SMITH SEALS SHIELD SEMI SUCCESS
MORRISON MOTORS ABERDEENSHIRE SHIELD SEMI FINAL WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 11TH 2019 HUNTLY 2 INVERURIE LOCO WORKS 3 Huntly: Storrier, Johnstone, Murison (Booth), Still, Ross, Milne, Meres, MacDonald, Ballam, Manson (Jack) Hay. Unused subs: Farquhar, McKeown, Esslemont, Thoirs, Matthew. Loco Works: Cook, T Reid (Michie), Mitchell, Burnett, Watson, Souter, Dingwall, McLean (Stott), Gauld, Smith, Angus. Unused subs: Watt Cooper Gordon Gill. Referee: Mazzoni. Match Stats, Locos First, Shots ON 3-3, Shots OFF 3-3, Fouls 9-10, Corners 1-3, Offside 15-1. Yellows 4-2, Reds 0-0. What a conclusion to this semi final at a freezing Christie Park! Andy Low has led to his charges to a cup final early on in his tenure, a tremendous accolade for the Locos gaffer & his staff. The Huntly surface was really soft & a lot of sand was covering a large patch towards the main stand, but credit where’s its due in an exceptionally wet period of weather, & the groundstaff did well to get the game on at all. Keeper Andy Reid became poorly ahead of kick off & took no part in proceedings, meaning a start for the talented young glovesmith Morgan Cook. Huntly settled the better & Meres was first to trouble a goalie, Cook brilliantly saving his drive. Seconds later and a towering if unchallenged MURISON header flashed high into the net to boost the homesters. Milne headed wide & Murison volleyed past the post as Huntly continue to be the better of the sides. Locos were to have a challenging night on the topic of offside, with an Angus goal ruled out. They were to go on to be on the wrong end of eight first half offside calls, a source of angst for the players & coaches. Inverurie were poor in that first period, recording no attempts on goal so a 1-0 reverse wasn’t a disaster by any means. Skipper McLean was yellowed for dissent before the second half kicked off, Milne to follow him into the book for an obvious attempt to deceive the referee to win a penalty. Inverurie were beginning to look more like themselves but a moment of incredible madness from Ballam gifted them a leveller. ANGUS latched onto a terrible surrender of possession & coolly rolled the ball home. Jonny Smith shot over the bar from distance, before Angus had another goal ruled out for offside. The player was at least ten yards onside. Ryan Stott replaced captain McLean. Eric Watson was enjoying his panto baddie persona, both seasonal & mildly entertaining, but his cupping of the ears as a tirade of abuse spewed out of the stand earned him a yellow. Angus had a shot saved then was flagged offside twice more, both calls highly questionable with the benefit of the high vantage point. MERES then looked to possibly have Huntly heading to a long overdue final, a rasping rising shot leaving Cook with no chance. Angus nearly netted as the ball spun down off a rebound from the goalie but GAULD bagged his eleventh Shield goal with a cultured finish. There were then to be sixteen minutes that were entertaining in the extreme. Stott was causing mayhem, tearing Huntly to bits. Still shot wide from the edge of the box, a home handled backpass wasn’t punished then Angus appeared to have won a penalty, being knocked to the deck by Storrier. The referee appeared to be considering the award of the spot kick but gave a corner. Ryan Stott swerved the award in with that sublime left peg with Jonny SMITH ensuring the ball finished in the onion bag. 93 minutes gone – incredible. There was still time for a flew handbag flurries but Locos stood firm, big Eric Watson, in particular, immense & basking in seeing his club into a Shield final against Fraserburgh on January 22nd at Cove Rangers. FT 3-2 to Inverurie Locos. Next is the Old Farm derby on Saturday v Turriff United at Harlaw, ko 3pm.