The game was expected to be a close competitive match, with both teams going into this game on the back of good results and it did not disappoint.
In the first few minutes, Stonehaven took the game to Formartine and gained the first corner but Formartine soon got back into it and put the pressure on.
Following steady pressure from Fomartine, the deadlock was broken on 14 minutes, when a strong shot from the edge of the area got the better of Stoney ‘keeper Josh Forbes. Forbes was clearly disappointed he did not manage to hold on to it, but made amends with some fine saves later in the game.
Stonehaven came close to finding a way through on 28 minutes, with a couple of shots within the area cleared but it was not until the last 10 minutes of the first half that Stoney put some attacking pressure on Formartine, with Brown and Frater working hard on the wings.
The second half began with Stoney looking more convincing and 5 minutes after the restart a free-kick from 30 yards was played into the area and Emanuel knocked it in from 6 yards, following a save from the Formartine ‘keeper.
A few minutes later, Stonehaven thought they were in behind the defence, but the referee deemed that the ‘keeper had two hands on the ball when Connor Freeman knocked it free.
Formartine did threaten, with a couple of breaks, but John Laing and Findlay McCallum were solid at the back to clear the danger.
The goal, which turned out to be the winning goal, was worthy of all three points. A lofted diagonal ball was played in by Fraser Smith and was met by super sub Ashley Darling, with a nice controlling touch and strike into the bottom corner.
The final 20 minutes became fast-paced, with strong tackles going in from both teams with McKenzie, Pashley and Lovick working hard in midfield for Stonehaven, to see the game out and claim all three points.
Manager Richard Thomas said: “As expected, it was a very competitive game but there was some good football on display at times.
“The first half they were the better team and when they got the goal our lads dug deep to stay in the game, but by the end of the half we got more of the ball in their half and started to threaten.
“The second half was a much-improved performance and worthy of the win. There is no doubt Formartine are a good side and look a lot stronger than last year, so we are very happy with the result, which keeps us in the mix at the top.
“The major positive out of the game has to be the attitude after going a goal down. We were not playing at the level we expect from the lads but to their credit, they turned it around in the second half. It was a great team effort.”
SYFC: Forbes, Pashley (C), Laing, Lovick, Smith, McCallum, Brown, McKenzie, Emanuel, Freeman, Frater Subs: Darling, Forbes, West, Walker.