CLACHNACUDDIN still await their first ever win over Inverurie Loco Works following Saturday’s 1-1 draw, but will have another crack at it this Saturday as the sides meet again at Harlaw Park for the Scottish Cup Second Round replay with a 2pm kick-off due to Tommy Wilson’s Testimonial Dinner.
Both sides went into the tie without key players, Neil McLean missing out for the Locos with flu. The visitors started on the front foot with Craig Ross feeding the ball through to Nicky Gordon who beat the offside trap. He held the ball up and released it to John Maitland on his left but the winger ballooned his right footed shot over the bar.
The home players were working hard but in 33 minutes the Locos should have went ahead. Seven players exchanged passes before the ball sent John Maitland centrally but he blazed over from the edge of the box.
Two minutes later a long pass was chased down by Clark Bain and his drilled cross was headed just over by Nicky Gordon from eight yards. The home side’s first attack of note saw Allan Pollock win a free kick with a driving run, but he fired the set piece just over.
Just before the break Clach grabbed a breakthough goal against the run of play. Mark Dougal collected the ball in a similar position to Pollock but his 20 yard effort looped over Andy Reid and into the net.
Neil Gauld came on for the Locos early in the second half and he thought he had levelled just three minutes in when Marc Young and Craig Ross combined to set up the striker who netted from close range but he was adjudged to have been offside.
Locos kept playing a patient passing game creating space to deliver the ball in from the wings. In the 71st minute they were rewarded when Craig Ross delivered the ball from the right and John Maitland rose to power a header into the corner of the net from 10 yards.
At the other end, with 12 minutes to go, Neil Macdonald found the back of the net but he, like Gauld earlier, saw his effort ruled out for offside.
Both sides then went at it hammer and tongs looking for a win and it took an acrobatic save from stand in keeper Stevie Dunn to deny Craig Ross and he was pleased to see Neil Gauld unable to net from an acute angle.
Clachnacuddin: Dunn, Dougal, Milne, Scott-Woodhouse, Williamson, Macleod, Finnis, Pollock, Kennedy (Morrison 71), MacDonald (Brindle 86), Urquhart
Subs: Macdonald, Chisholm, Donaldson
Locos: Reid, Thomson, Scott, Wilson, Broadhurst, Park, Young, Bain, Ross, Gordon (Gauld 55), Maitland
Subs: Begg, Michie, Adams, Ainslie
Referee: Paul Reid
A relieved Locos co-boss Scott Buchan spoke after the game, “We came in one down to a good goal, a cracking strike from the boy. We were pretty upset at half time because we had all the play without threatening. We let ourselves down in the final third, no quality from either set of strikers
“We asked them to show what they’re made of, in the second half they did. A thoroughly deserving equaliser to keep us in the Cup.
“Clach did defend well but our boys kept at it. John Maitland hadn’t been producing the goods so I gave him a bit of stick but he shut me up in the end.
“Where we’ve struggled is our concentration late on in games, a massive focus was on making sure we’re still in the Cup
“Neil McLean turned up and said he’d been suffering the last two days so we made the decision to go with people 100 per cent fit and were justified
“Our form at Harlaw has been shocking this season, we went over that with the players, they have to apply themselves because Clach will fancy their chances on the basis that in this Highland League anyone can beat anyone on the day “