CUP EXIT FOR LUCKLESS LOCOS
EVENING EXPRESS ABERDEENSHIRE CUP QUARTER FINAL Fraserburgh 2 Inverurie Locos 0 Broch:Leask Davidson Buchan (Combe) Cowie Simpson Rae Young West Campbell (Cairns) L Barbour (Butcher) S Barbour. Unused subs: Watt Hay Hannar Flinn Locos: A Reid T Reid (Smith) Souter Burnett Watson Broadhurst Dingwall Michie Gauld Hunter Stott. Unused subs: Mitchell Gordon Cooper Gill Cook Referee - G Beaton. Match Stats: Locos First. Shots ON 2-4, Shots OFF 3-3, Fouls 10-9, Corners 2-6, Offside 3-3, Yellows 0-2. The outcome of this cup-tie may be all too familiar to Locos fans, with the club’s terrible run in cups over the last five years continuing, but this was a tie that was won & lost on the most slender of margins. Inverurie had talismanic centre half Eric Watson available with Greg Mitchell moving to the bench. Upon arriving at Bellslea it was a pleasant evening but high winds & driving incessant rain as kick off approached rendered eye-pleasing football near impossible. The pitch was impeccable, one of the best surfaces seen in recent years, neatly shorn & a credit to the staff. Disaster for Locos in three minutes, a cross was swung in far too easily from the Main Stand side & was met by an unchallenged CAMPBELL to net with ease. It was the type of goal that really hindered Inverurie last term. Lewis Davidson was right in on goal for Broch but a clumsy touch saw the ball run away. Jamie Michie burst through wide right and won a corner, Souter heading well wide from the centred ball. Locos were settling after that deflating lack of concentration early on & were actually the better side in open play, without pestering keeper Leask. The home keeper was handling the ball like the proverbial bar of soap, adding to the frustration of the Locos fans, who wanted to see him tested. Andy Hunter got stood on, probably accidentally, & continued after treatment. Eric Watson headed behind two dangerous crosses & Scott Barbour dragged a shot wide. Just before half time Neil Gauld wriggled free, the pass to a team-mate looked overly delayed but despite this, the flag that thwarted the converted chance from Andy Hunter, was tightness personified. Home fans later conceding, for them, the tall Locos player was level. HT 1-0 Broch. Mark Souter started the second half by marauding forward with purpose. Andy Hunter chose to find a team-mate when a volleyed opportunity arose, with Leask’s time-wasting finally drawing a reaction from the match referee. Locos were on top again & looked to have levelled when a Souter header appeared to most to have crossed the line. The Main Stand linesman would have required the full “Marty Feldman” to have had any chance of being in line with the header & the goalposts at the same time, and all whilst peering through the miserable driving rain. He chose to give the defending team the benefit of doubt, & Inverurie were frustrated. The instant reaction of both sets of players did point to a goal but desperately difficult for the linesman. Perhaps another sign that this tie wasn’t going to end well for Locos. Buchan curled a shot wide but play was focussed towards the Broch goal. Home gaffer Cowie earned himself a yellow card for refusing to return the ball. Twenty minutes left & the newly introduced BUTCHER snatched a goal right against the run of play. A drive was saved & the player swept in an easy rebound. So harsh on Locos but punishment for not converting pressure into rewards, albeit many felt that a legitimate leveller wasn’t given.
Jamie Michie was on the wrong end of a really bad Mike Rae challenge. The straight leg, raised studs & out of control nature of the foul probably should have made this a routine red but a yellow was instead brandished. Referee Beaton was getting further jeers from the Inverurie faithful when a Gauld effort was deflected away by a flailing Broch arm. The penalty appeal was ignored and yet another pivotal moment didn’t go the way of Inverurie. This tie ended with a 2-0 win for the hosts & a cup exit for Locos, but rest assured Neil Cooper’s players will play poorer in a future cup-tie & progress to the next round. A sore one but wounds need a quick lick as a visit to an improving Lossiemouth beckons on Saturday.