Culter FC 2, Formartine United 1
CULTER recovered from their two recent cup defeats to take all three points in an exciting encounter at Crombie Park and make it six wins out of six in the Printagraph Super League.
The Deesiders now have an eight point advantage over second placed Turriff United and perhaps more importantly are nine points clear of last season's champions Sunnybank.
The home side started this match promisingly and in the opening minute Neil McRitchie crossed for Greg Davidson to set-up midfielder Donny Adam, but his drive hit Chris Allsop and was deflected wide for a corner.
Two minutes later Formartine were on the attack and Bruce Cormie forced his way through and set-up Alan Findlater who fired just wide of the target.
However, just two minutes later Findlater did get on the scoresheet when his inswinging corner deceived Culter goalie Russell Milne who could only palm the ball into his own net.
Culter struck back just five minutes later when Roddy Cameron's effort was well blocked by Formartine keeper Dave Christie but Bruce Smith was on-hand to knock the loose ball home from just inside the penalty area.
Play continued to rage from end to end with Corser heading straight at Milne and then McRitchie firing a long range effort just over the Formartine crossbar.
The visitors had a golden chance to regain the lead after 25 minutes when Chris Allsop saw his first effort blocked on the line by Milne but somehow managed to hit the rebound over the bar from close range and with the goal gaping.
Things got worse for Allsop four minutes later when Colin Craik fired in a cross from left and as Neil McRitchie challenged for the high ball it was the defender who got the final touch to send the ball beyond his own keeper and make it 2-1 for Culter.
Having gone in front, the home side then enjoyed their best spell of play with Cameron and Davidson both going close and Cameron also being denied a goal by the referee who had spotted a foul prior to the striker putting the ball in the net. So at the interval Culter held only the most slender of advantages.
Neil McRitchie came agonisingly close to extending Culter's lead on the hour mark when Cameron's header from a corner was knocked off the line by Shinnie and fell to the big striker who saw his effort hit the bar and go over.
Just a minute later Formartine passed up a glorious chance to equalise when Milne dropped a high ball at the feet of Gibson but from virtually on the goal line he somehow managed to knock his shot wide of the target.
The next twenty minutes were punctuated with substitutions and very little in the way of clear-cut chances, although Milne did well to save at the feet of Gibson.
Formartine pressed hard in the final five minutes and were almost caught on the break when McRitchie sent Cameron clear but the striker saw his shot beat Christie but come back off the base of the post.
The miss didn't matter though as Culter comfortably held on the secure a very welcome win following the two consecutive cup defeats.
This Saturday (October 11) Culter are away to Burghead Thistle in the first round of the Rollstud Regional Cup. The match kicks off at 2.15pm and will be played to a finish.
Culter: Milne, Thain, Rattray, Adam, Collie, Small, Davidson, Cameron, McRitchie, Smith, Craik. Subs: McDonald, Cowie, Stewart, Grant, Fraser.