GOALALICIOUS GAULDY IS TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY NOT OUT
Breedon Highland Football League Saturday March 9th 2019 Inverurie Loco Works 2 Clachnacuddin 2 Locos: Reid Mitchell Herd Michie Souter Broadhurst Hunter McLean Gauld (Charlesworth) Angus Stott. Unused subs: Duff Gordon Rennie Bolton McCabe Cook Coach: MacLennan Macrae, Finnis Webb MacDonald Smith Mackintosh Callum Dunn Gillies Logan (McDade). Unused subs: MacKillop Anderson Sutherland Wardrop Referee: Dan McFarlane.
Match stats (Locos first). Shots on 5-2, Shots off 7-3, Corners 9-1, Offside 0-0, Fouls 9-12, Yellows 1-2.
Inverurie Locos could only record a draw at Harlaw Park on Saturday against a youthful & committed Clachnacuddin, their second level-pegging outcome against the Invernessians this season. Inverurie had Thomas Reid out with illness & Andrew Watt unavailable through injury. The Lilywhites had one suspension & a clutch of injuries but still travelled with a playing squad of seventeen. Harlaw Park was basking in welcome March sunshine but a chilling strong wind was predominantly whistling down the park towards the Railway End. Ryan Broadhurst’s appearance saw him move one in front of Tommy Wilson on the all-time list, with Andrew Hunter having reached the milestone of one hundred & fifty appearances at Mosset Park one week earlier. A new Loco was unveiled too, with Ryan Stott having came to Harlaw Park in a swap deal that saw Jordan Leyden go to Formartine United, the paperwork being approved on the morning of this match. A Neil McLean corner was whipped in from the right & had keeper Maclennan flapping but finally managing to help the ball over the bar. Two further quick fire corners were won before McLean smashed a wind assisted screamer only two feet too high. Seven minutes and a goal for LOGAN. Uncharacteristic dithering from Greg Mitchell who was caught between heading back to his keeper & attempting to clear, allowed the young Clach lad to easily stroke the ball home from close in. The Clach goalie was having all sorts of issues with his handling & fumbled another McLean cross but then gathered the ball into his grasp. Neil Gauld fired a snap volley just wide. Greg Mitchell made up for his rare error at the back by claiming an assist for the leveller. He headed forward powerfully, allowing Chris ANGUS to lob with aplomb over the goalie. Sixteen minutes, 1-1. Dunn had a free kick charged down & Callum shot well wide as Clach, despite toiling for territory, showed everyone they were not for being cannon fodder. Andy Hunter was able to carry on after having an ankle strapped up before striker Scott Dunn escaped a possible scarlet card, had his kick out at Souter been visible to the officials. The aftermath was & referee McFarlane offered up a swift sharp no more nonsense directive & off we went again. Michie was fouled really close to the penalty box line but the free kick didn’t reach the goalie. Gauld had a shot blocked by a diving defender but the master marksman was then handed a kick from twelve yards, with Michie being clearly fouled again, this time well inside the box. A calm low finish from GAULD who had reached two hundred & fifty goals for Inverurie Locos. A fantastic achievement in Scottish football’s fifth tier. A Stott cross was just too long for Angus as Locos looked for a third that would probably have put this one to bed. HT 2-1. Dunn broke clear as Locos were caught square but a clumsy touch saw the ball reach Reid without a fuss. Conditions had noticeably calmed with the swirling wind finally abating. Two quick yellows next, to Angus & Logan in separate low key incidents, neither really worth the admin in truth. Ryan Stott flashed a shot inches wide, Gauld went close again & Hunter headed over from a pinpoint McLean free kick. Finnis was then cautioned for a more crude foul, unfortunately advantage wasn't given with Gauld receiving the ball twelve yards from the Clach sticks. Michie swerved the free kick just wide. The gusting wind was back up as Harlaw got colder again but Michie made light of the trying conditions to whip in a cracker of a cross that Stott volleyed wide. Keeper MacLellan possibly had a rabbit’s foot or other some such lucky charm in his keeper’s bag as he charged from goal & kicked at fresh air, the ball then bobbled as Ryan Stott struck towards the empty net, the shot rising agonisingly high over the unguarded goal. Angus had a shot held on the line before Locos were punished again for missing gilt-edged opportunities. Mitchell skied a clearance into the sky & Souter undercooked the backpass, DUNN was presented with a simple finish from the angle to level it up at 2-2. Fifteen minutes left. MacRae miscued a clearance with the ball zooming narrowly past his own posts, Gauld had a header held on the line before more slackness at the back allowed Dunn the freedom to have a pot shot, this time it flew wide. Angus & the introduced Charlesworth both went close, with Clach then winning their first corner in the eighty ninth minute. Inverurie couldn’t get back up there park before the whistle blew & it finished 2-2. Eight points dropped against clubs in the bottom five have put paid to the Irn Bru finishing positions as Locos look set to finish in sixth berth, a conclusion quite close to being commensurate with the crippling injury woes of the first half of the campaign factored in. Lossiemouth are at Harlaw on Saturday (16th), with Scotland v England taking centre stage the week after (Friday 22nd March, kick off 7pm). Tickets (including a limited amount of free ones for accompanied Primary School Children) are available at the club during opening hours & at Gibbs Menswear.