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Formartine preparing for Scottish Cup challenge

By Kyle Ritchie

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Formartine United are in final preparations for one of the biggest games in the club's history when they take on Motherwell in the Scottish Cup on Saturday.

The Pitmedden side will welcome the Scottish Premiership team to North Lodge Park after overcoming League Two's Annan Athletic in the second round.

After losing an early goal in that game, United came back quickly to equalise and in a close match both teams had opportunities to win.

However, after coming through extra-time it was Formartine who triumphed in the penalty shoot-out with goalkeeper Kevin Main the hero making two saves and Conor Gethins scoring the winning spot-kick.

United will now be looking to bring the momentum of that victory into the tie with Motherwell.

Manager Paul Lawson said: "It's the biggest game in terms of the size of the club that is coming.

"You could argue cup finals and such like are massive games, but with the opposition it's a great tie for everyone involved.

"It's particularly good for the people behind the scenes at the club who have done a lot of work to get us playing and the games on, so it's a credit to them.

"The preparation for the game has been good. The players are buzzing for the match and the training sessions have had a good tempo and all went well.

"These are the games that the boys should want to play in and everyone is looking forward to it."

Formartine United manager Paul Lawson.
Formartine United manager Paul Lawson.

Lawson has no major injury concerns from the match against Annan, a game in which he thought his team just edged.

"I thought we started OK but then we lost a goal early which was a bit of a blow," he added.

"However, the boys recovered well and overall we slightly edged it and deserved to go through.

"We have one or two players carrying little niggling injuries from the game, which was to be expected having not played a match for a long time.

"But come the weekend we should have the full squad to pick from."

Formartine in action against Annan Athletic. Picture: Kyle Ritchie
Formartine in action against Annan Athletic. Picture: Kyle Ritchie

Formartine are at home for the game and will welcome a team that Lawson played for near the end of his career.

The manager will ensure his team build into the match and are not overwhelmed by the occasion.

He said: "We need to make sure we compete and in the opening minutes of the game not make it harder for ourselves.

"We will need to keep our play tight, build ourselves into the game and not be overawed by the opposition.

"Since my time at Motherwll the players have moved on but there are still people behind the scenes that are still at the club, so there will be a few people I know."

The second round of the Scottish Cup also saw Brora record a famous victory over Hearts at Dudgeon Park, who will now welcome Stranraer on Saturday.

Fraserburgh also progressed to the next stage of the competition beating Banks O'Dee in the last round, and Montrose will be the visitors to Bellslea Park at the weekend.

Over the years a number of teams have also managed victories over higher league opposition.

Lawson said it highlighted the quality of the squads in the Highland League.

"We've known for a number of years how strong the league can be," he added.

"Fraserburgh, Brora, Buckie and ourselves have all beaten higher league opposition.

"To beat a club the size of Hearts was a massive result and it has maybe made clubs more wary of us up here.

"In the north we are aware of the quality that is in the league."

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