Formartine United player-manager Paul Lawson was disappointed with his side’s finishing and the performance of the match officials against Huntly.
The Pitmedden outfit and the Black and Golds drew 0-0 at Christie Park, with United having midfielder Liam Strachan and assistant manager Russell Anderson sent off by referee Will Smith, while Huntly had midfielder Ross Still dismissed.
“We had a few chances in the first half and, in the second, Garry Wood had a very good chance with a header,” Lawson said.
“We know when we go to Christie Park it’s their cup final.”
He added: “We kind of fell into the trap of playing long balls like they were.
“Credit to Huntly: they ground out a draw and you could see they were delighted with that, and we’re very disappointed.
“I don’t want to blame officials but some of the decisions, for both sides, were baffling.
“For Liam Strachan’s second yellow it was a coming together of bodies which happens when a team is counter-attacking and players run across each other.
“It was the linesman who pulled that up, not the referee, and then the linesman decided to send one of our coaching staff to the stand.
“We felt there was something there with him because it was a member of the coaching staff who hadn’t said a word.
“Maybe he wants to make a name for himself, but we have to move on from that.”
In an action-packed game Formartine threatened first when Andrew Greig beat two home defenders and keeper John Farquhar, but Still cleared his effort from six yards off the goal-line.
More good play from Greig on the left set up Daniel Park before the break, and this time Glenn Murison denied him on the line from close range.
On the hour United’s Strachan saw red after clipping Nathan Meres during a counter-attack. The incident was flagged up to referee Smith by one of his assistants and he brandished a second yellow and red card.
Soon after Garry Wood had a header and an angled shot saved Farquhar, while at the other end a swift Huntly break ended with Kai Ross finding Meres only for the winger to hit the left post from 15 yards and then fire the rebound over the bar.
Meres also connected with a Ross cross from the right, but shot straight at Kevin Main from six yards.
In the final quarter hour Wood headed inches wide from eight yards after sub Scott Lisle crossed from the right.
Michael Clark then made a goal-saving challenge on Still.
Anderson was sent off for comments to the referee, although it didn’t appear to be him who made the remark, and Still picked up a second yellow for a foul on Graeme Rodger in the last minute.
Huntly boss Martin Skinner said: “On reflection we could have won the game. Both teams had chances but I felt ours were better in the second half.
“I know Formartine had 10 men but it was still 10 good players on the park. We’re just disappointed we didn’t sneak a goal, but we did enough to at least draw.
“We’re unbeaten in four league games now, which is good after where we were.
“We’ve been pretty low, but that type of performance is enough to win games and that type of performance will get us up the table.”