The draw for the 2019/20 Morrison Motors Aberdeenshire Shield has seen current holders Formartine United paired with Deveronvale at Banff in the First Round.
Aberdeen, who are participating in the competition for the first time in a number of years will face SPFL newcomers Cove Rangers. Cove have made a fantastic start to life in the Ladbrokes League 2 and come into the Aberdeenshire Shield as firm favourites to lift the trophy.
Despite being drawn at home, Aberdeen will face Cove at Balmoral Stadium on Wednesday 30th October.
Click on the SHIELD link above to see the full draw.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF ABERDEEN JOURNALS
WINNER: Former Aberdeen and Scotland skipper Willie Miller is no stranger to the trophy cabinet.
One man who is no stranger to the trophy cabinet is former Dons captain and "Gothenburg Great" Willie Miller. During his twenty year career as a player with Aberdeen he amassed an astonishing 12 trophy wins including the European Cup Winners Cup and the European Super Cup.
However, Willie will be turning the clock back on Wednesday 10th July when he will be reacquainted with the Aberdeenshire Cup, a trophy he first won as a player whilst on loan at Peterhead, and as a manager when Aberdeen won the trophy in season 1992/93.
The draw will take place at Aberdeen Journals headquarters in Marischal Square in Aberdeen, with 10 clubs going into the hat including Aberdeen who are returning to the competition after an absence of several years.
One notable absentee from the draw will be the current holders Cove Rangers who were promoted to the SPFL2 at the end of last season, and due to a heavy fixture schedule in July/August they opted along with Peterhead not to participate in this year's competition.
The full list of competing clubs is as follows;
Banks O' Dee
Inverurie Loco Works
The First Round draw will see 2 ties with 6 clubs receiving byes. Matches to be played on Wednesday 31st July.
The Quarter-Finals will take place on Wednesday 21st August and the Semi-Finals on Wednesday 4th September.
The Final tie will take place on Friday 4th October.
The Aberdeenshire Cup is the second oldest trophy in the world that is still presented to the winners of the competition, the oldest being the Scottish Cup.
Formartine United 4, Banks O' Dee 1
Formartine United won the Aberdeenshire Shield for the first time in their history after a convincing victory over Junior side Banks O' Dee at the Balmoral Stadium, Cove.
The final, the first ever played at the new home of Cove Rangers was dedicated to the memory of former Association Secretary Brian Christie, who passed away suddenly after a short illness earlier in the season and a minutes applause was observed in his honour prior to kick-off.
United signalled their intentions right from the kick off and their former keeper Andy Shearer did well to finger tip Kieran Lawrence's shot over the bar after only 8 minutes, before Archie McPhee saw his effort intercepted by Dee defender Neale Allan.
However, the Pitmedden side eventually took the lead on the quarter of an hour mark when United midfielder Graeme RODGER and Dee's Mark Gilmour both appeared to strike the ball simultaneously resulting in the ball spinning into the Aberdeen side's net.
Formartine looked like they were capable of scoring each time they broke forward and with half an hour on the clock they doubled their advantage. This time Rodger became provider finding team-mate Archie McPHEE who slotted home from 12 yards.
Three minutes before half-time Banks O' Dee found themselves three down when Garry WOOD netted after Shearer parried a McPhee header from close range.
Banks O' Dee started the second half in more determined fashion but despite this they fell even further behind when Graeme RODGER side footed a Ryan Stott cross from all of 6 yards into the net.
Formartine appeared to take the foot off the gas in the remaining half hour and were penalised for their indiscretions when substitute BUGLASS grabbed a consolation.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF ABERDEEN JOURNALS
Andrew Greig of Formartine United and Mark Gilmour of Banks O’ Dee challenge for the ball.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE EVENING EXPRESS
COVE RANGERS 2, FORMARTINE UNITED 4
Formartine United achieved revenge for their Aberdeenshire Cup defeat at the hand of Cove earlier in the season when they defeated their hosts 4-2 at the Balmoral Stadium.
The Highland League leaders had both Connor Scully and skipper Eric Watson sent off in a match which was fiercely contested.
Formartine got the opening goal in the quarter of an hour mark when Graeme Rodger latched on to an uncleared ball and fired past stranded keeper John McCafferty.
Cove's Jordon Brown saw his effort come back off the post before Garry Wood volleyed an Andrew Greig cross in at the back post to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
Daniel Park pulled a goal back for the hosts just before half-time.
Formartine restored their two goal lead ten minutes after half-time when Cove's Connor Scully was sent off for denying Graeme Rodger a clear goal-scoring opportunity. McCafferty couldn't prevent Greig’s resultant free-kick trickling over the line to make it 3-1.
The game looked over as a contest on the hour mark when Greig grabbed his second and United's fourth with McCafferty sprawling helplessly in the Cove goal.
Thing went from bad to worse for Cove when skipper Watson was shown the red card after being adjudged to have stood on United keeper Kevin Main in the aftermath of a free-kick.
Cove narrowed the deficit just on before the final whistle when Jamie Masson fired home.
