A Word from our Historian.
We’re always indebted to our Locos Historian for his regular & welcome contributions.
A New Season : David R. Fasken As we look ahead to the forthcoming campaign with that reinvigorated sense of optimism which greets each new season, it was disappointing to learn that, having qualified for the Irn-Bru Challenge Cup as per the (perceived) rules, Locos and Fraserburgh find themselves facing each other this week in an extra Preliminary Round. I’m sure supporters of both clubs were looking forward to the prospect of opposition from outwith the Highland League and, not only has that been dashed but, to rub salt into the wounds, the winners have drawn Formartine United in the First Round. It’s a racing certainty that the SPFL gave no thought to SHFL supporters when they made a late decision to add two English teams to the competition. It would have been fairer to have held over their entry until next season. Having said that, the SPFL is to be applauded for the innovative nature of this Trophy. Are Locos on the cusp of their first competitive match outside Scotland in their 116 year history? It’s a tantalising prospect! Pre-season matches tend to be of little guide to the season’s prospects, but are obviously useful for players to gain match fitness and get a grasp of tactics. It was, therefore, gratifying to watch a solid opening league performance at Victoria Park last Saturday. Interestingly, Locos started with a 4-3-3 formation with new signing Jonny Smith, Neil Gauld and Chris Angus up front; but, after Gauld had given Locos an early lead, Smith dropped behind the other two to help the midfield stifle any creative play from Buckie. Despite some smart passing at times from the home team, that worked and Buckie’s only real first-half chance was MacAskill’s wonderful 20 yard angled strike which cannoned off the post. Buckie shaded the second period in terms of pressure, but Andy Reid and his defence played very well and deserved the clean sheet. What was also noticeable was the complete lack of free-kicks conceded around the penalty area (a real problem issue in past seasons) with defenders standing up well to confront and tackle the Buckie forwards. Andy Reid made a fine stop from the one free-kick awarded about 30 yards out. Locos always looked capable of grabbing the clinching breakaway goal which duly arrived from Chris Angus. While Billy Thomson rightly pointed out that Buckie were at times forced to use the long ball, Locos actually used that tactic to good effect with Angus in particular controlling and laying off well (including from Reid’s towering punts). One swallow doesn’t make a summer, but it was an encouraging 2-0 win and in complete contrast to last season’s opener at Formartine – a 5-0 drubbing. The Fraserburgh tie will not be easy. A Peterhead friend watched both his team’s pre-season games against the two sides and reckons The Broch are ahead of Locos, although he did concede there was probably an element of derby incentive at Fraserburgh. Good luck to Neil, Steven and the team and perhaps we may yet be looking out our passports for a trip to London, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland or Wales!