HUMBLED AT HARMSWORTH
WICK ACADEMY 6 INVERURIE LOCOS 2 Wick -MCCARTHY M STEVEN G STEVEN HARDWICK MANSON HENRY MACKAY (GUNN) MACGREGOR MACADIE D ALLAN (AITKENHEAD) GORDON MACNAB (GRANT MACNAB) – UNUSED SUBS – R ALLAN CLARK Locos – A REID MICHIE (T REID) HERD DUFF SOUTER BROADHURST MITCHELL MCLEAN GAULD (BOLTON) MCCABE LEYDEN. UNUSED SUBS CRISP RENNIE WATT CHARLESWORTH COOK Stats – Locos First. Shots ON 8-12, Shots OFF 3-6, Fouls 9-14, Corners 12-4, Offside 3-1, Yellows 2-0 A heavy reverse has been on the cards for several weeks with Locos a shadow of the side they were last term, & unfortunately it arrived at a desolate, rain-soaked Harmsworth Park on Saturday. Inverurie were on the same lines as the personnel that defeated Huntly in the Shield. Locos were shooting up the slope first & early doors this was very much level pegging with territory evenly won. A McLean free kick was saved with Gauld nearly playing in McCabe next. MacNab & Macadie had pot shots & a Gauld shot deflected wide as the striker looked to net for the eighth match in a row. MacGregor was providing an awkward physical presence & a shot from around twenty yards flew into Reid’s arms. A brave diving block from Michie saved a certain goal & next Academy had a goal chalked off for an obvious foul on Reid. Leyden was barged off the ball to the deck, & received a lecture from referee Bruce for protesting when it was missed. Michael Steven was statistically doing really well to dodge a yellow card, totting up fouls & niggling away off the ball, before crashing into Chris Herd to again force the referee to chat to both players rather than original aggressor. A quickfire double then with Reid brilliantly saving an unchallenged Hardwick header & Gauld shooting into the body of McCarthy. A Macadie shot was deflected close past the post & the warning signs pointed to the opener on 27 minutes. A shot came back off Reid & HARDWICK reacted before any Locos players to net an easy goal. All too soft & easy for Academy. Gauld shot straight at the goalie as Steven committed more fouls without punishment. McCabe was one on one with the goalie but an unwelcome drag back was ordered by the referee to an earlier offence with advantage lost to Inverurie. A shame for the referee who otherwise applied advantage fairly throughout. Souter was fouled in the build up to Wick’s second goal, MACGREGOR left with another simple conversion against the exposed & unprotected Reid. McCarthy’s charmed afternoon continued in the home goal with two more fumbles but no punishment was forthcoming. Mitchell & Gauld came close to netting a lifeline but the Locos were 2-0 down at half-time. Locos were toiling to make anything of this contest & were coming second in almost all the fifty-fifty challenges, vigour & energy again lacking. A yellow card was presented to Chris Herd for a jersey pull before a misdirected Academy header was hacked off their own line. A short corner went wrong for Inverurie with Leyden yellowed for a foul as Wick broke. Locos then lost two goals in four terrible minutes. HENRY netted with ease as Inverurie’s collective defending swung between ineffective & abject. Runs weren’t matched, opponents weren’t closed down & the parsimonious play from 2017/18 looked like a distant memory. Gordon MACNAB’S shot then skipped off the wet surface confusing Reid. Gauld then had his jersey pulled in the box but nothing was given, typical of the day. A tiny chink of light for Locos on 75 minutes. McCarthy’s luck finally ran out & as he lost a ball in flight, MCCABE headed home. ALLAN scored next however, waltzing through without much fuss. MACGREGOR then netted number six as Locos capitulated timidly. The energetic young talent that is Thomas REID headed home the eighth goal of the game, becoming the ninety second Loco to net a senior goal. The header looped high into the sky & dropped below the bar, a splendid moment for Thomas. Bedraggled, beaten & bereft of anything meaningful, Locos trudged off at full time after one of the lowest days in their SHFL history. Academy officials, supporters & players headed along the road to celebrate their 125th anniversary, & in truth they didn’t need to pull up any Caithness trees to bag six goals on their special day. Showing total class in defeat, Inverurie Locos Chairman Mike Macaulay presented a lovely inscribed salver to his opposite number James Innes, to mark their 125th landmark. Locos head to Fort William on Saturday, before hosting Forres Mechanics on the 27th.