INVERURIE Locos were left despondent at the end of a night which belonged to midfield stalwart Tommy Wilson. In spite of the 11-1 defeat to Aberdeen, Locos skipper Wilson will be delighted with the turnout for his big night, reflecting his local hero status within the Garioch area.
Locos fielded a 4-4-2 formation with Wilson partnering Clark Bain in midfield. Managed by former boss John Gardiner for the night, the home side looked bright early on, but the Dons looked more threatening in the final third. The best early chance fell to youngster Jordon Brown but he was thwarted by a great reflexes from Andy Reid when through one-on-one.
Inverurie had a rare opening on 22 minutes when Clark Robertson was forced to make a last ditch clearance to deny Ryan Broadhurst a tap-in, but it was the visitors who eventually got themselves in front deservedly on 36 minutes. Josh Magennis’ ball found Brown, and he threaded a ball across the face of goal where Darren Mackie was lurking to prod home.
Just seven minutes later the Dons made it 2-0. Richard Foster ghosted into the box from the left before his shot ricocheted into the path of Mitch Megginson, who finished neatly from an acute angle.
Locos brought on trialist goalkeeper Daniel Bell at half-time, and the former Brora goalkeeper had to react brilliantly to tip Magennis’ cushioned volley over the bar.
The home side’s best chance of the night came on 52 minutes when Craig Ross’ delivery brushed the top of Youl Mawene’s head, setting up Nicky Gordon for a free header at the far post. However, the former Cove man could only find the crossbar.
Just a minute later however, Magennis was felled inside the box by Ryan Broadhurst. Josh Magennis charged himself with responsibility from the spot, and sent Bell the wrong way with a cool strike to the keeper’s right.
Aberdeen brought Icelandic trialist Kari Arnason into the action at half-time following a good performance against Deveronvale, and he capped another impressive display with a well taken goal. Arnason picked the ball up on the edge of the box before thundering a low shot goalwards, with Bell getting a strong hand on the strike but not enough to keep the ball from squirming in.
Craig Ross forced Aberdeen substitute keeper Alex Wimmer into a parried save on 65 minutes, but it wasn’t long before Locos pulled one back. Great play from Neil MacLean saw the winger backheel the ball into the middle, where Kevin Neish was well placed to strike a neat sidefooted finish into the net from 12 yards.
However, Aberdeen wasted no time in notching a fifth. Ryan Jack made his way into the box from the right-back position, before sliding the ball into the near corner of the net with Bell once again getting a hand to it. On 74 minutes the Dons added to their lead when Michael Paton’s cross was nodded into the net by Scott Vernon.
Four minutes later, captain Richard Foster threaded the ball through to Vernon who in turn rounded Bell. He unselfishly elected to square the ball to Rob Millsom, with the midfielder given an open goal to bag from three yards.
Millsom then added his name to the scoresheet once again from a similar move. This time Vernon tried a shot from point blank range, with Bell this time pulling off a superb save, but unable to stop the ball falling to Rob Millsom who had another easy finish.
Fellow sub Michael Paton was hungry to emulate Vernon and Millsom’s goal-scoring exploits, and on 82 minutes came the first of an impressive hat-trick. After receiving the ball from Arnason’s through ball, Paton was quick to round Bell and slot the ball into the empty net.
Four minutes later Paton showed alertness to get onto the end of Ally Graham’s misplaced back-pass, before rounding the goalkeeper in an almost identical fashion to his first. On 89 minutes, Nicky Low’s cut-back was met by Vernon whose shot was blocked, with the same fate awaiting Millsom, but Michael Paton was sharp to make sure he bundled the ball home from 6 yards, completing the rout.