Formartine United assistant manager Russell Anderson believes his side was taught a lesson in finishing by a clinical Glenavon as the Highland League club exited the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Cup at North Lodge Park.
Anderson, who took charge of the team after player-manager Paul Lawson was called away before kick-off due to his wife going into labour, believes United were punished for not taking their chances at key times by a ruthless Glenavon.
He said: “It was a perfect example of what happens when you are playing against a team coming from a higher level of the difference that exists in the final third of the pitch.
“They took some really good chances at important times while we didn’t defend too well. They were more clinical than us but there is a sense of frustration that we didn’t take our chances.
“They were streetwise. Their goalkeeper’s distribution was good which was a big part of how they play. They picked a team to combat how we’ve been playing and we should take it as a compliment. They looked sharp and were more clinical than us which usually separates teams in games like this.
“It probably sums up our season so far. Against the so-called weaker teams if you miss a chance you can get away with it but not in games that are more competitive and that quality has been missing for us at times.”
United had a chance to give themselves an early lead when Garry Wood’s back-heel found Graeme Rodger in space 16 yards out but the midfielder fired wide.
Formartine were eager to make the most of their strong start and Jonny Tuffey saved a header from Stuart Anderson as the home side kept the pressure on their opponents.
Wood went even closer when he broke the offside trap to race through on goal but Tuffey was equal to the striker’s effort as he made a fine save to turn Wood’s low shot past the post.
Glenavon weathered the early flurry, however, before creating a chance of their own as striker Andrew Mitchell beat Kevin Main in a race for the ball but his lob over the United goalkeeper went wide.
The Irish club did not waste their next chance in the 13th minute as Josh Daniels got the final touch to guide Patrick Burns’ free-kick past Main at his near post.
Formartine responded by creating another chance as Scott Lisle got in behind the visitors’ defence before cutting the ball back to Gary McGowan who saw his shot deflected by Burns on to his own crossbar.
McGowan struck the crossbar again from the resulting corner and when Glenavon failed to clear their lines Wood fired over.
Glenavon struggled at times defensively against their Highland League opponents but when they attacked United they looked a threat and it took a Kieran Lawrence header on the line to deny Daniels a second goal
The second half was a much tighter affair but Glenavon broke away to end Formartine’s hopes of getting back into the game 20 minutes from time.
Wood saw his effort cleared off the line by Aaron Harmon and the visitors broke upfield where Jack O’Mahony crossed for Rhys Marshall to beat Main with a downward header.
With Formartine’s hopes ended the visitors made it 3-0 seven minutes from time when substitute Conor McCloskey ran clear before lifting the ball over Main.