This Formartine performance heralded a return to form with a cleansheet win based on slick team work that kept them comfortably in charge of affairs from start to finish. The margin of victory was substantial but so too the difference in quality between the two sides. It could be said that a vastly superior midfield performance where Graeme Rodger contributed his second hat-trick in successive games was the foundation of the win, but the defence was solid and the forwards had periods where they simply ran the visiting rearguard ragged.
Turriff were under pressure right from the start when their hosts threatened from as early as the second minute as Lisle, on the end of a feed from Lawrence ran hard and fast at Fairley drawing him into a long legged tackle which was evaded before he slipped the ball left into the path of Rodger whose 15 yard drive was pushed away by Hobday. Gethins was ‘gie’ close to beating Chalmers to the loose ball before it was scrambled away into touch. Even this early it was noticeable that Formartine were using the full width of the pitch to build their attacks and were able to press on a range of fronts in Turriff territory.
A pacy break down the right, initiated by Crawford, was developed at pace by Norris who nipped in between Fairley and Chalmers to whip the ball across the penalty area towards GETHINS. Fairley, recovering, got near enough to it to deflect the ball but succeeded in doing no more than taking a bit off pace of it which made it even easier for the Irish striker to control before he drilled it neatly home to the left hand corner in the 10th minute.
This impetus was sustained as the North Lodgers continued to press mounting waves of attack rather than sustained seige to the village end goal. In the 15th minute a surging run by Lisle ended with him slinging the ball right to left across the box to an area wide left where Gethins and Greig lurked. Between them they out-manoeuvred Kinsella and Bowden before the latter cut the ball back into the box for Roger blasting through the inside right route to hammer it home from about 12 yards range.
Turriff were rocking by now and only the tightest of offside decisions against a Crawford dummy of a Rodger drive denied Formartine a third little more than ten minutes later. United were in virtually complete control of proceedings until the interval albeit for the ten minutes before it Turriff had the odd moment of hope. After another wave of United attack had been contained a through ball from Bowden let Ward get behind the United backline for a run at goal. One on one with Main the keeper was out to meet him. About 5 yards out from the 18 yard line he tried to get a boot to the ball but brought the forward down in the process. The damage was confined to a yellow for the keeper and a free kick. A long range effort from Smith was taken comfortably at the base of his right upright by the diving Main.
Turriff looked a beaten side from the start of the second half as United continued their waves of attack and they were of such frequency and intensity that more goals were all but inevitable. In the 55th minute a powerful run through the inside right route by LISLE was more than Turriff could contain and the blistering completion of a full blooded shot on the run from 20 yards left Hobday with no chance.
Rodger added a pair in the 58th and 69th minutes to complete his hat trick. The first derived from a charge through the middle, splitting the defence and a measured drive past the left of the keeper from 18 yards and the next, the conclusion to a piece of sustained pressure when he shot through a forest of legs from about 12 yards.
Formartine United: Main, Crawford, Lawrence, Strachan, McKeown, Kelly, Rodger (Park 70), Lisle, Gethins (McGowan 70), Norris, Greig (Leyden 63). Subs: Smith, Clark, Leyden, Mackintosh, McGowan, Park, Watson.
Turriff United: Hobday, O. Kinsella, Fairley (Esson 80), Chalmers, Bowden, Smith, Ward, Cross, McDonald (Norris 75), Elphinstone (Brown 75), L.Kinsella. Subs: Brown, Esson, Norris, Smith, Stuart, Buxton, Wood