A perfect day for Cove manager John Sheran, his players and supporters from the Granite City as Jason Brown’s last-minute goal ensured his side won the Breedon Highland League Cup for the second time in three years.
The result was cruel on Formartine goalkeeper Andy Reid who made handling errors for each of the Cove goals.
Paul McManus had headed Cove into a 76th minute lead but just four minutes later Garry Wood levelled with a low shot.
With extra time looming Brown popped up to head home and win the cup for his delighted teammates.
Man of the match Brown said: “It’s a great feeling as it was a tough game and an equally difficult pitch to play on.
“The teams cancelled each other out throughout the game, but we managed to squeeze out two goals near the end and we’re absolutely delighted to get them.
“I try to get myself in the box hopefully where I think the ball is going to land and today I was able to convert the chance when it came along and put it in the back of the net.
“Even when Formartine equalised with 10 minutes to go I still believed we could get the winner. We never give up and just keep playing our football and we know we will get chances.
“We can now go on and win the league, we just need to build on this performance and take that into Wednesday night’s game at Turriff. We’re now looking forward to that.”
Cove were quickly to their work and it took a fabulous flying save from United goalkeeper Reid in the third minute to stop a superb 20-yarder from Connor Scully from giving Cove the lead.
At the other end a long punt from Reid picked out Conor Gethins but his effort was beaten away by Stuart McKenzie and the former Nairn County and Peterhead attacker was unable to control the rebound.
Play was raging from end to end and in the 24th minute Scott Barbour really should have done better than shoot wildly over the top from 15 yards after he beat Cove defender Alan Redford to a bouncing ball. Formartine pressed again and forced two corners in quick succession and from the second Russell McBride headed wide at the back post when he could and should have done better.
Spectators were being treated to a highly competitive final, the only thing missing was an opening goal.
Five minutes from the break McKenzie in the Cove goal did well to cling on to a fierce 15-yard Barbour shot.
There was no let-up in the flow of play and four minutes after the restart McKenzie brilliantly held a Gethins snap-shot as Formartine came back out with intent.
Much ado about nothing, but in the 76th minute Cove finally took the lead with a bizarre goal.
Blair Yule’s speculative 35-yard free kick was spilled by Reid, Sam Burnett’s volley hit the bar from the rebound and the ball then fell for Paul McManus whose effort hit the crossbar but the ball had crossed the line before Jason Brown followed in to make sure with a header.
Four minutes later Formartine were back on level terms when substitute Neil Gauld laid off a Jamie Masson free kick to centre half Garry Wood and he beat his former Montrose team-mate McKenzie with a low shot from 12 yards.
Cove grabbed a sensational 90th minute winner when United goalkeeper Reid again fumbled the ball and Brown was on-hand to head home a dramatic last-gasp winner.
A disappointed United captain Stuart Anderson was quick to defend his goalkeeper when he said: “We should have helped Andy out by marking better and Andy has been brilliant for us every time he’s played.
“We knew the pitch was going to be fiery, that didn’t allow us to play good football but I think we more than matched them, and they certainly know they were in a game.
“It was a closely contested game, we probably had the better chances but that came back to haunt us. We lost a goal we then got back into it then lost a similar type of goal again, and at that point with just three minutes of added time to go it was impossible to get back into the game.”