Rothes 3 - 3 Formartine United

League Match
Saturday, February 23rd, 2019, 3:00 PM at Mackessack Park, Rothes
Referee: Harry Bruce
Rothes v Formartine United, Feb 23rd 2019, Mackessack Park, Rothes
Rothes Formartine United 

Steven Anderson (15)
Steve Anderson (33)
Gary Kerr (71)
Stuart Smith (9)
Archie MacPhee (75)
Garry Wood (88)

Team Managers
Steven MacDonald Paul Lawson

Starting Eleven
Robert Donaldson
Ashley Ballam
Alasdair Stark
Bruce Milne
Jamie Duff
Fraser Robertson
Steven Anderson
Jack Maley
Gary Kerr
Alan Pollock
Craig Cormack
Kevin Main
Jevan Anderson
Craig McKeown
Stuart Smith
Joe MacPherson
Graeme Rodger
Paul Lawson
Ryan Stott
Liam Burnett
Archie MacPhee
Garry Wood

Kris Duncan
Ewan Neil
Paul MacLeod
Andrew Greig
Wayne Mackintosh
Conor Gethins
Kieran Lawrence
Aaron Norris

None. Andrew Greig for Liam Burnett (62)
Wayne Mackintosh for Paul Lawson (66)
Conor Gethins for Jevan Anderson (77)

None. Wayne Mackintosh (90)

Red Cards
None. None.

Appearances & Goals To Date
Kevin Main (GK) 40 apps -
Jevan Anderson 67 apps3 goals
Craig McKeown 108 apps19 goals
Stuart Smith 227 apps22 goals
Joe MacPherson 20 apps -
Graeme Rodger 174 apps61 goals
Paul Lawson 78 apps19 goals
Ryan Stott 25 apps8 goals
Liam Burnett 72 apps8 goals
Archie MacPhee 78 apps58 goals
Garry Wood 132 apps68 goals
Andrew Greig (sub) 53 apps21 goals
Wayne Mackintosh (sub) 40 apps6 goals
Conor Gethins (sub) 98 apps39 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Joe MacPherson (18 years 176 days)
Oldest Player:Kevin Main (36 years 346 days)
Average Player Age:28 years 19 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Joe MacPherson (18 years 176 days)
Oldest Player:Kevin Main (36 years 346 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 291 days
Domestic Players:15 (93.75 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts


Situations where a team is disadvantaged by being awarded a penalty are about as common as unicorns at the Turra show. However this happened in absolutely spectacular style in the 90th minute of this game when, with the teams tied at three all, ref Harry Bruce blew for a penalty to Rothes milliseconds before the ball crossed the line for what would otherwise have been a goal and most likely consign all three points to the home side. However, keeper Main who seems to save as many spot kicks as he concedes produced a superb dive low to his right to save United's bacon and deny Rothes their first ever victory against Formartine.

On balance, Rothes performed well enough to deserve a victory, or at least the share of points that they ultimately achieved against a strangely flat and uninspired looking United that started without full back Crawford, captain Stuart Anderson, Aaron Norris, Andrew Greig and Kieran Lawrence. There are days when a team simply doesn't gel like it usually does and for Formartine this was one of them. Ironically, until this game, much the same could have been said of Rothes who are considered by many to have failed to live up to their potential on a fair few occasions this season.

However the home side were clearly up for this one and from the start showed a greater appetite for the ball, were quicker to it and generally sharper overall. They also had pace out wide in the form of Anderson and Cormack and a fair bit of height and muscle at the back. For all that, it was United that produced the first threat of the match when a 2nd minute charge down the left flank by Stott was completed with a hard dipping cross to Wood by the near post. The striker was off balance as he reached the ball and it was scrambled clear by the combined efforts of Ballam and Duff.

For the first 5 minutes United looked the part and flooded forward. Lawson picked out MacPhee, Rodger and Wood with passes from deep and pressure on homeside's rearguard was building up. A 20 yard shot on the turn by MacPhee looked goalbound before it cannoned off Milne's shin to safety and a driving run into the box by Rodger was thwarted by a clump of three defenders.

