Formartine United are into a second Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup final in three years after comfortably beating Aberdeen’s reserves at North Lodge Park.
Player-manager Paul Lawson was delighted with the nature of his side’s 2-0 win, via a goal in each half from Scott Lisle and Graeme Rodger, which saw them bounce back from a disappointing Highland League loss at Buckie on Saturday.
United – Shire Cup winners in 2017 – will either play the Jags or Fraserburgh at the Balmoral Stadium on Friday October 4. They meet tonight at Victoria Park (8pm kick-off).
Boss Lawson said: “I thought our performance merited it (reaching the final). I was looking for a reaction after Saturday and I got it.”
Formartine’s second was a fantastic strike from midfielder Rodger and Lawson added: “He has been going through a goal drought by his standards.
“He ended that with a great finish. I was screaming at him to pass it, but he’s put it in the top corner.
“Scott Lisle has done great, he works hard and his attitude is spot on. He’s had his just rewards.”
Next up for Formartine is a home Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup clash with Northern Ireland’s Glenavon this weekend, and the gaffer said: “We’re not sure what to expect.
“But the reaction last night was good for the confidence.”
Aberdeen had first-team squad members Scott Wright and Bruce Anderson in their starting line-up for the semi-final.
On 19 minutes, Sam Jackson in the Dons goal saved a point-blank bullet header from Dan Park, on his first start after signing from Cove.
However, the first third of the game never really got going, with both sides huffing and puffing.
Craig McKeown’s looping header went wide of the back post on 35 minutes, before a poor Wayne Mackintosh touch let the Reds’ Kevin Hanratty break at speed.
Hanratty played in Seb Ross but his low cross-goal effort was tipped on to the far upright by Errol Watson.
It was 1-0 Formartine on 39 minutes, with Lisle firing into the bottom left corner from just inside the box after Rodger’s initial left-wing cross was blocked.
Two minutes after the break, Rodger sent a 22-yard right-footed curler across goal and into Jackson’s top corner to make in 2-0 to the home side.
There was a half decent frustrated shot from Anderson with half an hour left, but that was it until Michael Clark had to move fast to send Dons sub winger Sean Linden’s right-wing cross behind.
Luc Bollan then headed Wright’s free-kick delivery right across goal and out of play as it became clear it wasn’t Aberdeen’s night.
Dons reserves coach Paul Sheerin said: “We didn’t show enough urgency for it being a semi-final.”