Formartine United striker Garry Wood says it feels like so long since he’s played a competitive game he’s almost forgotten his fantastic Highland League Cup record.
However, when the North Lodge Park side host Rothes in their long-awaited semi-final – carried over from last season – tomorrow, Wood will gunning to reach his fourth consecutive final with the Pitmedden men.
Wood has a knack of scoring cup final goals for Formartine and bagged the winner when they beat Fraserburgh at Rothes’ Mackessack Park to win the League Cup in 2018.
He also featured in defeats to Cove Rangers, at Bellslea in 2017 and Harlaw Park in 2019.
The 32-year-old former Elgin City, Caley Thistle, Ross County and Montrose attacker said: “I think we’ve won most finals I’ve scored in, so it’s a good record I want to keep going.
“I scored when we won 2-1 against Fraserburgh at Rothes.
“It actually seems like so long ago since I’ve played football I’ve forgotten.”
The winner at North Lodge Park tomorrow – in the first ever Highland League-level game to be live streamed – will meet the victor from Sunday’s clash between Brora and Buckie Thistle at Dudgeon Park, with the final scheduled for next weekend. All three matches will be available to locked-out fans online.
Wood says, despite little in the way of personnel changes at United, a lack of competitive action since March and extended pre-season mean there’s an element of uncertainty going into the Rothes game – although Formartine’s desire to win is unquestioned.
He said: “Pre-season’s been different with all the restrictions and stuff in place. It’s also been a longer one with us having so long off.
“There’s not much changed in personnel. We’ve taken maybe one or two in.
“On the whole it’s pretty much the same guys from last year and we just need to make sure we hit the ground running.
“You’ve only got one game to do that, so we’ll see how it goes on Saturday, basically.
“It’s a semi-final, and if you’re not up for that you’re not going to be up for any game.
“We’re no illusions. Rothes are a good team and were one of the form teams last year.
“They were our last game before the season got curtailed and there wasn’t much between the teams there.
“I can’t see it being much different on Saturday.
“We just need to make sure we perform.”
Although they had three games in hand when Covid-19 saw the 2019/20 Highland League season curtailed, Formartine were almost 30 points behind champions Brora.
Paul Lawson’s team know they weren’t good enough. However, Wood and Co. also know two good performances can put the 2019/20 campaign to bed on a silver-tinged positive note.
Wood said: “It’s good to get back. It’s been a long time, like everyone else.
“We’ve had a few friendlies and that, but getting an actual competitive game will be good.
“It’s a shame the fans can’t be there to witness it and give a bit of atmosphere.
“Last season it was quite a poor one from ourselves and, realistically, the Highland League Cup was all we had left to play for.
“We go into a semi-final and are two games away from winning a trophy which is probably the biggest trophy at Highland level outwith the league.
“But there are three other good teams in the competition and we’ll have to be at our best to proceed into the final.
“If we get into the final, we’ll then need to beat another good side in Brora or Buckie.”