THREE second half goals saw Inverurie Locos make it two wins out of two to join Nairn County and Buckie Thistle in a three way tie at the top of the Highland League, but they had to battle for everything they got against a determined Strathspey Thistle side.
he first half was fiercely contested and referee Graham Fraser had to work hard to keep his cards in his pocket throughout.
Neil Gauld went close first seeing an effort cleared off the line, before the Locos went in at the break a goal to the good thanks to a Craig Ross goal six minutes before half time.
A long kick out from Daniel Bell was nodded down by John Maitland to Neil Gauld. The striker’s cross was met by Craig Ross who lifted his header over the keeper and into the back of the net.
In the second half the visitors were able to open up as the home team were unable to maintain their persistent harrying throughout the full game. The second goal, scored just two minutes after the break seemed to take the wind out of the Strath sails.
Summer signing Scott Begg netted his first competitive goal for his new club after Craig Ross laid the ball back into the path of the former Brora man who lashed it into the top corner from the edge of the box with his left foot.
Then two goals in the space of three minutes from Neil Gauld killed off the game as a contest. The first saw the striker nod a well flighted free kick home from 12 yards out, then a neat chest control and strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the box pushed the score to four.
The tireless work of Mattuesz Bobrowski paid off in the 91st minute with the Polish striker grabbing a well taken consolation effort.
Strathspey Thistle: Robertson, Ritchie, Anderson (Swinton 46), Mochan, Munro, Sutherland, Hardie, D Ross, Rothney (Reinsons 68), Bobrowski, Donaldson( Tulloch 90)
Subs: Russell, Wardrope
Inverurie Locos: Bell, Thomson, Scott (Bain 60), Vigurs, Park, Broadhurst, C Ross ( Neish 60), Begg (Crosby 60), Gauld, Young, Maitland
Subs: Strachan, Reid
After the match Co-boss Kenny Coull was happy with the result but disappointed there was not a clean sheet, “The first 45 minutes of the game saw Strathspey Thistle compete extremely well, they looked to close down our forward moves at every opportunity, so we had to work hard to break them down. Craig Ross got the opening goal for us with a very good header
“That gave us a lead to take into the second half and we started the second 45 minutes well. Scott Begg got his first goal for the club, a well taken one too. It knocked the stuffing out of them and with a two-goal cushion, it was a good time for John Maitland to get on the ball a lot more.
“Neil Gauld’s work rate kept the pressure on them and he was rewarded with his goals but we obviously have to be disappointed with the type of goal Daniel Bell lost, coming so far out.
“We are creating a lot of chances and that bodes well. Our first two games have seen us playing without our skipper Tommy Wilson who has been training hard but getting frustrated that the type of injury then sees him have to take it easy. He may have to bide his time to get back to full fitness.
“A couple of guys are returning from holiday but they need training after taking it easy for a fortnight and missing some of the pre-season. They will also be looking over their shoulders and seeing the team has won games in their absence, so there will be no quick walks back into the team”.
After the midweek Aberdeenshire Cup home meeting with Keith, Locos face another home game this weekend. Opponents are Rothes who have beaten Turriff United away and then lost heavily at home to Nairn County in their opening two games. The kick-off is at 3pm.