Keith 0 v Formartine Utd 5
MAROONS MELT AT HOME IN OPENER
Keith could hardly have had a tougher match for their opener for the 2019-20 season. The Maroons were left gasping in the Kynoch Park heat as one of the obvious title challengers Formartine swatted them aside with a five goal salvo.
The Maroons were weakend by the absence of suspended duo Scott Begg and Craig Macaskill, as well as injured pair Ryan Spink and Michael Selfridge. Even with the quartet available though, it would have been a tough ask against a powerful Pitmedden outfit that looked the part.
The Maroons handed a competitive debut to 18 year old Kieran Yeats, son of Keith legend Craig, whilst manager Dean Donaldson was forced to name himself on a depleted substitutes bench.
It was good to see referee Dan McFarlane showing common sense, by allowing a water after 25 minutes, then the same again midway through the second half.
Graeme Rodger nabbed the first goal of an eventual hat-trick after only nine minutes stabbing home from eight yards, with the home rearguard static. Eleven minutes later David Dey pulled off the first of a string of several fine saves. Sadly it was fine stop to deny Andrew Greig from the penalty spot, but with the home defence dithering, Rodger pounced to slam home the loose ball.
Dey then spreadeagled himself to deny new boy Scott Lisle, and thwarted the inrushing Rodger looking for his treble. The goalie also got down well to hold a Greig shot three minutes from the break.
Barely a minute into the second half, Rodger duly tapped home his hat-trick, as simple a goal as he will have all season. Nine minutes later Dey was at full stretch to hold a Crawford header, but a minute later he was helpless as Garry Wood's powerful shot flew past him.
If his defence was dilly dallying, Dey certainly wasn't, and he moved smartly to thwart Lisle at close range. He then produced a super save to punch away a Rodger drive, but could nothing to prevent Crawford from sweeping home a nap hand with five minutes remaining.
KEITH - Dey, Young, Yeats (Clark 50), McAllister, Robertson, Smith, Lennox (Donaldson 62), Thomson, Keith, Gray (Berton 50), Brownie. Sub unused - Simpson.
Saturday 27th July 2019, KO 3pm
Report by Charlie Simpson