LOCOS UPRISING SECURES TURRA COUP!
Press & Journal SHFL Saturday April 7th 2018 Turriff Utd 0 Inverurie Locos 1 Referee – Filippo Mazzoni United – Sim Chalmers Allan Anderson Bowden Strachan (Grant) Miller Cairns Wozniak (Booth) Ross Reid (Cross). Unused subs – Nowosielski Walker Ironside Sherman Locos – Reid Rennie Mitchell Duff Souter McCabe Charlesworth (Laing) McLean Gauld Angus Leyden. Unused Subs – Gordon Watt Gill Bolton Mathieson Stats, Locos first. Shots ON 10-4, Shots OFF 8-3, Fouls 11-14, Corners 10-4, Offside 6-2, Yellows 0-2. Locos left The Haughs on Saturday with all three points after a 1-0 win that was scant reward for the territorial & statistical advantage the away side enjoyed. Eight wins from nine starts is the form of champions & in many other seasons this championship would have gone to the wire, but credit to the title winners Cove Rangers who have been the strongest SHFL side seen in many a long year. Changes were made by gaffer Neil Cooper for this latest Old Farm derby. Broadhurst, Herd & Hunter were injured/unavailable so the back four was as you were from Mosset Park. Martin Laing struggled a little with the physicality at Forres & moved to the bench, Joe McCabe sitting in the engine room with skipper Neil McLean. Colin Charlesworth joined Jordan Leyden in wide roles with the exciting talent that is Chris Angus dovetailing up top with leading & record goalscorer Neil Gauld. Promising youngsters Gill, Bolton & Watt were on the bench, confirmation that the cream of the crop from the young Locos sides have a pathway to the First XI. Looking after his second Locos match of the campaign was Filippo Mazzoni as Turriff’s excellent home ground looked resplendent in the Aberdeenshire sunshine. An Ex Loco interest was provided by Ross Anderson at centre half & David Ross at centre forward. Ex Inverurie gaffer Dave Cormie was in the Turriff technical area. A very good number of Inverurie fans had made the short journey along the B9170 all looking for a right positive reaction to the insipid showing in the previous match. Cooper’s men took to the field sporting white socks to avoid a dark blue/black clash in the legwear department. Locos started in a bright businesslike fashion & Angus was close to netting inside the early seconds from a Leyden flick. This match was all taking place at the Main Stand end of the park with Inverurie camped towards the Turra goal. Skipper McLean cracked in a sweetly struck long range shot then a testing direct free kick. A Charlesworth shot was spilled by keeper Sim, who was overworked & under protected. Greg Mitchell was next to blooter an angled drive towards Sim. The charmed life of the United goal couldn’t go on for long & that man Neil GAULD had goal number twenty nine on twenty two minutes. The diminutive attacker was lost by Ross Anderson at a corner & his wonderful header went in via the crossbar. At this point it would have been an act of kindness to stop proceedings as Turriff were being ripped to shreds. A Rennie header looped inches too high then Leyden tugged a shot only a few feet wide. Another Charlesworth shot was dropped by Sim but yet again the ball didn’t fall to a red & black jersey. Leyden had a frustrating time at Forres but by goodness he was back on form here & next he took the ball on a sixty yard dash that would have seen him flashed by the mobile speed cameras on Turriff’s south side that were lurking post match, with this weaving, pacy run finishing with a pass to Gauld who just couldn’t keep his shot below the bar. Finally Turriff mustered a shot on target, David Ross killing the ball as it dropped from the sky but the shot was a routine catch for Reid. The same player then had another long range effort that trickled to the goalie. An Anderson body check on Charlesworth could easily have been a spot kick right on half time but oddly the Locos appeal was muted which appeared to help the referee decide on no award. Locos were worth a three or four goal lead from their ten better than decent attempts but had to settle for a 1-0 half time advantage. There was a moment of symmetry as the second half started with Angus receiving a flicked assist to again get behind the Turriff rearguard. A McLean shot from twenty yards was still rising as Sim caught it, then the keeper, who had a mixed afternoon but ultimately kept his side in the contest, did really well to bravely charge down a Mitchell shot. Further proof positive of how this derby had unfolded was the fact that the first home corner didn’t arrive until quarter past four. Wozniak had a tough shift chasing shadows in the main but at least he did finally get a shot away in anger but it was high over the bar. A second goal would probably have led to the four or five goal win that was commensurate with play & it appeared to have arrived when a cut back from Gauld was stroked home by Angus. It’s a tough old gig being an assistant referee & unfortunately for Locos he missed the fact that the ball was played backwards to a player entering the danger zone, something confirmed post match by fans of both persuasions who were at the Deveron End. Leyden had an angular drive repelled by the busy Sim before Andy Reid had his first proper piece of action. Sub Cross struck the ball ever so sweetly but the alert Reid was on his toes & sprang to tip over the bar. Anderson then headed high over the bar from the resultant corner. Sub Booth was back after a ban & quickly had to be yellowed for some frank language aimed at the referee. Another Turra yellow came along with Cross guilty of a slightly naughty over the ball tackle on Leyden that thankfully the player was able to anticipate, but this was never a dirty match. Neil Gauld headed wide as he looked for number thirty individually & the club for SHFL number 100. Keeper Sim decanted another shot on goal and for the fourth time it fell to a blue jersey. Booth shot into Reid’s arms from fifteen yards, then Leyden shot wide when easier to net before the same player flighted a free kick over the United bar. Sub Laing was now on for Coco & he shot straight at the body of Sim when anything a yard either side was a certain goal. Sim still had time to foil Angus again. With the match into added time on added time, Bowden let rip from twenty five yards with the ball only going around six feet wide of Reid’s left hand post. A leveller would have been such a steal it would have made Bonnie & Clyde blush! The absence of ruthless finishing from the away side made this scoreline misleading in the extreme but Turriff in fairness never quit & gave their all. The win sees the football club equal their all time senior SHFL record of twenty three victories
in a campaign & remain right in the mix for a top four berth. Next is the visit of Brora Rangers to Harlaw on Wednesday, as Locos look to notch their home league win against this opponent in the current era. Full time at The Haughs was Turriff Utd 0 Inverurie Loco Works 1.