Monday, September 6th, 2021

United defeated by rivals in Local Derby Match – writes Colin Keenan

Inverurie Loco Works FC 3, Formartine United FC 1

Locos started at full throttle and had United pushed back almost immediately. In the fifth minute, a fierce low drive by the former United player Dingwall had Demus at full stretch to push the ball away for a corner. The danger signs were there as Locos pushed their backline almost to half way compressing the visitors who were largely reduced to longish balls forward towards either Greig or Lisle, but neither of whom gained much reward from a close marking home defence.

Such breakouts were sporadic and home pressure was contained with increasing difficulty. In the 13th minute, sustained pressure across the width of the pitch produced the opener. Ward flipped the ball over beyond the back post to meet the run of full back MITCHELL who, from scored from the edge of the box.
This should have acted as a wake-up call for United but served only to enthuse the Locos who set about impressing their new manager Richard Hastings with even more pressure on their visitors.

Locos were playing a notably more short passing game than United and although perhaps overly elaborate at times, still allowed them more and better possession. Formartine were second to far more balls than was good for them while Locos continued to press. This yielded a couple of narrow escapes: a Burnett cross that Demus managed to pluck off the top of Still’s head and a Meres shot from the corner of the box that went just over.

United’s response was a break down the left started by Stuart Smith that Greig worked into a left to right drive that went just the wrong side of the goal. The momentum was still heavily with Locos and a move round the left corner of the box bore fruit when Shanks sneaked a pass left to right for WARD who managed to chip Demus from close range in the 39th minute.

United had the game to chase in the second half and Locos knew it. Their initial response was to have another push at Formartine to seek an early third goal that would all but seal the points. United had other ideas however and, shedding their cloak of lethargy dragged themselves back into the game.

Within 3 minutes of the restart, they had pulled one back. An all-out press at the home defence exposed some frailty as United stretched the front of their attack widely along the 18-yard line winning a couple of corners both of which the home side found hard to clear. In the aftermath of the second, Anderson swung a cross ball in towards the far post. Still and Crawford both went for it in the air with STILL winning the header but succeeding only in diverting the ball past the stranded Reid for an own goal.

Momentum was now with United and for the next fifteen minutes they pressed for the equaliser. An Anderson shot on the turn bounced awkwardly for Reid before being scrambled away but generally, Formartine generated more pressure than penetration and before an equaliser could be created.

Locos had weathered the storm and mounted a counter or two. It was a more even game during this phase until in the 74th minute when Meres cut in to the penalty area and was tripped by Lawrence. Demus got a hand to the resultant penalty by SHANKS but could not prevent it reaching the back right corner of the net.

Whatever little appetite United had for the fray evaporated thereafter and Locos continued dominant albeit without extending their lead. For United, this was their third League defeat in a row, sending them down to ninth in the Table, ten points behind the leaders Fraserburgh.

Inverurie Loco Works: Reid, Mitchell, Dingwall, Souter, Ward, Shanks, Burnett, [50, Gauld], Still, Adams [56 Broadhurst], Gill, Meres.
Substitutes: Broadhurst, Gauld, Hunter, Michie, Robertson, Cook

Formartine United: Demus, Crawford, Lawrence, Norris, [60 Park], Paterson, S.Smith, Rodger, Greig, J.Smith, Anderson [72 Strachan], Lisle.
Substitutes: Lynch, Park, Lawson, Strachan, McGinlay, Macdonald