North Lodge Park, Scottish Cup 1st Round, 18/9/21
Entrance – Me £10, Wee Man £5
Attendance – 203(rough head count)
Pie – Pie, Coffee, Orangeade £4.50
Pint -N/A (got my bargain beers from last night in the fridge for after)
Formartine United Football Club
Founded – 1948
Nickname – United
Honours (Since step up to senior)- Highland League Cup – 2017/18. Aberdeenshire Cup – 2013/14 and 2017/18. Aberdeenshire Shield – 2018/19.
Random Fact – United hold the record for most goals scored in one Highland League season with 137 in 2015/16(+102 GD). They did not win it that year. Or any year.
I am a big advocate of the Highland League and will always root for the teams qualifying for the next round of the Scottish Cup. However there can be rare occurrences. That rare occurrence was today when another rare occurrence rolled into town. By that I mean in all my days travelling about watching fitba it has been as good as non existent for my brain to develop a soft spot for a team, but one club to managed to break through the firewall are Cumnock Juniors after a great visit to Townhead Park where three of us were treated exceptionally well as if we were old friends and here they were 4.9 miles from my door. It would have been rude not to have headed the short distance along the A920 to this historic match. Historic as in it was the Nock’s first ever foray into the senior Scottish Cup. Something that has been allowed upon them by a great idea in the revamping of the Scottish game. A brilliant conception for sure. That’s right Scottish fitba in forward thinking shocker, I know it doesn’t sound correct but for once the beaks have got this spot on and teams such as Cumnock, Sauchie and Jeanfield Swifts (who were all in the area today) get to test themselves in the big boy cup.
North Lodge is the non-league ground I have frequented the most in my life. Being an Ellon boy originally I had a few mates who played for the club and I actively followed hen they were still Junior them when my own fitba allowed so. I even traveled away a lot watching them. But here we were firmly in the Cumnock corner cheering on the Nock on this monumental day.
The game was entertaining. Both teams had various spells of being the better team and in reality both teams had a half each. The first half the visitors seemed a lot more up for it on the pristine sun drenched North Lodge pitch. They went at Formartine and seemed to have more bite about them. Their first big chance fell to Finlay Fry who struck a rebound from a Smart Osadolor effort, this bringing out a decent save from Demus in the United goal. Cumnock were clearly fired up for this game and a wee argument broke out between Frye and Osadolor when the wee midfield general accused his teammate of not trying hard enough, this showing how high the passions were running. Formartine’s first chance of note fell to Rodger who stung the finger tips of the Hughes in the Cumnock goal from inside the box. It was a smart save by the big man in green. Cumnock were inches from taking the lead midway through the half when Osadolor rattled the post and the rebounded effort fortuitously hit the Formartine defender Patterson spinning up and over the bar to the relative safety of a corner. The visitors did take the lead not long after whey Frye( a bloody excellent player for the record) found himself bearing down on goal, the midfielder had a pop but the post denied him his glory……….for all of a second as he reacted quickest and got on the end of his own rebound and found the back of the net at the second attempt. This sending the Cumnockian support into raptures while writing into himself into the history books of the club. The half stayed in Cumnocks favour and Formartine’s young looking team showed an element of naivety in the tackle and were guilty of being telegraphed into fouling the visitors. This meaning the game continuing to stop and start with no fluidity to it.
HT 0 v 1
Formartine must have had a rocket up them at the break from manager Paul Lawson as they were a different side after they re-emerged and within a few minutes they were level. After some poor defending let the ball cross the whole box , Scott Lisle who was wide open was left with a tap in. If I was Tony McInally I would have been raging with the simplicity of the goal my team had just conceded. Formartine got a boost from this and were clearly the better team for a long period and managed to find the back of the net through what looked to be an own goal, however it was inexcusably flagged by the clubhouse side linesman who was rank rotten all game. Simple decisions of if the ball was in or out he got wrong and this huge decision he got seriously wrong. Formartine did get their deserved second on seventy minutes when ex Aberdeen man Jonathan Smith directed a twenty five yard free kick past the wall, the ball bounced millimetres in front of Cumnock keeper Hughes who looked to misjudge the shot and got under it. The visiting number one should have done better and now found his side 2-1 down with time running out. A moment of controversy happened not long after the goal when the home goalkeeper Balint Demus appeared to deliberately handle outside the box. It looked it from my angle, the closer Nock fans were apoplectic but the ref waved play on. The game once again found itself being played in a way like the first half with the game stopping and starting whether out for throw in or fouls being committed. I couldn’t see Cumnock coming back and fully expected to see them exit their maiden tournament at the first hurdle. But what do I know. Formartine conceded a free kick on the edge of the box with six minutes to go, the effort was blocked by Demus and went for a corner, the resulting corner was headed clear and went for another at the other side. From here the ball was swung in finding Callan Veitch who knocked Cumnock a late equalizer. Against the run of play in the second half, I would say so but that’s here nor there and the Nock wont care as they find themselves with a replay on Saturday. One that is very very tempting for me.
A decent days viewing in the sun. There is a certain romance about the early rounds of the Scottish Cup and as I stated above it has been made a lot better with the new names such as Cumnock appearing in the first round. Roll on round two and possibly a round one replay in a week.
Me still 208, Wee Man 77