INVERURIE Locos followed up on their impressive home win over Strathspey by maintaining their winning run so far in 2013 thanks to Stuart McKay grabbing a 94th minute winner against Deveronvale on Saturday.
Locos won 1-0 on their first ever trip to PRP in 2001 and it was the same scoreline when the sides last met there in February. The late, late show with ten men ensured Locos moved on to the same points total as the Banff side.
Locos registered the first chance after a short pass by Craig Ross found Kieran Adams who evaded the tackle from Scott Fraser. He made his way into the box, trying his luck from a tight angle but his effort just went wide of the left hand post.
From the goal kick Vale produced a chance for themselves and it saw Colin Charlesworth make a 15-yard dashing run before trying to catch Andy Reid out with a speculative chip but it landed on the roof of the net.
Steven Park then played a long ball into Craig Ross who tried his luck from 16 yards but Darren McConnachie dived down to his right to deny the breakthrough on 22 minutes.
Vale had a great chance to open the scoring when a red card came for Locos, Graeme Watt played a great ball in from the left hand side, it found Kris Duncan who dinked his shot goalwards but it was deemed a deliberate hand ball on the line by Steven Park
It denied the goalscoring opportunity and referee Graham Fraser had no option but to send the defender off. Scott Fraser had seen his penalty saved last week at Rothes but took the responsibility. However he blasted it high over and on to Duff House Golf Course.
Coming back out a man short, Locos had a couple of decent chances, firstly through Ryan Broadhurst which was comfortably held by McConnachie after being played through by Neil Gauld. Then through Kieran Adams after Nicky Gordon was the provider but “Mini” was alert to the danger once again.
Vale had three great chances in a short period of time to open the scoring, two of these coming via corner kicks. Firstly a great ball from Watt found Scott Fraser but his effort was deflected behind. Fraser was in about again via a ball sent in by Watt but his downward header hit the post and Vale eventually gained another corner. Yet another great delivery by Watt which this time found the head of Chris Blackhall but his goalbound header was blocked on the line by Marc Young.
The hosts then thought they took the lead after Watt put in a great ball along the goalmouth from the left hand side. It found Charlesworth but he was deemed offside after the ball found the back of the net.
Andy Reid was Man of the Match and he proved it with a great stop to deny Vale the winner in the 87th minute after Kyle Rae fired a free kick on goal but Reid got down to deny the right back a taste of glory.
Locos made them pay for the missed opportunities after a great ball was sent in from the right hand side by Clark Bain. It found Stuart McKAY who placed his shot beyond McConnachie into the bottom left hand corner to send the visitors home delighted.
Deveronvale: McConnachie, Rae, Barclay (Rennie 89), Henry, Fraser, Cowie, Charlesworth (Noble 75), Rodger, Duncan (Morrison 64), Blackhall, Watt
Subs: Kevin Adams, Mitchell
Inverurie Locos: Reid, Kieran Adams, McLean, Bain, Park, Broadhurst, Ross, Begg, Gauld (McKay 78), Low (Young 40), Gordon
Subs: Strachan, Maitland, Gray
Referee: G Fraser
After the match, Locos co-manager Scott Buchan said: “From our point of view I felt we deserved it purely because of the way the boys dug in. A real dogged display when we went to ten men. Really organised and dangerous on the break
“It’s a bit of luck maybe, because people were telling us we’d taken off our match winner (Neil Gauld) but we’ve put our match winner on. It worked.
“When Steven Park was sent off, Craig Ross went back, but we wanted a more natural defender on. Andy Low had taken a knock so he was the player to come off and we put on Marc Young at right back with Kieran Adams going to centre half. “Steven did handle the ball but he was pushed. I was up in the stand in the first half but I can’t argue it did hit his hand. We’re doing OK, it’s a New Year, 2012 was hot and cold. We’ve had two clean sheets, that defensive display was fantastic.
“Andy Reid was really organised. He came back to us from Turriff where he had not been playing every week. He’s working really hard and it showed. He had a one-on-one and was clutching and punching out on other occasions.”
Weather permitting, it’s hoped the snow and ice will have disappeared to allow this Saturday’s big Harlaw Park derby to go ahead.
It’s Locos v Turriff United, Andy Reid looking to put the shutters up again to foil his cousin, the legendary Turra co-boss Mark Simpson and co who stuck seven past Rothes on Saturday. Kick-off is a 3pm.