RANGERS ROUT RAILWAYMEN
Breedon Highland Football League Saturday September 28th 2019 Inverurie Locos 1 Brora Rangers 6 Locos: A Reid T Reid Mitchell Burnett (Gauld) Souter Broadhurst Dingwall Watt (McLean) Hunter Angus Stott. Unused subs: Gordon Cooper Gill Cook Rangers: Malin Kelly MacDonald C Macrae Nicolson MacLean (Wagenaar) Pickles (Brindle) Gillespie J Macrae (Davidson) Wallace Morrison. Unused subs: MacLeod N MacDonald Doherty, Counsell. Referee : Greg Soutar. Match stats - Locos first. Shots ON 4-11, Shots OFF 2-4, Fouls 13-7, Corners 4-6, Yellows 2-4. This match is the type of match that sides have to win if they are to have a right good tilt at the league flag & Inverurie came up way short against a talented Brora side, who in truth cantered & coasted, without requiring the higher gears, to this heavy win. Conditions were shocking in Inverurie early morning, they then cleared for a few hours before really heavy rain closed in across the Garioch. The match was never in real doubt thanks to the quality of the park & to the good fortune of avoiding the monsoon level storms that hit the likes of Fraserburgh & Banff. In a classic Scottish weather twist the kick off arrived & brilliant sunshine split the sky above Inverurie. Locos had Jamie Michie & Jonny Smith lacking match fitness, & started with ten of the eleven that defeated Wick Academy seven days previous, the only change being Eric Watson serving a suspension & Calum Dingwall returning, the pack being shuffled accordingly. Big budget Brora Rangers are title favourites, although they had suffered surprising defeats at Harlaw in each of the two previous seasons & of course the Locos faithful had to suffer the 'match of one hundred minutes' up at their place last term. The match referee showed a good attitude in quickly okaying the Harlaw surface upon arriving at the ground, all too often some younger officials these days are searching for reasons to postpone a football match rather than simply looking positively at the situation & the favourable forecast for the few hours to follow. Pickles was first to shoot, a low effort smothered by Reid. Inverurie's concerning habit of starting slowing & having concentration issues was back again as MACRAE was gifted the opener. Pickles snuck in behind a hesitant Mitchell & squared for MacRae to tuck home - all too easy. Locos were away to be through on goal with Nicolson blocking the ball with his hand to earn a yellow, a good professional one to take for the cause. Ryan Stott was bodychecked in front of the stand but this seemingly routine foul being missed was become a theme for the afternoon. Brora looked certain to double their advantage but an athletic clearance by Mitchell from under his bar delayed what looked like the inevitable. Dale GILLESPIE might have Garioch forefathers as he appeared to have been given the freedom of the town as Locos stood off him as he shot for goal, he didn't connect properly but a rare Andy Reid error saw the ball ease through the gloves of the goalie. The last thing Locos needed was the gifting of a penalty to the away side. Short man backing into tall man in the penalty area is more often than not a foul to the defender & this is how this one looked too, either that or no foul to anyone & play on but a penalty was given to Brora, awarded with some gusto to the amazement of Ryan Broadhurst. GILLESPIE swept home. Trouble for Inverurie. At last Locos rose from their slumber with Greg Mitchell shooting from distance, the ball deflected on its way to Malin, who saved well with no takers appearing lively to scoop up the rebound. MacLean cracked a screamer on the volley inches over the bar as the first half closed. Gauld replaced Burnett at the break. Gaffer Cooper received a yellow for comments made, the frustrations of the first period coupled to some eccentric calls. Pickles forced Reid into a top save before Chris Angus was hauled to the ground with his jersey half off his back. No foul given & the natives venting their collective spleens at what they saw as obvious Locos free-kicks being denied. ANGUS wasn't to be denied though & wriggled clear to grab Locos goal number forty, a lovely finish. The Railwaymen then had a ten to fifteen minute period where another goal would have made this a contest at least, but alas it didn't arrive. A Chris Angus yellow was another really harsh decision, the ball being won clean without any danger in his movements. Skipper McLean was introduced for Watt. Inverurie is home to an excellent panto each year but the last weekend in September seems a tad early. From an Andy Reid goal kick the stand side flag was raised for offside, causing a cocktail of amazement & disappointment. It was perhaps an incident that some observers might feel summarised perfectly how the day went at Harlaw. Referee Soutar, realising the incredible error, had to stop play then stride all the way down to the Railway End to drop the ball to re-start the match. Dingwall unleashed a drive like his one at Christie Park but Malin seen it all the way & pawed it away. Mark Souter was tripped as he ran from the edge of his own box but with the referee maybe unsighted the ball broke to MACLEAN who struck the ball superbly into the roof of the net. Missed foul but a class finish anyway. Brora didn't need to waste time as the match was won but did choose to mess about with a throw right in front of the stand. Chris Angus asked the referee if he was waiting for him to take Rangers throw on their behalf! MacDonald was yellowed for excessive time wasting with gaffer Mackay joining him after feeling the need to jog up to halfway to remonstrate. Much ado about nothing. A Brora free kick was stroked home by GILLESPIE, with the defensive set-up making it an easy conversion for a player who admittedly dictated play, albeit without a glove being laid upon him all afternoon. A Rangers corner was misjudged, it hit the the bar with the rebound bundled home by an unchallenged MacDonald. A terrible outcome for the home side with Brora pleasantly surprised at how easy their victory was won. Locos need to regroup swiftly for the Vale/Strathspey & Keith fixtures, before the Scottish Cup tie versus Rothes.