We were off the pace, admits Academy assistant Hughes
Assistant manager Richard Hughes admitted Academy were off the pace as they were swept aside by a five-star Formartine display.
He admitted there were parallels with the 5-0 defeat at Fraserburgh on the opening day of the Highland League season
“We were definitely way off it today again,” Hughes said. “It’s a reminder of the Fraserburgh game – Fraserburgh were the same, they seemed to be sharper and fitter than us.
"For whatever reason, we are off the pace with top teams at the moment.
“You could say it’s down to having a lot of players missing so we’ve not got competition around the pitch. I thank the boys that are coming in to help us out – Kuba [Koziol] and Jonah [Martens] – but in certain areas of the pitch, in midfield, we just don’t have competition.
“Formartine were very direct and physically strong. They looked for Garry Wood up front and they had runners off him.
“If there are any positives out of it, if we had scored a goal we might have got two or three today. Their keeper had a couple of good saves and we sliced a couple.
“It’s a case of trying to pick them up now for next week [away to Clachnacuddin]. Grant Steven and Craig Gunn tweaked their hamstrings and hopefully, fingers crossed, they will come through.
"They just felt it and thought it would be better coming off. At 5-0 there was no point in continuing and making it worse.
“For the others, some of them are a few weeks away yet. Obviously it’s a struggle for us to get players in and you’ve got to manage the trialist games.
“It’s difficult at the moment. Obviously a big factor is we’ve got quality squad players that are out injured and that is affecting us.
“Last week [the 2-2 draw with Deveronvale] was a bit sore because we should have got three points. We played some great stuff. We should be beating these teams.
“The main thing is we’ve got to try and pick ourselves up and go on to the Clach game."
Hughes added: “What’s frustrating for our boys is they know they are better than that. That must be the biggest result we’ve had against Formartine because they have always been close games – we’ve beaten them, they’ve beaten us.”
When we scored the fourth goal that obviously took the wind out of their sails.
Formartine had lost to Fraserburgh the previous weekend but recovered with a 3-1 win away to Livingston under-21s in the Challenge Cup on Tuesday night.
Assistant manager Russell Anderson said: “We were anticipating a difficult game. To win as comfortably as we did in the end was pleasing.
“We started the game well and we scored some good goals. The start of second half was always going to be important, whoever got that next goal.
“They had a little bit of a go at the start of the second half, a couple of half-chances, but when we scored the fourth goal that obviously took the wind out of their sails. So we have to be happy with the result.
“We were poor by our own standards last Saturday against Fraserburgh – they played well and their game plan worked. We were disappointed with how we played so it was important to get a reaction on Tuesday night and then follow that up today.”
Fraserburgh, Brora Rangers and Buckie Thistle share top spot with maximum points from three games. Fraserburgh thumped Clach 6-0 at Bellslea Park and Brora won 3-1 at Forres, while Buckie were the day’s top scorers with an 8-2 hammering of Keith at Kynoch Park.