Highland League Cup Round One – Saturday November 16th 2019 FORMARTINE UNITED 1 INVERURIE LOCO WORKS 0 United: MAIN CRAWFORD SMITH ANDERSON KELLY MACINTOSH RODGER LAWRENCE (MCGOWAN) WOOD NORRIS LISLE (PARK). UNUSED SUBS: CLARK STRACHAN LAWSON GETHINS SIM Loco Works: A REID SOUTER MITCHELL (T REID) BURNETT (MICHIE) WATSON BROADHURST DINGWALL MCLEAN GAULD SMITH STOTT. UNUSED SUBS: GILL WATT COOPER GORDON COOK Referee: Scott Leslie Match Stats, Locos First, Shots ON 7-6, Shots OFF 7-3, Fouls 7-15, Corners 7-2, Offside 2-2. Yellows 0-0, Reds 0-0. Highland League Cup tie number thirty nine for Locos sadly produced the fifth first hurdle defeat in a row, albeit each one of these against the high spending duo of Brora Rangers & Formartine United, on their own patches. Locos had passed their hosts off the field ten days earlier & whilst this performance wasn’t up there with the standards reached in that league game, the regret & frustration will be the frittering of so many any gilt edged chances. The harsh red card received by Andy Hunter against Aberdeen had him banned whilst Chris Angus was still injured. Neil McLean was back in as was Eric Watson & Jonny Smith, Jamie Michie & Tam Reid moving to the bench. United’s full-time groundsman had the park in fine order on a day that several surfaces couldn’t cope with the excessive November rainfall, adding to North football’s fixture backlog. This tie was one day short of the anniversary of the last tie here in the same competition, which finished with a 5-2 home win, Locos in fact had shipped twenty five goals in the last half decade of League Cup struggles. Lisle had a header turned wide before Stott was sent clear by a clever Gauld flick. Ryan’s finish was well wide & missed chances by the away side were to be the narrative of this tie. Gauld volleyed over with Mitchell then on the end of a crude late challenge that Locos fans might observe was significantly up the tariff table from the tackle that had Andy Hunter & Neil McLean dismissed recently. Mitchell was left in discomfort & ultimately had to be removed from the fray. Macintosh shot wide for United with a Rodger leg left in on Souter again enraging the away players & supporters. Wood shot straight at Reid before Smith did the same at Main. A McLean rasper flew over with Rodger being denied by Reid just before half time. 0-0. Locos had been the better of the two sides & started on the front foot after the half time cuppa. Sam Burnett curled an effort that allowed Kevin Main to tip over & strike a pose for the photographers. A Souter header from the resultant corner went wide. United almost led when a Broadhurst header just cleared his own bar. A Rodger scissor kick was saved with a selection of fouls by Wood seeing the big lad somehow escape any ‘reward’ for persistent fouling. Skipper McLean volleyed high before Gauld was played in by Dingwall but shot into the body of Main. A Smith shot was deflected over with Stott’s corner blocked on the line. Jamie Michie had a chance fly just over before Park drew a decent save from Reid. Locos unconverted chances always had the crowd sensing a sucker punch & it came with twelve minutes left. RODGER collecting the ball after chances to clear their lines came & went for Inverurie, the Formartine number seven curling in a finish that was a rare moment from composure from any of the players afield. Gauld was one on one again but shot along the deck & into the body of the goalie. Michie took a direct free kick for Locos but shot over the bar. Andy Reid came upfield for a late corner but the equaliser, which would have been deserved on the chances created, would not come. United were through with the celebrations at the final whistle suggesting that the Jules Rimet had been lifted into the dreich Pitmedden sky! Good luck to Formartine United for the rest of the tournament. For Locos the harsh reality of not taking a series of very makeable opportunities. Both clubs now represent the SHFL with home William Hill Scottish Cup-ties, Locos hosting Broxburn Athletic on Saturday at Harlaw, ko 3pm. 

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