BRORA Rangers could have won the game on Saturday by a higher margin than their 1-0 victory had they taken their chances against an out of sorts Inverurie Locos side who had been expected to bounce back from a disappointing display against Forres Mechanics.
The first half was devoid of real excitement, other than from a home viewpoint new signing Gordon Forysth settling in perfectly on his debut following his transfer from Dyce Juniors. Former Caley Thistle midfielder Richie Hart showed what was to come by driving a low shot in within five minutes
A long time passed before Clark Bain saw a good move break down when a long distance shot sailed drifted wide of goal.
Although Locos looked to have the edge on possession, they were at times being wasteful, allowing Brora opportunities on the counter attack. From one of these, Hart avoided a series of tackles and flighted a dangerous ball into the area. It took Andy Reid’s experience to apply the sliding challenge to avoid Steven Mackay knocking the cross in
In the 51st minute the Cattachs lit up the game by taking the lead. The outstanding Hart produced an excellent ball in from the left and left midfielder Martin MACLEAN timed his jump perfectly, getting in behind the home defence and beating Reid with his downward header. It was the youngster’s first goal for his club
It could have been two when a dubious offside flag from the far side linesman denied a headed goal by Mackay with Hart again the conductor of the orchestra. Locos had no chance to celebrate that lucky escape as key defender Ryan Broadhurst had collided with his own goalkeeper and had to be stretchered off with a serious knee injury. Although it is not a break, it appears there is knee ligament damage, adding to the injury woes at the club
Liam Baxter was the next forward to look like scoring when man of the Match Hart’s incisive set piece set him up but he failed to beat Reid from just inside the box.
Reid then had to dive full stretch to deny a hungry Mackay with a hopeful effort from the edge of the box and even in the final minute it was the visitors dominating rather than Locos driving to equalise.
The experienced Stuart Golabeck, playing in left midfield, played the ball to Hart whose swerving shot was brilliantly tipped over by Reid.
Inverurie Loco Works: Reid, Souter, Forsyth, Bain, Adams Broadhurst (Ross 62), Gordon (Bagshaw 84), Begg, Gauld, McKay, Young.
Subs Graham, Coull, Bell
Brora Rangers Ridgers, Ross, Golabek, Tokely Houston, M MacLean J Mackay, Hart, S Mackay, Baxter (Gillespie 81), Greig
Subs: C MacLean, Hind, Bruce, Allan
Locos 1st Team coach Iain Alexander said: “It is very disappointing as the players were told at half time that the same second half performance as against Forres could not happen. But the same thing happened
“There was a lack of quality about us. Brora used it to their advantage and got a good goal. Ryan Broadhurst is a key player for us, he was having a good game, and the back three were having a good game. When he went off injured it took an edge off us and we never got going again.
“Brora’s team is full of experience, they got one up away and knew what they had to do. Big Tokely marshalling his defence, the keeper solid enough, a very experienced side
“Gordon Forsyth has come in at the back and done well, he will get even better. I don’t know the Co Managers’ thinking, but I imagine he would have started even if Neil McLean and John Maitland had been fit and available. He played in the Under 21’s, did well and showed up well in training
“Kenny and Scott have put together an experienced squad, we feel we have the players coming in. But we didn’t really create anything.”
Following the midweek game at Rothes, Locos are at home again this Saturday, this time against former champions Buckie Thistle, a team also out of League contention. Kick off is at 3pm.