BOTH Inverurie Locos and Deveronvale took time to settle in the searing heat on Saturday (September 8), the best chance early on falling to Locos captain Steven Park who blasted high over on the rebound after Darren McConnachie pushed away Nicky Gordon’s cross from the right.
Although the Vale were more controlled in possession, the home side were a constant danger on the breakaway, the returning Craig Ross missing a good chance and flashing a shot over the top a minute later.
As half time approached, Andy Bagshaw unselfishly passed on to front partner Stuart McKay but McConnachie was again alive to the threat by pushing the ball away.
The game had a goalless look about it at the interval but three minutes after the resumption, that changed. The Banff side grabbed the lead when Graeme Watt advanced down the left and from the bye line his hammered cross was deflected into his own net by home central defender Ryan Broadhurst.
Clark Bain looked certain to equalise in 74 minutes when Gordon played him in but McConnachie took the pace off his effort.
From there on it had to be resolute defending and top concentration from the Vale who almost added a second when, for once, Craig Morrison sprung the offside trap. However the former Keith, Turriff United and Lossiemouth striker swerved his shot wide.
Inverurie Loco Works: Gray, Park (McLean 42), Young, Bain, Adams, Broadhurst, Gordon, Ross, Bagshaw (Gauld 62), McKay (Strachan 62), Maitland
Subs: Michie, Bell
Deveronvale: McConnachie, Rae, Adams, Henry, Fraser, Cowie, Rennie (Urquhart 65), Rodger, Noble (More 70), Morrison (Mitchell 81), Watt
Referee: Doug Ross
After the match Locos co-boss Scott Buchan said, “I don’t think we played well to be honest. The Deveronvale guys were saying at the end we were unlucky but I didn’t think so. You can break it down and over-analyse but we didn’t take the chances we had. Stuart McKay in the first and Clark Bain in the second the ones I remember.
“It was poor defending, we told them before the game and at half time how we felt, we could go on and win the game but the guys didn’t listen to us.
“We were chasing the game but you can still be organised, we were taking a fair chance on the offside. We couldn’t do anything about the goal, Graeme Watt rasped it across, Kieran Adams or Ryan Broadhurst, whoever it was, could do nothing about it.
“We got success from balls wide especially down Nicky Gordon’s side in the first half, the Vale played it narrow in the second half and even narrower the longer the game went on. But we failed to get the ball wide and trouble them”
This Saturday it’s local derby time and away at the Haughs against a Turriff United side that has scaled the heights in beating Wick Academy and Cove Rangers in epic games yet have faltered against Strathspey Thistle and last Saturday , dropped two points at Rothes.
It really is a must win for both sides if they are to get in among the chasing pack and there is no doubt Messrs Buchan and Coull will have closely monitored the form of certain individuals in Wednesday night’s William Lippe Architects Challenge Cup match against Colony Park.