Breedon Highland Football League Deveronvale 1 Inverurie Loco Works 2 Friday October 4th 2019 Vale: Pennet, Dunbar, H Noble, Aitken, M Dunn, Willox, Charlesworth (Scott), Gauld (Cooper), S Dunn (Munro), G Noble, Wallace. Unused subs: Robertson, Archibald, Smith, Blanchard. Locos: A Reid, Mitchell, Souter, Dingwall, Watson, Broadhurst, Hunter, McLean (Burnett), Gauld (Smith), Angus, Stott. Unused subs: T Reid, Watt, Gordon, Gill, Burns. Referee: Bart Misiak Inverurie Locos headed to Banff on Friday evening in the knowledge that they can’t have any further slip ups if an interest in the title race is to be maintained. Messrs Reid, Burnett & Watt went to the bench with Watson, Gauld & McLean back in the First XI, & adding a vast array of experience to the group. A Monday night red card in the county league had sub goalie Morgan Cook suspended for this clash & away at Strathspey, so young Murray Burns was on the bench. Vale went into this league game on the back of being desperately unlucky to have exited the Scottish Cup to Spartans, having dominated them four days earlier but unable to convert enough of their countless chances. Referee was Bart Misiak, his first handling of a Locos match since the brouhaha at The Haughs. It was a challenging crepuscule for the supporters & players with areas of the park not as brightly lit as they could have been. A neat Dingwall first time through ball had Locos on the offensive early & they won two quick corners as the pattern was set. An appeal for for a Locos penalty for handball was half-hearted but instead of play simply continuing somehow a home free-kick was given. Chris Angis is in fine form & a rasping long range shot deflected over. Five minutes & the inevitable Locos goal arrived. A scramble near the goal-line ended with Andy HUNTER stabbing home. Wonderful to see this player, who will turn twenty six next week, back fit & healthy & contributing to the cause. Scott Dunn was a tad high & late on Andy Reid as he cleared downfield. No yellow card & Inverurie went close again with an Angus snapshot saved. The GAS forward line were causing no end of concerns for Deveronvale & the S element, Ryan Stott, was tearing up & down the Main Stand flank leaving various opponents in his slipstream. The same player volleyed wide before a very creative Souter diagonal pass just evaded Dingwall. If was when & not if a second Railwaymen goal would come & it arrived on minute number twenty eight. Chris ANGUS collected a Gauld pass & glided the ball home, no requirement for excessive power, just another quality conversion. Vale were asked to take the same free-kick three times, causing their players & bench much frustration. Locos should have entered the dressing rooms three or four goals up but that set-piece nemesis was to catch the lads out again. A corner from the right wasn’t dealt with & Grant NOBLE netted. A totally cock-eyed scoreline but possession, chances created & total dominance is only validated by the ball swishing into the onion bag. The goalscorer left a high boot on McLean soon after, advantage correctly given, but then no ensuing yellow which was the expectation upon the ball going dead. The home side were again asked to re-take one of their free-kicks, the second attempt being a good five yards further away than the original award location! Locos fans were disgruntled with the referee’s performance in this opening spell, with eight of the first ten free-kick calls going to the home team seeing a collective scratching of their heads. Locos had to settle for a one goal margin in their favour at half time. Scott Dunn was right in on goal but a classic Broadhurst sliding tackle from the suave Englishman saving the day. Souter then had to brilliantly block another chance as Locos were getting a challenge from their opponents that was non existent in the first period. Angus, the imperious, impressive Watson & skipper McLean went close at the other end, with Grant Noble firing well over in response. Gauld released Angus but his effort cleared the bar. Scott Dunn went close to a leveller after a cut back, with the away players convinced the ball had crossed the line in the build up. Sub Scott drove just over as the supporters were beginning to sense that points might be about to be thrown away. Chris Angus was then crudely dragged to the deck two yards from the linesman on the Standside. The arm of the Vale player also made contact with his face. To the disbelief of the away bench & anyone with sight of this, no Inverurie free-kick & therefore no routine yellow. Smith & Burnett entered the fray for McLean & Gauld. Andy Hunter was yellowed for being adjudged to have not retreated swiftly enough at a Vale free-kick. Harsh in the extreme that this was the first caution of the contest. Jody Munro then contrived to miss the twenty four foot gap between the sticks when seemingly impossible to do so. He was unmarked at the back stick & duck hooked his shot across the goal & wide. Incredible. The same player then sweetly struck his next effort but it was two to three yards wide & covered by big Andy Reid. A wry smile for many on the stand as a fifty-fifty call went to the away side, football fans liking for a sardonic cheer never going out of fashion. Grant Noble was then away to start celebrating as his shot was well wide of Reid & on target but was denied by a worldie. Andy was fully extended to his left & not only produced a match-winning save also had the strength & technique to bat the ball out of danger too. Top class glovemanship. Sam Burnett curled a shot just wide before another yellow for Locos, Greg Mitchell considered to be dithering with a throw in. Again it was shrugged shoulders & raised eyebrows for those of an Inverurie persuasion, who were trying to process how the side with dominant possession could glean less than eighteen per cent of the free-kicks. The full-time whistle arrived & whilst observers could be critical of Inverurie’s slender winning margin, it was nevertheless a win for all that, & the spirit shown in the second period when the standard of play diminished was surely still a positive to take away from this evening match. Next for Locos is a Grantown trip under the lights on Wednesday October 9th, kick off 8pm.