Formartine manager praises team after Scottish Cup win to set up match against Motherwell
Get the Grampian Group sent to your inbox every week and swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper
Formartine United manager Paul Lawson praised his team's character and work-rate after the Scottish Cup penalty shoot-out win over Annan Athletic.
The victory booked them a place in the third round when United will welcome Scottish Premiership side Motherwell to Pitmedden.
Goalkeeper Kevin Main was the hero with two saves on his 39th birthday and Conor Gethins scored the winning spot-kick at North Lodge Park on Tuesday night.
In open play Annan took the lead early in the first half through Aidan Smith before that was shortly cancelled out by Formartine's Stuart Smith.
Neither team could break the deadlock in the second half or in extra-time.
United manager Paul Lawson praised his team for managing to get the result against the League Two team.
He said: "I think we deserved it in the end and we created enough chances in the game to win it.
"There's always that worry when you go to penalties as it is a bit of a lottery, but credit to the players.
"Kevin is great at penalty shoot-outs and he has pulled it out of the bag again, so I am delighted for him."
With the goals cancelling each other out so early both teams had opportunities over the course to win the game.
Lawson added: "Both sides had chances but I think we maybe shaded it. There were a few moments where it could have gone against us.
"Losing the goal early was obviously not ideal and it took us a bit to get going as we have not played a lot of football.
"The boys were going to be rusty but they showed great character and the work-rate was incredible all over the park.
"To go 120 minutes having not played a game in so long was superb and it is credit to the players."
In the second half the teams continued to cancel each other out and neither could find the winner.
"It was always going to be a tough one on the fitness levels as we haven't played in so long," Lawson said.
"However, the players got the result and we have something to look forward to now."
Going into extra-time Lawson's message to his team was to push on to get that winning goal.
He said: "We firmly thought we could go and get it, so there was no point sitting back and defending.
"We went for it, there were a few chances, we hit the woodwork and when that doesn't go in you are thinking it is against us. But the result went our way."
In the penalty shoot-out the manager left it open to his players to see who wanted to take the spot-kicks.
"I leave it open to see who is confident enough to step up and I wasn't short of offers, so that was good to see," Lawson added.
"We know with Kevin in goals he's got a good record and history in saving penalties.
"We always thought if we make sure we score ours we would have a good chance."
The other scorers in the 3-1 shoot-out for Formartine were Andrew Greig and captain Stuart Anderson. Cameron Clark netted for the visitors.
United now get ready to welcome Premiership side Motherwell to Pitmedden on Saturday, April 3, in a huge game for the Highland League side.
Lawson said: "We are really looking forward to it and its great for the players and for the club.
"The biggest disappointment is obviously the fans not getting in to to see it.
"That's a shame because as a club it is great to get a Premiership team to North Lodge.
"For the players, staff and people in around the club it is great and a tie to look forward to."