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A point apiece is how this tight encounter ended at Grant Street Park. Despite Formartine receiving a red card on the hour mark they salvaged a point at Clach through Ross Campbell after Paul Brindle had opened the scoring shortly after the red card.

It was Clach who seemed to have the better start to the game in the Inverness sunshine. After 10 minutes a good cross by Martin Laing found Stephen Mackenzie who saw his snap shot cleared off the line. Just two minutes later a clever one two down the right hand side between Mark Dougall and Ross Grant was then crossed into the centre of the box where Paul Brindle shot just over the line.

Again Clach came close on the 16th minute as Scott Graham's weaving run beat the Formartine defence to see his shot comfortably saved by Andrew Shearer in goals. Formartine seemed to be winning several corners but none of them leading to any clear cut chances for the away side. Formartine's first real chance came on 29 minutes when a ball into the box from Stephen Jeffrey caught Jamie Doran off guard as the ball floated over his head into the path of Michael Ewen who beat keeper Macdonald but not Mackenzie who cleared it off the line.

Three minutes later a free kick deep into the box from Stuart Anderson found the head of Jeffrey who head wide of the Clach goal.

Formatine seemed to have found their feet in this game as again they came close from a set piece. A Corner from Mathers found Gary Clark who headed wide of goal. Just two minutes later Paul Napier found space on the edge of the box but just shot wide.

Fifteen minutes into the second half a long ball over the top set Cameron Keith through on goal but a superb last ditch challenge from Doran prevented Formartine from opening the scoring. Just a minute later, after Formartine winning a corner Gary Clark seemed to be booked for talking back to the referee. Seconds later the referee issued Clark with his second yellow card for continues dissent. Four minutes later Clach opened the scoring. Ross Grant playing a through ball which found Paul Brindle whose composed chip beat the onrushing Shearer. Clach nearly doubled their lead a minute later when Ross Grant met the head of Laing's cross but his header was straight at the keeper.

Formartine then came close on the 70th minute as Napier blazed over after a good low ball from McKeown. Formartine then drew level after an indecisive decision from the near side linesman. A cross into the box from Jeffrey was flicked back Jamie Doran but Ross Campbell got free of his marker to half volley home. The linesman had originally flagged for offside but after lengthy discussions between referee and linesman he soon changed his mind and the goal was given.

Both teams pushed for the winning goal in this tight affair. Laing's corner 6 minutes from time found Grant on the edge of the box who fired over the bar. Just 3 minutes later another dubious decision as McGurk fouled Keith in what was adjudged to be a free kick, however the Formartine players protested heavily for a penalty. In second half injury time McKeown came close as his shot went just over the bar as they came close to taking the lead.

The game finished in what was a fair 1-1 draw. Clach would have been happier going into the cup final against Buckie on the back of a win.

Full-time: Clachnacuddin 1-1 Formartine United
Reporter: Sean Selkirk

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Rank Teams Played GD Points
1 Buckie Thistle 34 94 82
2 Cove Rangers 34 79 82
3 Brora Rangers 34 80 81
4 Formartine United 34 35 73
5 Fraserburgh 34 29 63
6 Forres Mechanics 34 21 58
7 Turriff United 34 14 58
8 Wick Academy 34 23 53
9 Inverurie Locos 34 18 50
10 Keith 34 -14 47
11 Clachnacuddin 34 -24 41
12 Lossiemouth 34 -18 38
13 Nairn County 34 -17 34
14 Huntly 34 -43 34
15 Deveronvale 34 -24 30
16 Rothes 34 -69 26
17 Fort William 34 -92 11
18 Strathspey Thistle 34 -92 9

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