INVERURIE Locos produced an amazing fightback to maintain their William Hill Scottish Cup run. They fought back from 3-0 down against Arbroath and the 3-3 draw means if they can overcome the Red Lichties in the replay on Saturday, they will earn a mouth-watering clash with Celtic at Parkhead
In the previous round, Locos were 3-1 down to Huntly before storming back to win 4-3.
Locos co-boss Scott Buchan, while thrilled with the prospect of facing the SPL champions, is insisting it is only a potential tie at this stage.
He said: “Firstly just to be in the draw for the fourth round of the Scottish Cup to get this opportunity is a fantastic achievement for us as well as for Turriff Utd, Deveronvale e and Nairn County. “It is an incredible potential draw and incentive for both ourselves and Arbroath. However, at the moment that’s all it is, a potential draw and if we don’t win then that’s all it will ever be.
“There can be no greater incentive for our players to go and win the replay than what lies ahead for them. They did themselves proud on Saturday with their performance and comeback but they now have to prepare properly this week and get ready to do it all again this Saturday. “As players, managers, committee and fans at our level we can only ever really dream of these type of games coming up but here we are with the opportunity to do it.” Arbroath went one up in only four minutes. Centre forward Steven Doris drifted in from the right as Ryan Broadhurst appeared to clear the cross from the right. But it came back to Doris who cleverly went over the trailing leg of Neil McLean. A clear penalty and Doris duly sent goalkeeper Andy Reid the wrong way There was no wallowing in self pity however, Locos replied when a floated cross from Jamie Michie, was just too strong as it flew away from the reach of Clark Bain in front of goal. Locos’ best chance came when Bain took a pass from Andy Low, drove for goal but saw his thunderbolt deflected through a ruck for a corner The second goal came in 23 minutes. Experienced player boss Paul Sheerin’s chip was headflicked on by Derek Holmes, running across the face of goal for Paul Currie to slip under the body of Reid Locos strangely had looked the more likely side to score. They responded by piling in shots from Broadhurst, young Mark Souter and Clark Bain, all denied by last ditch defending. The killer blow appeared to have been applied in 57 minutes. Steven Doris raced on to a low pass and only the combination of Locos defenders kept him out at the expense of a corner. However from that flag kick, Derek Holmes flicked on and Darren Gribben applied the cheeky backheel into the net
Locos’ great never say die attitude was rewarded in 67 minutes, Man of the Match Jamie Michie powered in the cross from the right for Clark Bain to apply the needful and touch home at the back post
Stuart McKay ended a great passing move by firing a shot onto the top of the crossbar and over. However with four minutes to go a combination of subs Scott Begg and Craig Ross looked certain to knock home a second consolation from close range.
The ball broke kindly for Neil Gauld to fire high into the roof of the net Just into added time, the equaliser came.
This time Bain chased down a ball that he looked second favourite to reach, but he got there before Scott Morrison, heading the ball over the keeper and goalward. The ball was cleared on to the post but Neil Gauld was there to knock home his second of the game . Michie deservedly got Sponsors Man of the Match, several others earning eight out of ten including the 18 year old Souter, a human dynamo in the engine room.
Having just seen his side net their 10th goal in the competition and stay in it, co-boss Buchan said: “My co-boss Kenny Coull and myself commented at half time we could come back yet again but it was tongue in cheek.
“We certainly didn’t think it possible when we went three behind. Sometimes at that stage it can go two ways, it can go to four or five The momentum was with us in the last 20-25 minutes, Arbroath had it after their first goal. Our fitness was good and we were running on adrenalin. The players got their rewards because their effort on the day was fantastic, allied to a fair bit of quality
“Arbroath have great players, classy players who want to get the ball down, they play football all the time.”
Inverurie Locos: Reid Michie McLean, Bain Park Broadhurst, Souter (Begg 83), Stewart Gauld, McKay, Low (Ross 69) Subs: Bagshaw, Young Bell Arbroath: Morrison Baxter Brennan Kerr, Malcolm, Keddie, Gribben (Sidanda 73), Currie, Doris, Holmes (Rennie 75) Subs Hamilton, Bullock
Ref G Aitken Attendance 732
The full draw is: Aberdeen v Motherwell; Partick Thistle v Dunfermline Athletic; Kilmarnock v Queen of the South; Hibernian v Heart of Midlothian Airdrie United or Raith Rovers v Deveronvale;Turriff United v Albion Rovers or Greenock Morton; Livingston v Dundee; Rangers v Elgin City; Forfar Athletic or Nairn County v Ayr United; Ross County v Inverness Caledonian Thistle; Celtic v Inverurie Loco Works or Arbroath; Dumbarton v Hamilton Academical; Cowdenbeath v St Johnstone Stranraer or Queens Park v Dundee United; Stenhousemuir or Berwick Rangers v Falkirk; St Mirren v Brechin City or Bonnyrigg Rose.