MARKING his 500th appearance in a Locos jersey, Steven Park embodied his status as a Locos legend by salvaging his side a point in one of the finest games seen at Harlaw Park.
Four goals, five woodworks, a sending off and a penalty ensured a highly entertaining match, which ended in a two-all draw.
Rothes four goal hero Neil Gauld found himself free down the left wing and was able to charge down to the byline.
He was able to find Craig Ross with some space, only for his rising shot to strike the crossbar and bounce outwards, much to the players’ protest that the ball had crossed the line.
New Locos signing Gordon Forsyth was unlucky to be caught tnapping on the edge of the box by a persistent Nikki Smith. Having picked his pocket, Smith had no hesitation in burying his shot into the back of the net from 20 yards.
A shell shocked Locos defence were then unable to clear their lines as they failed to cope under the Buckie pressure.
Having spread the ball out to the right, Chris Angus fired his cross into the box to find Jamie Shewan on the half volley, he smashed into the top right corner.
A move began with Clark Bain’s looping header being tipped away from the top right corner, before Scott Begg saw his rasping shot off the resulting ball skim off the cross bar and going out of danger.
With all the action taking place in front of goal,attentions quickly turned to an off the ball incident as Nikki Smith received a straight red, which left the fans stunned. With Kieran Adams limping away, it seems Smith took his frustration out on the Locos man right in front of the referee.
Scott Begg found the woodwork for a second time from a close range header inside the six yards box then Clark Bain saw his low shot, after a drive into the box, tipped round the post after trying to find the far corner.
Locos were then awarded a penalty after a cynical push from Ian MacRae on Gauld as the players tracked a long ball into the box. With Nicky Gordon stepping up to take the spot kick, Kevin Main continued his fine performance between the sticks with a fantastic save after Gordon aimed his spot kick low to the right.
Buckie should have wrapped it up when Robert Duncan did well on the wing to find the space to chip the ball into the box,with Chris Angus’ shot finding the far post when it looked destined for goal.
Locos finally found the net at Harlaw Park after a barren couple of weeks thanks to Craig Ross. The move began with a Neil Gauld cross on the left flank which found Ross deep in box, where he was able to aim his header past the outstanding Main.
After a poor Andy Low free kick which went through the box, Clark Bain gathered the ball on the right wing to set up the second phase.
Spotting the Locos captain, Bain placed the ball onto the head of local hero Steven Park who marked his 500thappearance for the club with a perfect header which left Main with no chance.
The conclusion saw a breathless period of play with Locos winning corner after corner, but unable to make them count. Buckie suddenly found themselves on the counter attack as Jordan Sutherland broke down the left wing before cutting back for Dean Donaldson.
Sensing the defence closing him down, Donaldson chose to lay the ball off for Neil Davidson who drove a low shot off the left post.
Commenting on the match co-manager Kenny Coull said: “We feel hard done by. Buckie were causing us problems, the goals we lost were our own doing. We worked hard to get the draw.
“It was a different game to the Rothes one, we’re happier that the chances are being created.
“We did feel the Craig Ross effort that hit the post was in so we’re aggrieved at that.
“Kevin Main was fantastic, hats off to him but when you get the chances against the Jags you have to take them.
“It was a fitting tribute to Steven Park getting the late equaliser. He scored a great header, we’ve been missing that for a while. The commitment he showed got its just rewards.”
Weather permitting, Inverurie Locos play Huntly in the Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup on Saturday.
Inverurie Locos: Reid, Young, Forsyth, Bain, Adams, Park, Ross, Begg (McLean 66), Gauld, McKay, Gordon (Low 80) Subs: Bagshaw, Souter, Bell
Buckie: Main, Macrae, Duncan, Cheyne (Davidson 46), MacKinnon, D Wood, Angus, Shewan, Smith, Hodge (Sutherland 68), Carrol (Donaldson 59) Subs: S Wood, Strong
Referee: G Beaton