Locos and Mechanics draw a blank at Harlaw

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When these two sides met last March, a seven-goal thriller saw Locos come out on top but there was never any chance of a repeat in a game of few genuine chances.

Those that materialised were spurned and the ‘goal’ that was scored was a freak long--lrange deflection that looked like it had crossed the line but with the officials too far away to confirm, play continued.

The home side were dealt a blow when injury doubt in the lead up to the game, striker Neil Gauld, only lasted five minutes before hobbling off with a recurrence of his groin injury after a sharp turn to be replaced by Matthew McDonald.

Forres were the first to threaten in the 14th minute, a Robbie Duncanson cross from the left and a Lee Fraser header that was cleared off the line by the far post.

Locos were dealt a further injury blow a minute later, another attacking threat, Colin Charlesworth, being replaced by Martin Laing with a hamstring injury as manager Neale Cooper saw his options from the bench diminished with barely a quarter of an hour gone.

The Mechanics edged the possession as the home headed towards the half hour mark but Locos should have done better with a low driven cross by Joe McCabe that carried just a bit too much pace as McDonald slid in and failed to make contact.

Ten minutes before the break the home side felt they had taken the lead, an attempted clearance by Forres deflected off Andy Hunter and Forres keeper Stuart Knight scrambled the ball clear with a suspicion that it had already crossed the line in the process.

Hunter then had a shot well saved and out for a corner by Knight.

Mechanics started the second half on the front foot and Fraser should have done better with a shot from an angle to the left of goal that went the wrong side of the post.

Locos response was a 20 yard low drive from left back Greg Mitchell easily held by Knight.

On the hour Locos could have scored after McDonald beat Knight to a through ball but his shot from a very acute angle struck the left hand post and clear.

The home side should definitely have scored when McDonald ran clear but instead of trying to round the keeper himself he slipped the ball to Hunter whose shot was deflected out for a corner.

A game of half chances none of which were taken.