Elsewhere, as one United avenged a cup result another United suffered more of the same when Turriff travelled to Banks O' Dee hoping to regain some pride after their 7-0 defeat at the hands of the Junior side earlier in the season. Alas it was not to be with the only consolation this time round was that their opponents only scored six.
It took penalty kicks to separate Keith and Buckie Thistle at Kynoch Park with the Jags coming out 4-1 victors after the game ended one apiece and at Bellslea Park, Fraserburgh notched two goals without reply from visitors Inverurie Loco Works.
Aberdeen University certainly couldn't have asked for a tougher draw than having to face current Aberdeenshire Shield holders Cove Rangers in the first round of this year's competition.
Cove fielded an experienced if not full first team squad at Hillhead and were made to fight all the way for their win. Jordan Macrae bagged himself all three goals for the visitors whilst Tofique gave the students a glimmer of hope with ten minutes remaining. Cove's Megginson also had a spot kick saved after the referee awarded a penalty for a seemingly innocuous challenge by Levein which also saw McLaren being despatched by the referee for over protesting.
Cove will now face Formartine United in the next round after the Pitmedden side left it late to put five past Deveronvale. Garry Wood had the hosts put the hosts two up before Noble pulled one back before the interval. Crawford, Rodger and Gethins all grabbed goals in the last quarter of an hour to put the result beyond doubt.
In the final tie of the round Inverurie Locos travelled to Huntly where the homesters took the lead through Gray just after half-time. Mitchell grabbed the equaliser with an hour on the clock before Gauld grabbed two goals in four minutes to see the Railwaymen go through.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE EVENING EXPRESS
BANKS O' DEE 1, COVE RANGERS 4
After a nervous start it was Banks O' Dee who did all the pressing with efforts from a Jack Henderson and Alan White.
However it was Cove who took the lead with their first real chance in 33 minutes.
Daniel Park’s in-swinging corner from the right was powerfully headed home by Harry MILNE who headed home unchallenged at the back post.
Six minutes later and it was 2-0. Mitch Megginson’s high ball in from the right caught out keeper Andy Shearer and Jamie MASSON had the easiest of tasks to head home from two yards.
Dee were looking punch drunk but Philipson’s low drive was just off the mark as they tried to get back on track.
Just on half time Dee's Kane Winton was on the end of a fierce challenge from Milne, but referee Dan McFarlane produced a yellow card much to the consternation of the Junior side's fans.
Dee started the second half strongly and it was game on in 54 minutes Kane WINTON rifled home from 10 yards with a powerful shot.
Blair Yule came close for Cove on the hour mark, and Megginson fired just wide soon after.
With a quarter of an hour left to play Cove struck again. Masson sent Yule clear and the midfielder calmly squared for MEGGINSON to drive home from 12 yards to make it 3-1.
MEGGINSON grabbed his second and Cove's fourth when he rounded kepper Shearer to put the result beyond doubt.
To compound the Junior side's misery White was red carded for a late challenge on Connor Scully.
Aberdeen University couldn't ask for a more difficult draw than having to face the current Aberdeenshire Shield winners Cove Rangers in the 1st Round of this year's competition on the 10th October.
Elsewhere Formartine host Deveronvale and Inverurie Locos travel to Huntly.
In the Second Round Turriff United face the daunting task of heading to Spain Park to face Banks O' Dee who recently hit them for seven in the semi-final of the Aberdeenshire Cup.
Click here to view the full draw.
TURRIFF UNITED 0, BANKS O' DEE 7
The Banks o’ Dee juggernaut cruised its way into the final of the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup by sweeping aside their Highland League hosts with a magnificent 7-0 thrashing of Turriff United.
The Junior outfit were totally dominant at the Haughs and booked their place in the final against Cove Rangers who overcame Deveronvale 3-1 after extra time at Princess Royal park.
Dee came out of the blocks at a blistering pace and were ahead after only six minutes when Jack Henderson was fouled by and referee Liam Duncan pointed for a penalty. HENDERSON dusted himself down to take the spot kick it and coolly stroked it home past keeper Fraser Hobday.
On 35 minutes Duncan pointed to the spot again after Tewnion and Kane Winton both tumbled and for the second time HENDERSON made no mistake with the penalty.
Five minutes later Dee were awarded their third penalty when Hobday upended Phillipson as he was about to pull the trigger and the former Peterhead keeper was subsequently red carded for his efforts.
Substitute Cameron's first touch of the ball bas to pick it out of the net after HENDERSON scored to make it a hat-trick of spot kicks.
Luke BARBOUR then made it 4-0 just on the stroke of half-time.
The young hosts dug in for the second forty-five but couldn't prevent HENDERSON getting his fourth and Dee's fifth with quarter an hour remaining.
With seven minutes left sub Craig DUGUID fired home from 14 yards after taking Lachie McLeod’s pass to make it 6-0.
BARBOUR made it seven right at the death to set up an all Aberdeen final next month.
