INVERURIE Loco Works and Burntisland Shipyard set foot on the road to Hampden on Saturday, but it was the home side who pushed through to face Formartine United away, after a comfortable three goal victory.
The quiet first half finally came alive as Donaldson opened the scoring just after the half hour mark with a close range effort, before the winger put Inverurie firmly in command with an early second half penalty and his replacement Andrew Hunter scored with the final kick of the match.
The first chance came 15 minutes of quiet play, Martin Bavidge hooking the ball back towards the penalty spot where Dean Donaldson fired a low curling effort which was gathered by Jordan Mushet.
Burntisland’s opening opportunity saw captain Brendan Napier screw the ball wide of the goal but the visitors were forced into a double injury substitution soon after.
The disruption gave Locos a chink of light and they capitalised, Bavidge clearing surrounding defenders before placing his cross along the face of the goal, bringing out a palmed save from Mushet. Unfortunately for the keeper, this only placed the ball into the path of Dean DONALDSON who angled himself to half volley the ball into the empty net from six yards.
Hopes of a second half comeback for the Fifers were quickly dashed as Donaldson broke into the Burntisland box and was tripped as he lined up for a cross. Stephen Connor instantly knew his fate as the referee pointed to the spot and booked the defender. DONALDSON stroked the ball into the left side of the goal for his ninth goal of the season.
Donaldson, back in the side after a hamstring injury, found his time was up and dream of a hat trick ended as substitute Andrew Hunter took his place on the 70th minute. Scott Begg should consider himself unlucky not to have got on the score sheet in the latter stages as he curled an effort from inside the box over the cross bar, after Greg Mitchell threw himself at the loose ball to knock it into this path.
As the match entered the final ten minutes, Locos players were lining up to add to the lead with Andrew Hunter and David Ross forcing reaction saves out of Mushet.
Burntisland almost left the match with a late consolation goal as Kevin Masson took advantage of a mistimed jump from Kieran Adams to run behind the Locos defence on the end of a long ball. Masson gave Andy Reid the opportunity to close down the angles, leading to the eventual shot being smothered and then cleared by the advancing Locos defence.
Locos went straight up the pitch and with the box overloaded with players, Mark Souter held up ball until he spotted a gap for a shot. As the defenders closed down the gap, Andrew HUNTER found himself in the perfect position to drive the loose ball goalwards, evading the grasp of Mushet and finding the back of the net.
Locos; Reid, McLean, Forsyth, Begg, Adams, Anderson, Ross, Souter, Bavidge (Young 84), Low (Mitchell 71), Donaldson (Hunter 67)
Subs: Maitland, Park, Keir, Mathieson
Burntisland Shipyard: Mushet, Bridges, Connor (Macdonald 67), Clark (Smart 27), McKay, S Blake, Robertson (Doig 33), Bell, Masson, Napier, Blyth
Subs: Morrison, Henderson, Crombie, Sartarello
Referee: M Roncone