Bervie returned to league action following a disappointing result in the cup the previous week, to face a Formartine side who are also challenging for the league title.
With the weather taking a turn for the worse 30 minutes before kick off the teams started with sleet and snow falling making for a very cold and wet first half.
Bervie started the strongest, and Gordon made an early intervention, playing the ball into midfield where Webster and Avis combined to give McLaughlin the first chance, however he fired wide.
Bervie kept up the pressure and the first goal came when Smith fed Avis who crossed, Thomson was beaten in the tackle, however Blacklaw picked the ball up and played it back into the area where McLaughlin’s initial effort was saved, leaving Avis with a tap in to give Bervie the lead.
Formartine tried to hit back quickly and won a free kick down the right, however Webster was on hand to clear the ball for the home side.
Formartine were pressing hard and a long ball forward called for Leisk to be alert, racing from his line and blocking the ball on the edge of the box with the resultant loose ball hooked clear by Davies. Bervie won a free kick on the half way line following a handball, from Webster’s ball in Avis tried to flick the ball on however the keeper saved.
Webster was imposing himself on the game at this stage and he was next to try his luck with a shot from the edge of the box, the keeper blocked it with his feet and the ball rebounded to the edge of the box where Blacklaw took control and fired an unstoppable effort into the top right corner to extend Bervie’s lead.
Bervie were having a lot of success down the right hand side with Avis in particular having the beating of his man.
Another throw down the right saw Thomson combine with Anderson, who in turn played McLaughlin in, but again he fired wide. Bervie’s third was not long in coming and McLaughlin atoned for the earlier misses with a great leap and a powerful header from the corner to give Bervie a well-deserved 3-0 lead at half time.
In some ways half time came at the wrong time for Bervie with many of the team really feeling the cold and this showed in the second half performance.
Formatine, on the other hand, came back out fired up and immediately put Bervie under pressure with Davies uncharacteristically slicing his clearance out of play.
Formartine got themselves back in the game early on when a corner wasn’t cleared properly and it was poked home to give the visitors some hope.
Bervie by now were defending very deep and another long ball forward needed Leisk to be alert, however this time with the wet conditions he slid outside of his box but had the awareness to release the ball, Smith helping out his keeper went in firmly and was penalised and booked for the challenge.
Formartine grabbed their second when Dickson was penalised for a push, the freekick was played in drifting over the keeper and scrambled home.
With a number of heads now dropping for the home side Formartine seized on this and pressed harder, Leisk’s goal kick into the wind was short and found Wotherspoon on his heels allowing the midfielder to nip in and lob Leisk from 25 yards out.
With the momentum in Formartines favour it was going to be hard to hold on and they completed the come back when the home defence stopped waiting on a whistle that never came after Formartine’s forward fell dramatically to the ground, by the time the defence had switched back on it was too late, the winger had retrieved the ball and although his deflected cross caught Leisk out and Wotherspoon half cleared the ball it left a straight forward tap in to give the visitors all three points.
The home side will rightly be disappointed with the second half showing, when a number of players allowed their heads to drop, partially due to the weather and partially due to the match not going their way.
However, Bervie have come a long away in the last year or two and it should not be forgotten that Formartine were an A league team last year and physically this Bervie team are one of the smaller teams in the league. If they can take the positives from the first half and repeat that then when they visit Formartine then they may still have a say in who wins the league this year.
Bervie; T. Leisk, S. Smith, K. Gordon (Cpt), M. Davies, A. Wood, K. Webster, D. Blacklaw, D. Avis, H. Anderson, C. Thomson, J.McLaughin,
Subs: B. Dickson, L. Wotherspoon, Jayden McLaughlin