Formartine United player-manager Paul Lawson hopes it’s third time lucky for his side in the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup final.
The Pitmedden outfit beat Deveronvale 3-0 at North Lodge Park to secure a final meeting with Banks o’ Dee next month.
United have lost in the previous two Aberdeenshire Cup finals to Fraserburgh. The last defeat came back in July with the 2020-21 tournament carried over from last season.
Lawson said: “We scored three good goals and we could have added a couple more, but we did also give Deveronvale a couple of chances.
“Ultimately we’re through and we’re happy with that.
“We spoke after the defeat to Fraserburgh in the last final and it’s great we’re back in a final so soon.
“Hopefully the boys have got the fire in their bellies after that disappointment to put things right.”
Manager starts himself
Lawson started himself at centre-back against Deveronvale because of injury problems in his squad.
He added: “I played last week against Huntly and it’s just getting game time and trying to use my experience and help the younger players.
“I enjoyed it and I miss playing, but it’s not ideal having to play, there are younger boys coming through.
“I do miss playing, but it’s not for selfish reasons I’m playing, there was a reason behind it.
“I still join in training and keep ticking over so I’m there if required, but when we get boys back fit I won’t be needed.”
United take their chances
Deveronvale had the first chances of note with Grant Noble curling a shot over from the edge of the area and then scooping an effort over from a Max Stewart free-kick.
Jonny Smith fired off target from 10 yards for the hosts before they took the lead on 29 minutes with Scott Lisle heading home from Cole Anderson’s corner.
Smith and Kevin Hanratty went close to doubling the lead before the end of the first period.
Shortly after the restart Vale goalkeeper Sean McIntosh made an impressive stop to claw away Smith’s header.
But in the 48th minute it was 2-0 with Tyler Mykyta firing low into the net from 20 yards.
The visitors went close to pulling one back with goalkeeper Balint Demus blocking from Noble before Ben Allan’s follow-up effort was headed off the line by Kieran Lawrence.
Demus then spilled a Stewart corner, but it bounced back off the right post.
In the final minute sub Daniel Park notched Formartine’s third, finishing neatly into the top left corner after controlling Kieran Lawrence’s left-wing cross.
Stewart rues missed opportunities
Deveronvale boss Craig Stewart said: “We’re disappointed with the result, but not so disappointed with the performance.
“We stuck to the task and created a lot of chances, the disappointing thing is we didn’t take our chances and they were at crucial stages of the game.
“Had we done that then the scoreline could have been a bit different.
“The communication in the build-up to the corner for the first goal was poor and then we give away a free header.
“You can’t afford to give any team a free header six yards out.
“I’m equally disappointed with the second goal because we didn’t match the run and needed to do something to stop him getting a shot away.”