Formartine United boss Paul Lawson apologised to striker Garry Wood for denying him the chance to get a hat-trick in Saturday’s Highland League opener at Turriff United.
Former Ross County and Montrose hitman Wood had scored twice and was eager to record a treble before being substituted by his manager in the 5-1 win at The Haughs.
The Formartine boss did not realise his mistake until after withdrawing Wood from the action.
He said: “I actually took Garry Wood off in the second half not realising that he was on a hat-trick, so I apologise to him for that.
“He was looking really good and our front two of Garry and Jonny Smith really set the tone with Daniel Park playing alongside them.”
It was all smiles afterwards following an impressive victory for Formartine to start the new season and Lawson was pleased with the team’s performance as a whole.
He said: “In the end it was a fairly convincing victory and we could probably have scored a few more as we created a lot of chances.
“Daniel also hit the bar, but overall I can’t complain.
“I thought our two centre-halves were solid and I don’t think we deserved to lose a goal as the boys are telling me that the ball definitely didn’t cross the line, but that apart, I thought our performance was excellent.”
There were only 70 seconds on the clock when Park picked out Wood who beat Fraser Hobday with a diving header to give Formartine the honour of scoring the first goal of the new Highland League season.
Park doubled the lead in the 25th minute before Robert Ward reduced the arrears when he fired home a 25-yard free-kick for the home side which was ruled to have crossed the line when it bounced down off the crossbar, despite the protests of the visiting team.
Formartine wasted little time in restoring their two-goal advantage, however.
Wood doubled his tally for the game when he beat Hobday with a fine low strike five minutes into the second half, before turning provider seven minutes later to set-up Jonny Crawford to score from six yards.
Graeme Rodger rounded off a pleasing afternoon’s work with two minutes remaining when he netted from close range.
Turriff boss Kris Hunter believed the scoreline didn’t reflect the play, and said: “We didn’t start very well, I don’t know what was wrong with us, but I think we recovered well and 5-1 is very harsh on us.”