ABERDEEN 3, BANKS O' DEE 4 AET
Banks O’ Dee came back to defeat a young Aberdeen side to progress to the semi-finals of the Aberdeenshire Cup.
The Dons took the initiative and led through an ANDERSON goal at half-time. However, a defensive slip up by Campbell saw GILMOUR get the Junior outfit back on level terms just after the break.
Aberdeen regained their lead on the hour with a McLENNAN effort and it looked to be all over as a contest when ANDERSON headed his second of the night to give the youngsters a 3-1 lead.
Incredibly their lead lasted only 60 seconds as firstly McLEOD netted before WHITE slid the ball over the line to take the tie into extra-time.
McLEOD was the Bank's hero when he ran clear to net his second goal and the Junior outfit's fourth.
COVE RANGERS 1, FORMARTINE UNITED 0
Last year's finalists went toe to to at Balmoral Stadium in a hard fought tie that was evenly matched throughout. Both sides had opportunities to score in regulation time but it remained stalemate after 90 minutes. With the game on a knife edge the referee was having his work cut out to keep control.
Cove made the breakthrough when their skipper WATSON headed home a Jordan Brown pass with minutes left on the clock.
In the dying seconds of the game Formartine's Crawford was dispatched by the referee after picking up his second yellow card of the evening.
Cove will now travel to Deveronvale in the semi-final after a Graham WATT goal after only 4 minutes was enough to separate the sides.
There was also goals early on in the tie at Keith where the Kynoch Park side took the lead after only 2 minutes with a Craig McASKILL effort. However, it was all square 6 minutes later when Michael IRONSIDE scored for the visitors.
IRONSIDE struck again on the half hour mark to put United through to the other semi-final where they await the winner of the Aberdeen v Banks O' dee tie.
INVERURIE LOCO WORKS 1, BANKS O' DEE 5
Banks O’ Dee put Locos to the sword in clinical fashion seeing them progress to a tie with Aberdeen in the next round.
However it was the homesters who took the lead when Chris Angus was pulled down in the box and Neil GAULD netted from the resultant spot kick.
Banks O' Dee came back in style in the second half and HENDERSON converted two gifts on fifty & sixty five minutes to take the lead.
Inverurie struggled in most departments with the exception of Reid in the home goal who, despite the scoreline put in an outstanding performance.
However even he couldn't prevent BARBOUR from stroking the ball home on seventy minutes, and a speculative scissors kick from ALEXANDER, unchallenged, flew high into the net soon after.
Substiute Lachie MCLEOD scored the Junior outfit's fifth on a night that Locos will want to quickly forget.
A double from Matthew McDonald gave Huntly a 2-1 win against Fraserburgh at Bellslea to set up a second round tie with Deveronvale.
Fraserburgh threatened as erly as the second minute when Scott Barbour turned his defender and fired inches wide from 15 yards.
On the half-hour mark the Strathbogie outfit nearly took the lead.
A Blair Johnston pass found Paul Napier, whose chip into the box set up McDonald, but keeper Paul Leask was out quickly to smother the shot.
Three minutes from half-time Huntly did make the break through. A long ball was flicked on and McDONALD produced a brilliant lob to score from the edge of the box.
The lead didn’t last though, two minutes later the Broch got a free-kick on the left, Graham Johnston drove the ball in, Euan Storrier parried but straight off Michael CLARK who diverted it into his own net.
Huntly however got the winner in 65 minutes when Napier slipped the ball through for McDONALD, who beat the the offside trap to net his and Huntly's second goal of the night.
With eight minutes to go Huntly had Gary McGowan sent off for an off the ball incident.
And on 86 minutes only the post prevented Barbour from equalising but Huntly held on to progress.
The Highland Football League was formed at a meeting of "footballers and gentlemen" at the Workmens' Club, Inverness on Friday 4th August 1893.
Few attending that historic meeting would have anticipated that the league would thrive and be at the forefront of Scottish football over a century later.
Here's to the next 125 years!
DEDICATED: Sandy Stables served the Aberdeenshire & District FA as President for 19 years.
PRESIDENT OF ASSOCIATION LEADS TRIBUTES TO SANDY STABLES
Aberdeenshire & District FA President Garry Farquhar has led a host of tributes in honour of Sandy Stables, a stalwart of north football who passed away on the eve of the start of this season's SHFL campaign.
Sandy Stables served the Association as President for 19 years from 1990 to 2009, a feat unlikely to be surpassed in the future.
Speaking on behalf of the Association, Farquhar commented, "Everyone at the Aberdeenshire FA are saddened to hear of Sandy's sad passing."
"Sandy will be a huge loss to north football in general and to the Aberdeenshire FA in particular. The work and representation that Sandy made on behalf of north football in the corridors of power at the SFA are unmeasurable. Despite our respective clubs being rivals, I had nothing but the utmost of respect for the man. He will be sorely missed."
As a mark of respect the Keith v Forres Mechanics fixture on the opening day of the SHFL season has been postponed whilst flags will fly at half mast at all other fixtures which will also be preceded by a minutes silence.