INVERURIE Locos started 2014 with a massively significant 2-0 derby win which clocked up four points out of six in their successive derby meetings with Formartine United.
And with thirteen goals over the period of a month, the Garioch side are well placed for a title tilt at the midway point reached in their campaign
With Gordon Forsyth, Scott Begg and Dean Donaldson ruled out of the previous week’s side through injury, illness and holiday respectively, their replacements Marc Young, Mark Souter and Jordan Leyden came in to play a huge contribution to the victory. David Ross was also on holiday so a very pleasant New Year surprise for Locos fans was a one off sub appearance by local hero Craig Ross.
Formartine started the match the better, the first opportunity of the match as Paul Napier linked up with with Daniel Park who in turn fed on to Michael Ewen. Racing into the box behind the home defence, last season’s club top scorer steered his shot wide of the near post with only Andy Reid to beat.
Locos weathered the early storm and in a bizarre 60 seconds of play could have been two ahead yet the score remained all square. Neil Gauld was the man who fell foul of the offside trap twice in a minute as his cleverly poked home a six yard finish from a Jordan Leyden cross but the far side Assistant Referee’s flag for offside was up as quick as a flash. Immediately Leyden sent a low drive the ever alert Gauld once again pouncing but again just as the ball hit the net, the flag was raised
The onslaught continued from the same combo. Neil McLean playing the deep ball to Leyden was headed into the side net by Gauld
The play switched back to the visitors, Ewen was given free space to run down the right side, only to see his well powered shot palmed away by the in form Reid.
At the midway point of the half, Park was determined to keep the ball in at the right bye line. His resulting cross into the six yard box was deflected out, only to Ewen who snatched at his shot and sent it high over the crossbar.
Just before the half hour, the Locos seized the initiative. Gauld returned favours in full with a slide-rule pass to Jordan LEYDEN who took his time to compose himself and close in on the Formartine goal. He tucked the ball low inside Andy Shearer’s right post to make it 1-0.
The second half was not to be played at quite such a high intensity end-to-end nature but Martin Bavidge was becoming more involved with his clever footwork and in 56 minutes, his hard hit cross from the right had to be carefully pushed to safety by Shearer.
The front two were in red hot mood to kill off the game, Bavidge’s chip on to Gauld, a great first touch from the No 9, Shearer out to block.
With the rain returning, the pitch was becoming heavier, and in 65 minutes a clash Napier and Young, saw the Red and Whites winger be given a straight red card for appearing to retaliate.
With the extra man advantage, the Garioch side went for the kill. In 68 minutes Neil MCLEAN fired home an unstoppable low 20 yard screamer after the ball came in from the right. Shearer had absolutely no chance of saving.
Formartine pushed hard, Stuart Smith, Joe Hamill and Ewen all going close but the home defence stood firm
Inverurie Locos: Reid, McLean, Young, Souter, Adams, Anderson, Leyden, Broadhurst, Gauld, Bavidge, Maitland.
Subs: Mitchell, Still, Hunter, C Ross, Mathieson
Formartine Utd: Shearer, Munro, Smith, McKeown, Campbell, Napier, Park, Mcvitie, Keith, Ewen, Hamill
Subs: Bagshaw, Jeffrey, Davidson, Doak
Referee: T Shaw