LOCOS PULL CURTAIN OVER VALE
Deveronvale 1 Inverurie Locos 2 Breedon Highland Football League Saturday October 6th 2018 Vale WATSON DUNBAR H NOBLE AITKEN ADAMS WILLOX NOWOSIELSKI (WATT) MACLENNAN SCOTT (G NOBLE) WALLACE R ALLAN (ROBERTSON). UNUSED SUBS GAULD MUNRO B ALLAN PENNET Locos A REID MICHIE HERD DUFF SOUTER BROADHURST MITCHELL MCLEAN GAULD MCCABE LEYDEN. UNUSED SUBS CRISP T REID WATT COOPER COOK. Match stats - Locos first. Shots ON 8-5, Shots OFF 8-7, Corners 5-6, Fouls 15-12, Offside 4-3, Yellows 3-1. Referee A. Proctor Inverurie headed to Banff on a bright but nippy October day, with a Scottish Cup exit & two dropped points to Nairn County to be cleansed from their system. Locos reached one thousand SHFL points in drawing with County. Vale netted a highly commendable victory over Bonnyrigg Rose in the national cup & their league form thus far has seen them punch above their weight. After the luxury last season of virtually no serious injuries, this term has been positively horrid & in addition to the long term absentees, Chris Angus & Connor Rennie were unable to play. On the flip side Ryan Broadhurst was back in the group. The homesters had Locos interest in their first eleven with Kyle Willox having previously worn Inverurie colours & popular keeper Errol Watson having three Locos clean sheets on his cv. The early exchanges yielded nothing of particular note but a moment of madness from Harry Noble helped Locos get ahead. The defender chopped down skipper McLean with no significant necessity to do so. Up popped Neil GAULD to ease the spot kick past Watson. Five minutes, one-nil. Gauld then flighted a lovely shot toward the postage stamp corner but Watson caught below the bar. Robert Allan blootered a drive towards the right side of Reid’s goal & the Locos glove king pulled off a simply sublime diving stop to push the ball onto the post. Nowosielski skewed the rebound wide. Wallace was yellowed for temporarily leaving the deck whilst tackling McLean. Wallace was back in the action moments later, when he found himself unmarked but headed well over. Loose marking has dogged the Locos this campaign, such a contrast to the frugal & mean defending from last season. Jamie Michie popped up on the line to clear a header but a delayed whistle for a series of fouls on the Locos keeper dragged play back. Vale had their tails up, with Locos reverting to sluggish mode & only a brave Joe McCabe diving block averted a leveller. Inverurie did cause panic though with a McCabe header hitting the post, Watson superbly repelling the Gauld rebound then a Chopper header just too high. Referee Proctor wasn’t letting this match breathe & his frequent whistling was cheesing off both benches & the punters. A wag in the Main Stand taking some joy in reminding the poor official that no-one had paid money just to watch him! Scott & Dunbar wasted Vale chances as half-time loomed. HT 1-0 Locos. A Deveronvale air shot allowed Mitchell to fire goalward then Nacho shot over. A Michie cross gave McCabe a heading opportunity but he got his timings wrong & the ball went wide. Wallace shot straight at Reid from twenty yards then the Locos goalie broke Banff hearts again with a trade mark diving stop from a Dunbar volley. Vale were undoubtedly on top but then there was a moment of complete & utter top grade carnage, that dumbfounded fans & officials of both football clubs. Greg Mitchell broke into the Vale box, rounded the keeper neatly, & as he shaped to strike the ball into the untended net, was bundled to the ground. Everyone stopped in preparation for as clear a penalty award as any referee could ever be presented with. Referee Proctor was well off the pace but the incident was so indisputable & unequivocal that golfers on the second fairway at nearby Duff House Royal Golf Club would have been able to correctly make a gesture to the spot. Incredibly no penalty was given & no assistance from the stand side linesman to help his colleague. The Deveronvale committee commented post match that they were just as flabbergasted as anyone. You don’t have to be seasoned & gnarled football watcher to guess what happened next. With Locos’ collective eyes rolling in their muddled & flummoxed heads, Lewis DUNBAR netted from ten yards to make this one all square. Chris HERD was yellowed for sharing his disbelief at proceedings with the match officials. Gauld volleyed wide as Locos looked to gird their loins & right the wrongs of a few minutes earlier. Leyden & Mitchell had shots go wide, Gauld then struck a free kick straight at Watson. Neil Gauld netted but it was ruled out for a handball in the build up, again some comedy capers for the fans to ‘enjoy’ as the Standside assistant referee saw nothing wrong & hurtled up the half way line for the re-start, even appearing to note the goal in his notebook. A frustrated Leyden picked up a caution for a jersey pull but the Iceman did Cometh seconds later to notch the winner. Neil Gauld did really well to wriggle free & his cut back saw LEYDEN go so close to fluffing his lines but thankfully his sclaffed shot from close in nestled just inside the Vale post. Jordan is eighth on the all-time scorers list with Martin Bavidge now on his radar to catch. Nine minutes left & McCabe, Mitchell & Gauld again had chances. Vale smashed a shot wide of the left upright as the game somehow eased into a fourth minute of stoppage time. Picking up three points when you don’t play well is a highly desirable trait & it was a boost to the Inverurie lads. The players are a long way off where they can be in respect of overall performance levels & just raw energy & tempo, but are only four points off the summit & will undoubtedly improve. There’s just too much quality & class for that not to happen. Take your pick if you were at the game, on the basis of the penalty panto problem, Locos deserved the full pointage. The home fans could point to forcing Andy Reid into two top saves, the one in the first half befitting a match at any level in any country. Anyway Inverurie Locos got the victory to set them up for a Morrison Motors Shield clash with Huntly on Wednesday before heading to Harmsworth on Saturday.