MITCH GLITCH IN LOCOS SYSTEM
BREEDON HIGHLAND FOOTBALL LEAGUE SATURDAY JANUARY 12TH 2019 COVE RANGERS 1 INVERURIE LOCO WORKS 0 Cove-McKenzie Redford H Milne Scully Ross Strachan Park Masson Megginson (McManus) Brown (MacRae) MacLeod (C Milne). Unused subs - Watson McCafferty Locos-A Reid T Reid Herd Duff (Michie) Crisp Broadhurst Mitchell McLean (Leyden) Gauld (Hunter) Angus Watt. Unused subs Souter Rennie Bolton Cook Match Stats, Locos first. Shots ON 1-11, Shots OFF 1-6, Fouls 10-11, Offside 6-3, Corners 1-10, Yellows 1-3. Inverurie Locos made their first trip to the Balmoral Stadium in Altens on Saturday to face the defending champions & current league leaders. Locos were obviously the underdogs, sitting eleven points behind the hosts in the table & having played three games more. Some comfort could possibly be gleaned by the last league meeting in Aberdeen when Locos shocked Rangers at Spain Park three years ago. This latest match marked the first league meeting at a Cove home ground between the clubs since January 2015. A peculiar coincidence that some might find of interest (others will find it irrelevant & boring) is that this fixture & this first one at Balmoral both posted the same referee - Graham Beaton. It was Mr Beaton’s first Locos match since the Shield Final in 2016 at Christie Park. This was by no means a cold day by the January standards of Aberdeen’s south side, but the wind chill did make conditions brisk come kick off. Hospitality was full & in fairness the local support was certainly significantly better than they enjoyed at Allan Park. As always Inverurie were well supported with the AWPR making the journey simple. Manager Cooper listed the same starting XI that won seven days earlier. Rangers only listed four outfield substitutes, but the players that started for the Blues would easily hold their own in League Two. Inverurie had Andrew Watt shielding the back four with McLean, Duff & Mitchell forming a bank behind the pairing of Angus & Gauld. Hamish MacLeod set the pattern for the match by being first to shoot with Reid fielding with ease. Strachan was next to take aim, firing high & wide then Mitchell was so nearly set in on goal by a brilliant McLean pass, the ball just running away on the plastic surface. Harry Milne had his first of what went on to become a stream of headers inside the Locos box, this first one repelled right on the line as it seemed certain he would score. The worth of Angus to the visitors was not lost on the combative homesters & the Locos number ten was getting some pretty rough treatment. Gauld broke free as Locos came more into the match, but Strachan raced back to jockey the forward wide. A Milne flick was caught by Reid at the near stick, with Gauld then nearly away again, this time via a brilliant piece of skill from Watt, who was again showing up really well for the Railwaymen. Masson blasted just over as Cove dominated possession & opportunities, although Locos could point to limiting the easiness of the chances with the workrate from the visiting players really impressing. Megginson then had a low shot well held by Reid who was immaculate yet again between the sticks. Brown headed goalwards with Mitchell chopping the ball away from under the bar, the same Cove player then followed through crudely on Broadhurst, leaving pretty much everyone aghast when no yellow was shown. McLean shot wide from twenty yards right on the stroke of half time, the first effort upon goal for Inverurie. HT 0-0. Hunter & Michie were introduced for Gauld & Duff. Herd received a lecture after a foul beside the Cove technical area before Park shot again, with Reid the equal of the effort. Megginson became the first player booked, offering up some dissent. Masson then had to receive the same card after fouling skipper McLean. From the resultant free-kick Hunter blasted low below the wall with McKenzie spilling but being able to grab the ball well before any away player could take advantage. Inverurie were undoubtedly on the wrong end of the next incident. Masson, on a yellow, gestured his head towards Angus. Referee Beaton perhaps saw that the player required another chat, but maybe not the movement itself, as this would have been a very straightforward expulsion from the field for a player sitting on a yellow. Thomas Reid was cautioned next after a foul wide on the far side. Megginson then wriggled into the box & was away to shoot home when Reid dived full length to bravely block, brilliant from the young Locos full back. Andy Reid was hurt diving in amongst flying boots & required lengthy treatment. In his trademark style, big Andy eventually got back to his feet & continued with a bandaged head. Cove were really knocking on the door now & clocking up chance after chance as Locos retreated, Milne having a header saved & Scully having two chances blocked by Broadhurst. A Park free kick was turned away by Reid & yet another Milne header was pushed over the crossbar by the goalie. With eleven minutes of regulation time left the deadlock & Locos resistance were broken. Hunter looked favourite to win a ball in the middle of the park but a blue jersey got there first & from the subsequent hoisted ball to the back post, Herd got caught a little under it, allowing the ball to be played back across goal to be netted by MEGGINSON. Too easy for the marksman but a real shame for Locos nevertheless. A Ross header was saved with Park next to be yellowed for a jersey pull. Scully shot with gusto from twenty yards just wide. The whistle blew well short of what was expected for the the clutch of substitutions & the lengthy treatment for the Locos goalie, but Inverurie’s race was ran in any event & Cove had notched a very hard-fought win. The effort & commitment was top notch from all the Locos & no-one would have begrudged them a share of the spoils, but the endless pressure of that second period was always likely to yield something for the home side. MOTM was given jointly to Ryan Broadhurst, who was superb, & Andrew Watt, a young man who is really impressing the Locos faithful, assured, mature & clever. Post match Locos Chairman Mike Macaulay presented his opposite number Keith Moorhouse with a silver salver to mark Inverurie’s first match at the new ground. Saturday sees Locos favourite Deano Donaldson bring Keith to Harlaw, ko 3pm, before Monday January 21st is a date for the diaries of local football fans. Locos 20s will host Buckie Thistle 20s with the Buchan Babes requiring a point to become GPH Aberdeenshire League Champions for the first time. Kick off is 8pm & admission is free.