Locos unlucky in defeat

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Inverurie Locos did not need a welcome mat for Cove Rangers for their first home league game of the Highland League season.

The Aberdeen side found Harlaw Park to be a home from home last season on their way to Championship success.

Martin Bavidge retuned for Locos in the starting line up alongside captain Neil McLean.

There was little of note in the opening ten minutes but that changed when recent Cove signing Mitch Megginson, son of legendary striker Mike Megginson, tested Scott Mathieson.

Jordan Leyden had started the game impressively and forced Sam Burnett to head clear under pressure from Martin Laing.

Martin Bavidge was really unlucky not to put his side in front as his shot cannoned off the underside of the bar and away, with Leyden again the provider.

Andy Hunter in an unusual midfield role then shot wide but the stage was set for LEYDEN and he didn’t disappoint. The winger collected from Selfridge, darted away from former Loco Murray McCulloch and netted with a wonderful chip over the tall McKenzie.

Concentrating on keeping the lead for the minute or two to the break was now the challenge and it wasn’t a success. Anderson was booked for a foul that didn’t need to be committed, then a needless foul was given away in the aftermath. Connor Scully’s delightful inswinging cross from the right was flicked on and nodded home by BLAIR YULE.

Cove were awarded a penalty in 55 minutes, Gordon Forsyth forced to upend Megginson as he bore down on goal. MEGGINSON sent the ball firmly to Mathieson’s right corner to put the visitors ahead.

Locos were not for feeling sorry for themselves and a few minutes later they were level. Leyden was again prominent, supplying the free kick for HUNTER to beat McKenzie with a deft header.

A series of chances for both sides led to nothing and a draw looked on the cards.

But with three minutes left Mark Souter attempted to dribble clear from his own penalty box when the boot up the park was order of the day. Johnny Smith’s shot was saved but stand-in centre half STUART WALKER was left with the easy task of tapping home the rebound.

There was still time for Andy Hunter to connect with the crossbar and Bavidge steered a Colin Charlesworth ball just over the upright.