Locos are too strong for Jags

Locos captain Neil Mclean passed a late fitness test and opened the scoring.
Locos captain Neil Mclean passed a late fitness test and opened the scoring.

Inverurie Locos picked up another three points with a 2-0 win at Strathspey Thistle on Saturday.

The Grantown park was covered in five inches of snow a week ago but at kick-off the temperature was a balmy 13C.

Captain Neil McLean passed a late fitness test. Regular keeper Scott Mathieson had a minor injury and took a place on the bench with Kieran McCaffrey starting in goal. Ryan Broadhurst was in at right back with Stephen Jeffrey on the bench.

Locos settled the better and could have had a penalty in three minutes when Andy Hunter appeared to have been fouled, but it was not given.

McLean was then in behind the Jags defence a minute later but his cross was well blocked.

In 10 minutes Maitland rose the highest and his header was just over the bar. Hunter then shot wide when clean through on goal.

A Scott Begg challenge then drew a warning from referee Stewart. In 16 minutes McLean was tripped, took the free kick himself with MacCallum saving.

Jack Maley went on an impressive run on 18 minutes for Jags. Five minutes later Laing was sent sprawling in the box but the away side’s penalty appeals were ignored.

Mitchell and Hunter then combined well as Locos looked for their opener. Laing went close again.

Jags won their first corner on the half-hour. Maitland went close to scoring before McLean and Wardrope received a short lecture from the referee.

In 33 minutes skipper McLean broke the deadlock with a whipped free kick from wide on the right that should have been fielded by the keeper. It was however another show of quality from Nacho.

Four minutes later Hunter played in McLean again and the keeper partially redeemed himself with a diving save to his right.

Groat earned a booking after being burned for pace by Laing. Patience then looked certain to level but was thwarted by Locos defenders getting in last-gasp blocks.

Hunter created a chance for himself in 47 minutes. Jags then again caused some concern for Locos but McCaffrey was alert.

Locos were continuing to dominate albeit with a slender advantage. Selfridge replaced McLean before a handball penalty claim on the hour was unsuccessful. Laing then had a shot saved.

In the 65th minite Patience went off and Hull came on. Jags blasted a free kick well over in the 73rd minute.

Young replaced Mitchell then Broadhurst picked up a slightly harsh yellow card.

The same player then shot wide before Selfie too went close. Hunter shot wide from close in and Maley then went close for Jags.

With two minutes to go Selfridge netted his fifth Locos goal to seal the points.

The win leaves Locos in sixth berth, a position held for the fourth time this season. While the tempo will need to be increased, and a more ruthless streak found in front of goal for the stiffer tests against Forres and Cove, it’s three wins for the club from the last four league games.