During this opening spell it was clear that Rothes could work very successfully in midfield and that on the way forward Steven Anderson was taking more space than was good for United by right back MacPherson. In the 10thminute United took a lead which on the balance of play until then, they largely deserved. A Lawson corner on the left was curled in dipping to Stuart SMITH whose powerful diving header from about 5 yards out fizzed past keeper Donaldson and gave his side the opening that should have settled them.

It had the opposite effect and Rothes came storming back. Their tempo was higher than United's and at times was surprisingly fluent certainly enough to rattle the visiting back four. McKeown did all he could to direct the teenagers on either side of him but although Anderson on his left was steady enough, MacPherson on the right was caught ball watching with dangerous frequency (particularly by Steven Anderson who regularly got yards of space out of him by simply drifting off late or sneaking in on the blind side). After finding himself in the clear near the left corner of the box in the 13th minute he swung over a dangerous cross to the back stick which got dangerously close to Kerr before being cleared by McKeown.

In the 15th minute following a wee spell of Rothes pressure on the right side of the box when Kerr and Maley combined before the ball was swung over to ANDERSON who had got 3 or 4 yards clear, and on-side, behind MacPherson at the other side and simply completed a neat free header before the defender even appeared to notice him.

From this point on, the pattern of the game was being set and it was the home side that was beginning to call the shots. They refused to allow United any time on the ball, and despite one classy move when Lawson, Burnett and MacPhee did some slick pass and move to get the ball to the latter on the edge of the home box before the finishing shot was compromised by a charge of defenders led by Duff, and went wide, they were in charge. Formartine were by no means out of it but the battle in midfield, going more the way of the home than the visiting side and United looked a bit leaden up front. Wood was having a day when his first touch was deserting him and a diving header from McKeown that was pushed away by the keeper at the base of his right upright, aside United were looking vulnerable.

In the 35th minute another bit of ball watching by United led to their going behind. Sustained pressure by Rothes earned them a couple of corners on the right. The first after pressure on Smith by Pollock was struck classically to the penalty spot area but partially cleared by Jevan Anderson. The ball was retrieved about twenty yards out and knocked back to Maley about 5 yards in from the corner. He swung the ball back across the goal face and with both Steven ANDERSON and Kerr on hand to snap up another free header the former headed home. The remaining ten minutes of the first half saw more home dominance but United slowly upping their tempo in midfield were at least able to hold their own until the break.

The second period began with things fairly evenly matched but United getting little cuttance from their hosts, began to look short of ideas and inspiration. Rothes looked the more confident and there was a sense that were they to reach 3-1 they would go on to win. Ironically, they did reach 3-1 but didn't go on to win.

There was more than a hint off the offside about their third goal. A ball from Robertson sprung KERR free through the middle but the ball rebounded into his otherwise on-side track off Cormack leaving the striker in illegal territory to take the ball and thump it home.

At 3-1 down United had now had to find away to pull fat from the fire. Three substitutions brought on Mackintosh, Greig and Gethins for Lawson, Burnett and Anderson respectively and prompted a spirited fight back. Neither of the two goals that got the draw were pretty: both were the products of balls played left to right across the box and being forced in from close range at the back stick. Each was set up by sub Greig. The first was scored by MACPHEE who snuck in behind Duff to nick the ball home from a couple of yards in the 74th minute. Before Wood emulated the feat, a clever chip across the goal mouth by McKeown almost gave MacPhee his double,

In the 85th minute WOOD did what he does and scored a very valuable goal for his club. It was a near replica of MacPhee's but it levelled the game.

Rothes seemed to have snatched the win with the last minute penalty described above but the scoreline remained obstinately equal to leave United to regroup before facing Cove and Brora in succession.

Match report by Colin Keenan

Photography by Ian Rennie