LOCOMOTIVES FINISH AT LEVEL CROSSING
Breedon Highland Football League Saturday February 23RD 2019 Inverurie Loco Works 1 Wick Academy 1 Locos – A Reid T Reid Mitchell Michie Souter Broadhurst Duff McLean Angus Hunter Gordon (Charlesworth. Unused subs Herd McCabe Rennie Crisp Bolton Cook Referee Mat Northcroft Stats – Locos first. Shots On 6-5, Off 14-7, Fouls 4-9, Corners 9-6, Offside 1-2, Yellows 1-1. The previous meeting between these clubs was an occasion to forget for Inverurie but this most recent clash was an altogether more competitive & compelling affair, with the humble tally of two goals not beginning to tell the tale of a thoroughly entertaining football match. Locos had top grade young ‘quarterback’ Andy Watt injured, as was the goal-getter supreme Neil Gauld. Stuart Duff started this one with Kyle Gordon making his first Inverurie start in the first eleven. Macadie was the first to show with a well struck volley repelled by Reid. A Michie flick was inches from having Angus find the net, before Reid pulled off a fine stop from Mackay. The away player looked well offside & the lack of flag had the home dugout suitably riled. A right fuss & brouhaha next off the park, at the Main Stand. Neil McLean was elbowed by Michael Steven & left on the deck. Referee Northcroft’s reaction in not even issuing a yellow card suggests he had perhaps not seen the incident. Both technical zones & the fans were left flabbergasted. In time honoured fashion upon a flashpoint being missed the innocent party can find himself going into the book, & here this happened again. McLean was puzzled & cheesed off & was yellowed for dissent. Fiery stuff. Michie volleyed wide, Souter had a header saved before Wick broke upfield. A wee bit of confusion & hesitation allowed Academy to work the ball across the box with Gordon MACNAB taking full advantage to rifle the ball high into the net from an angle to leave Reid with no chance. Wick had settled the better. The same player then shot well over from thirty yards, with Hardwick taking a massive gamble next in flailing an arm across Andy Hunter, off the ball. Hunter then had a shot deflected over, the trajectory of the ball & the loud noise of the touch from the Wick player all being ignored in the giving of an Academy goal kick! Angus had a shot held, MacNab swerved an effort just wide, Angus then took a touch, turned & smashed a shot off the face of the bar. McLean was being fouled again & goaded into a second yellow. Instead of reacting in a poor way, the skipper collected the ball on twenty nine minutes, weaved into the box & despatched a low right footed drive into the net. Great goal by MCLEAN. The goal eased him further in front of the legend Kenny Coull & the current team-mate Andy Hunter in the all-time scorers’ list. Locos had found their mojo after a difficult start & would go on to dominate through to the break. Angus drove right at the keeper’s body, Souter headed just over & Gordon had a shot held after a weaving run at pace. Hunter & Angus had further attempts before a breathless forty-five minutes ended. A half of two halves if you will. Michie was inches from being on the end of an Angus cross, Michie then flighted a delicious lob a yard wide, & Gordon powered past Manson up the right flank as Locos remained on top. Hardwick headed over for Wick, an Angus cross/shot took a touch & went just wide, Souter then flicked a chance up & over the bar from very close in & Macadie eased the onslaught briefly by shooting into Reid’s arms. Angus deserved a goal but another shot was touched wide & yet another attempt saved at point blank range. Charlesworth was on by now for Gordon & had a hooked volley flash wide. Keeper McCarthy shouldn’t have been given an earthly with many of these Locos chances & was to be a lucky boy again when he misjudged a run outside of his box & flattened Charlesworth. It was too wide to merit a creditable call for a red card. Quite ironic after a fair few cynical fouls by outfield players that the visiting keeper would end up being the lone Academy caution. McLean shot wide from the Michie free-kick, MacNab engaged in handbags with Duff behind the referee & his raised hands was again a high risk tactic from a very physical & robust Wick side. McLean had his jersey tugged as he burst clear but the referee saw no foul. Hunter then had a shot & a header go wide but Locos weren’t getting nearly enough of these well worked chances on target to work the goalie. Charlesworth was cleared out as he rushed through the penalty box. At first glance maybe more of a coming together, but then again the ball wasn’t won & it was type of challenge that so often sees a kick from the penalty mark being the outcome. A Wick goal would have had this scribe jabbering on about Dick Turpin but MacNab was presented with a chance to steal the extra two points but remarkably cleared the bar when considerably easier to stroke the ball home. Angus blootered the ball wide, Michie volleyed wide, MacNab had a further shot deflected wide at the other end with sub MacGregor forcing Reid to save. A towel would have been flung into the ring had this been a boxing match, to avoid further Academy punishment, but gaffer McKenna got a spirited if sometimes overly so, showing from his charges, & perhaps a neutral wouldn’t have begrudged his lads their draw. Statistically & territorially Locos were the better side, but ultimately paid the price for only having thirty per cent of their many openings on target. Plenty positives, the creating of all of these chances, a proper shift from all the troops & no punter went home short changed from this SHFL encounter. Man of the match was the energetic & ever probing & pressing Jamie Michie. Next is another physical encounter one would imagine as Forres Mechanics host Inverurie on Saturday March 2nd, ko 3pm.