adults, £5 concessions.

Incidentally if Saturday’s game ends in a draw, the replay would be at Station Park on Saturday week.

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