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Deveronvale 2-3 Formartine United
Scorers: Ballard 45, Murray 55, Jamieson 62, Barbour 63, Gethins 69
Three goals in seven second-half minutes saw title-chasers Formartine turn this match on it's head to snatch an unlikely three points as they closed the gap on leaders Brora Rangers.
Shane Jamieson, Scott Barbour and scoring machine Conor Gethins came up trumps for Kris Hunter's side after the big-spending Pitmedden side had fallen two goals behind to a buoyant homeside who deservedly lead courtesy of Dane Ballard and Callum Murray.
Steven Davidson was suspended and Liam Forbes was unavailable due to work commitments so it was all change for Steve Dolan defensively once more which saw Lukas Krobot return to central defence to partner Stevie Fraser and Lewis Dunbar slot in at right-back while Grant Pennet perhaps surprisingly made his first appearance of the season in-between the sticks.
The visitors had a plethora of big names missing including Paul Lawson, Neil McVitie, Scott Henry, Garry Wood & Craig McKeown while missing of late striker Conor Gethins took up his place on the subs bench.
A good start saw title chasers Formartine move the ball about swiftly in the opening ten minutes without creating much while on the homeside's first attack of the evening Paul Sutherland's ball into the visiting six-yard box was just missed by Dane Ballard before being scrambled clear by the United defence.
With around twenty minutes played and the Banff side slowly growing in confidence Paul Sutherland had a couple of strikes at goal in quick succession the second forcing Andy Reid in the Formartine goal to palm comfortably to safety.
Vale had an escape when Stuart Anderson's fierce free-kick smacked the face of Grant Pennet's cross bar with eight minutes of the half remaining and as it landed in the goalmouth Lukas Krobot somehow managed to hook clear ahead of two white shirts.
Former Vale player Graeme Rodger wasn't far away with a 20-yard daisy-cutter but it was the midfielder's former employers who grabbed the lead with just seconds of the half remaining, Callum Murray's swap with Paul Sutherland was influential to the opener as he teased and tantalised Calum Dingwall on the right hand side of the 18-yard box before crossing perfectly to the waiting Dane BALLARD who simply had to put his head on the weighted centre before finding the net. HT 1-0
A decent start to the second period from the homeside saw good link-up play between Grant Noble and Dane Ballard saw the earlier slice wide although a super pass from Noble minutes later saw Paul Sutherland get clear but his low ball across the face of goal was smothered by Andy Reid ahead of the lingering Ballard.
Reid was called into action once more after Shane Jamieson completely missed a back header, the keeper racing out and getting just enough of a touch to thwart Dane Ballard as the striker read the situation early and looked to capitalise.
A quick break from the Banffers saw them double their advantage minutes later though, Dane Ballard was once again in the thick of things as he drove down the right and his perfect ball across the face of the Formartine 18-yard box found the in-rushing Callum MURRAY who made it look easy as he crashed the ball past Andy Reid.
Two crucial goals in a minute saw the visitors pull themselves level. Firstly Shane Jamieson heading home a Scott Barbour corner from close range before Barbour himself brilliantly hooked beyond Grant Pennet as he went to ground to meet Neil Gauld's ball into the penalty area.
Substitute Conor Gethins made it three in seven minutes for Kris Hunter's side when he blasted past Grant Pennet with Neil Gauld again the provider as he picked out the unmarked sub 12-yards from goal.
Grant Pennet made a great stop to deny Gethins once more after the former Nairn striker got a free run in on goal following a deflected clearance which landed kindly in his path while at the opposite end Callum Murray very nearly got in on goal but again Andy Reid did well to race from his line and clear the danger.
Neil Gauld should have killed the game after being teed up by Scott Barbour in another speedy break by the visitors but fired wide with the goal at his mercy.
Scott Ferries was sent off for going over the top of the ball in a challenge on Zander Jack leaving the visitors with just ten men for the final eight minutes of this intriguing end to end encounter. 
With seconds of the ninety remaining Nathan Ross had a great chance to grab a deserved equaliser for Steve Dolan's side but once again Andy Reid was the man who mattered as the custodian blocked brilliantly with his body to seal the victory for the visitors.
Vale: Pennet, Dunbar, *53 Jack, Forbes, Begg (Ross 85), Krobot, Fraser, Sutherland, Blackhall, Ballard, Noble (*86 Watt 80), Murray
Subs: Keith, Manson, Rae, Mackintosh (gk)
United: *90 Reid, *58 Michie, Dingwall, *67 Anderson, Smith, Jamieson, Rodger, **82 Ferries, Gauld (Berton 80), Masson (Gethins 64), Barbour
Subs: Young, Lawrence, Burnett, Macdonald (gk)
Manager: Kris Hunter
Referee: Dan McFarlane
Vale Stats:
Efforts On: 3
Efforts Off: 5
Woodwork: 0
Corners: 7
Offside: 1
Overhead Conditions: Cold & Damp
Playing Surface: Ok
Temp at KO: 4 deg C
Last Season: 1-8
Reporter: Neil Montgomery
Reported LastEdited: 17-Nov-2016
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