Formartine United manager Kris Hunter was pleased with his team’s performance but disappointed with the referee as they lost 3-2 after extra-time to Hearts under-20s in the Irn-Bru Cup first round.
The Pitmedden team were 2-0 up before Hearts made it 2-1, then had a penalty saved and equalised in stoppage time before scoring in the final minute of extra-time to win it as referee Dan McFarlane made a number of strange decisions.
Hunter said: “I think the start we made to the game and the pace we played at was pleasing.
“We probably should have been out of sight in the first half and all right we scored two but we had, to me, a clear penalty kick on Archie Macphee.
“It was pleasing for me the youngsters that played and some boys that hadn’t had game time. I thought Liam Burnett was the best player on the park by a mile, his energy and determination was great.
“I don’t know where the referee got all the injury time from at the end. It looked like it was going to go on until they got the equaliser and I think we had to play until they got the equaliser.
“You still have to defend it to the end but it was disappointing for the players and the effort they put in.
“I thought the penalty we conceded was very soft indeed, I thought it was softer than the one we appealed for on Archie and Scott Ferries should feel hard done by with the sending off. There was some strange decisions put it like that, but I can’t fault my players.”
United, who had to substitute Macphee and Paul Lawson in the second half because of injury concerns, took the lead on 17 minutes with a MACPHEE rocket shot.
Max BERTON made it 2-0 on 35 minutes.
United had strong penalty claims on Macphee turned down and a second half double from Dario ZANATTA on 51 and 92 minutes, either side of Greg Sim’s brilliant penalty save from Rory Currie, took the game into extra-time.
Scott Ferries was harshly sent off for a second booking for diving before sub Harry PATON struck in the last minute to break Formartine hearts.