Forres draw makes sure of runner-up spot for Locos
They didn’t know it at the time but after taking an early lead, an injury time equaliser was enough to secure second place for Inverurie Locos ahead of Nairn County and Formartine United in the Harlaw Park early kick off on Saturday.
With the Morrison Motors Turriff Aberdeenshire Shield Final meeting with Turriff Utd and a visit to champions Brora Rangers looming in their final week, a win was desperately needed
And after a couple of efforts on target lacking strength from Neil Gauld and Greg Mitchell, a touch of genius from former Aberdeen and Peterhead forward David ROSS broke the deadlock in eight minutes. Ross cleverly darted in from his right wing role and sent a sizzling right foot shot flying past Stewart Knight into his right corner.
Looking to add to the lead, Neil McLean’s set piece did well to find Ryan Broadhurst lurking at the back post, with the centre back’s header taking a deflection on its way into the side netting. The resulting corner saw an incredible miss from Jordan Leyden, as he found himself in space for Andy Hunter’s low cross into the box. From just a few yards out Leyden ballooned well over the cross bar.
At the other end, Craig McGovern’s free kick on the edge of the box brought Andy Reid into action, he did very well to smother the ball. Locos responded through Ross whose chipped cross to Hunter saw the ex-Banks O’Dee player’s header drift wide of goal.
The Can Cans worked their way back into the game and with twenty minutes left they were level.
Graham Fraser was fouled inside the home box and it was Stuart SOANE firing the penalty kick straight down the middle with Andy Reid diving to his right.
The home response came from subs Dean Donaldson and Calvin Roddie, Roddie showed great potential in making his way down the right flank before chipping the ball to the front post. Unfortunately, Neil Gauld, looking for goal number 42, saw his header go wide of goal.
It was the Mosset Park team grabbing what looked like a late winner. Ryan Broadhurst’s back header to Andy Reid was too short and Stuart SOANE nipped in between the two players to chip the goalkeeper from close range.
Second place was slipping away but as the game entered its closing moments, Dean DONALDSON picked up the ball at the corner of the box, ran through and slipped the ball into the corner.
A perfect finish leading into the Shield Final!
Locos: Reid, McLean (Donaldson 52), Maitland, Souter, Forsyth, Broadhurst, Leyden, Mitchell, Gauld, Hunter (Roddie 74), Ross.
Subs: Pugh, Keir, Mathieson
Forres: Knight, Allan, Smith, McNab (Hutcheson 74), G Fraser, A Fraser (Patterson 89), Soane, Archibald (Jones 67), L Fraser Scott, McGovern.
Subs: MacIver, Mac Kintosh.
Referee: Wayne Cusiter