Locos cruise to victory

Locos captain Neil Mclean takes the plaudits for his  goal after nine minutes.
Locos captain Neil Mclean takes the plaudits for his goal after nine minutes.

With new signing Stephen Jeffrey making his debut and Michael Selfridge in reserve on the bench, Locos took the lead with less than 60 seconds on the clock.

David Ross swung a ball to the back post picking out the unmarked Andy Hunter and although Grant Pennet saved the number nine’s initial effort with his legs Hunter made sure with the rebound as Pennet remained grounded and his defence stood watching.

Locos doubled their advantage seven minutes later when Neil McLean found the top corner with a crisp strike from 20 yards after the defensive wall had blocked Ross’s set-piece from a similar distance.

Paul Millar made a return to the front-line for Vale and was unleashed on goal by Gary Harris on the quarter hour mark but Ryan Broadhurst matched the run of the striker and did just enough to prevent a clear strike on goal.

Then John Maitland was unlucky to see his great effort from the angle of the 18-yard box come back off woodwork with Vale guilty of poor defending once more.

Things went from bad to worse for the home side when Craig Cowie had to be stretchered off after taking a knock to the head.

Colin Charlesworth raced to the bye-line and cut the ball back to Ross but Pennet was down quick on his line to smother the number seven’s attempt.

But it was Vale who found the net at the opposite end, Liam Forbes was disposed at the edge of the Locos box but when the ball was played back in from the left by Martin Charlesworth Scott Fraser caught it perfectly on the volley to get his side back in the game.

MacLeod’s side had a mountain to climb when Locos netted a third with just four minutes of the second half played. Joe McCabe getting on the end of Ross’s deflected ball into the Vale six-yard box and easily beating the exposed Pennet.

A mix-up in the Vale defence then saw Ross kill the game with a fourth for the visitors, the ball creeping agonisingly over the head of Pennet as the Locos number seven nipped in ahead of two home players

Scott Mathieson in the Locos goal was left with little to do as his team-mates remained in total control for the rest of the game.

This Saturday Locos are at Kynoch Park to face Keith in the opening round of the William Hill Scottish Cup. On current form Locos should have too much for their opponents.

Deveronvale: Pennet, Henry, Fraser Cowie (Manson 27), Charlesworth (Keith 46), Harris, Aitken, Watson, Heads, Forbes, Millar. Substitutes: Adams, Buchan, Leslie, Wilmshurst, Fyfe (Gk)

Locos: Mathieson, Jeffrey, Maitland (Mitchell 65), Souter, Anderson, Broadhurst, Ross, McLean, Hunter (Selfridge 80), McCabe, Charlesworth (Laing 71). Substitutes: Keir, McCaffrey (Gk)

Ref: L Duncan