FORMARTINE TO THE FOUR
Breedon Highland Football League Sat Aug 11, 2018. Inverurie Locos 2 Formartine Utd 4 Locos: Reid Rennie Mitchell Duff Souter Broadhurst Charlesworth (Crisp) McCabe Gauld Angus Leyden. Unused subs: Herd Crisp T Reid Watt Cooper Cook
United: MacDonald, Crawford Smith Anderson McKeown Wood Stott Rodger Fraser (Burnett) MacPhee Greig Unused subs MacPherson Anderson Whyte Roddie Gethins Sim
Ref: Liam Duncan
Match Stats, Locos First. Shots ON 7-8, Shots OFF 9-6, Corners 4-3, Fouls 16-12, Offside 2-1. Yellows 2-2
• Inverurie Locos went into this tenth Harlaw league derby against Formartine United fresh from making Turriff United’s young side appear to be the direct descendants of previous Brazillian World Cup winners, whilst tossing away a two goal advantage. Formartine arrived with a 100% record this term & with a depth & quality of squad who would find it well nigh impossible not to be close to the lifting the title come April. Gaffer Cooper was understandably looking for a reaction from his charges & to some extent he received this, albeit individual errors aside. Whinging & whining about injuries is an unattractive trait but it’s only fair to mention that any side minus the guile, power & experience of Messrs Smith, McLean, Hunter & Michie is one that is weakened. The same starting XI was named here, through necessity, with the bench being a replica of the Haughs humbling too. Referee was Liam Duncan for this clash, a match official right in the middle of several previous controversies in matches involving the Railwaymen. There was a late summer chill in the air at kick off but conditions were most agreeable for all concerned. Russell Anderson was boss for the day in Paul Lawson’s absence. Locos were attacking the Railway End in the first period. The early sparring was even, with a Charlesworth volley going high & an Angus shot deflected wide, but the visitors gained control, more streetwise & with a better first touch than their hosts. Neil Gauld usually devours chances like the one he missed right in front of goal, with Andrew Greig then allowed to run without challenge to test Reid from distance. Several decisions from the referee were causing confusion & frustration & after a further error, in the eyes of the homesters, he engaged in a virtual nose to nose confrontation with Neil Cooper. Eighteen minutes & 1-0 to United. GREIG hitting a shot from the edge of the box that went in at the goalie’s near post. Three minutes later and a Locos pen with Charlesworth tripped as he bore down on goal. GAULD despatched easily. Locos couldn’t get a foothold & found themselves 2-1 down after 28 minutes. Souter had two chances to find the proverbial row Z but deliberated & left RODGER with an easy finish from close in. United were worth a lead but so disappointing that it had been given away so cheaply. Souter then conceded a penalty, mistiming a challenge. Fraser leaned back & crashed his effort off the face of the bar. Let off. McKeown picked up a yellow for a leading elbow that would have been a harsh red but such an offence regularly sees that punishment. MacDonald wasn’t impressing with his footwork in the Formartine goal but was in top form with his gloves to tip a McCabe free-kick over. Angus then stooped to direct a header goalwards but it was saved on the line. Charlesworth was fouled in front of the home technical area & left in quite a bit of pain. This didn’t add to the bonhomie between the managers & Mr Duncan. Stuart Duff then had a cheeky, clever lob come back off the post with the keeper stranded. The Formartine bench weren’t adhering to protocols with regular forays onto the playing surface & clamourous dissent, this went without censure right up until the stroke of half time when finally the referee approached them. This discussion didn’t have the body language & gesticulating that had been afforded to their opponents. HT Locos 2-1 down. United on top but oddly the sides had equally shared the ten shots on target. Locos had done well to hang in & only trail by one but that was undone on forty seven minutes. Losing eleven goals in four outings is very unLocoslike & the bulk of them have been soft & avoidable. A Greig cross wasn’t blocked or the winger made to work hard to earn the right to sling a ball into the area, & MACPHEE headed easily into the net. Dreadful stuff from Inverurie. Other reports will award MOTM to diffetent players but the scorer here was heads & shoulders above all his peers. Wood dissent saw another yellow, with Angus then receiving the same. Perhaps the referee was unsighted & unable to see the jersey being pulled off the back of the Locos man beforehand. The Terrace jeers making their feelings known. Stuart Smith strode into the box without challenge again & drove just over from the angle. MacDonald couldn’t hold a Gauld effort but his fumble fell to a team-mate. Mid August is an odd time for a panto but the good sized crowd at Harlaw were then ‘treated’ to one. A Gauld shot was deflected wide for a corner. The clues here were the ball taking off at around forty five degrees, the noise of the United block & the players of both sides taking up their positions for the most obvious of routine corner awards. Inexplicably the standside linesman flagged for a goal-kick. Quite remarkable. Assistant gaffer Park queried the logic of this incredible outcome & was ordered from the technical area. Locos found themselves back in the match on seventy minutes, ANGUS swivelled & shot low across MacDonald & in. Charlesworth was unable to continue, Dan Crisp entering the field. Angus was so close to being right in goal but his touch wasn’t there. The sides exchanged chances, none of them troubling their opposite numbers before a Broadhurst header was inches away from a leveller. The contest was over with seven minutes left. Locos conceded goals at a little over one per match last term but are toiling badly in that department this time around. Countless chances weren’t taken to hoof the ball away from the centre of their penalty box & SMITH said thank you very much & stroked it home. All over. McKeown was on a yellow but this didn’t stop him really berating the linesman & the referee. The impressive stopper was a lucky man indeed to stay on the park, especially after yet another close nose to nose encounter with Mr Duncan. The Referee was having a challenging afternoon.
A Gauld miss and an Angus scissors kick concluded this one. FT 2-4. Locos were much improved from Wednesday but were similarly well short in several areas against Formartine. For all that the chance count was encouraging but the Locos will only have any chance on Tuesday night in the Irn Bru Cup if the crazy errors & soft goals dry up. Formartine are the visitors again, KO 8pm. Never dull when these contrasting neighbouring sides go head to head.