Ten man Inverurie Locos battled adversity to come out on top in the big local derby against Formartine United on Wednesday night by three goals to two.
Despite the second half loss of defender Jamie Michie who was sent-off, it was a side inspired by the deadly finishing of Neil Gauld that deservedly came out on top to spoil Kris Hunter’s home managerial debut.
Mark Souter and Gauld were given starting places for the penultimate game of the season, both key players having missed the majority of the season through serious injury
But the visitors could have been behind in only 15 seconds when midfielder Neil McVitie ghosted in through the middle but with only Andy Reid to beat, fired wide.
In 20 minutes it was Martin Bavidge racing through the inside left position away from Stuart Smith and seeing Andy Shearer tip his shot on to the top of the crossbar.
On 32 minutes it was 1-0 for the home team. Napier was in good position on the left side and curled his shot low to Reid’s left corner. The goalie made a great parry but only into the path of the deadly Cammy KEITH to tuck away from close range.
But it only took six minutes for an equaliser. Bavidge cut the ball back from the right for his re-united front partner Neil GAULD to make the perfect trap of the ball and with his next touch smack the ball left footed inside Shearer’s right corner.
It could and should have been a Locos lead because two minutes from the break, Gauld got away from Stephen Jaffray who clearly tripped him, but the referee said no penalty.
Stuart Anderson and Calum Bagshaw combined to set up Neil MCVITIE to neatly slip the ball inside the corner of the net
A bad enough blow but worse was to follow as Jamie Michie received a straight red following an altercation with Duguid who was only booked.
Despite the setback Gauld, who looked like he’d never been out of team, such was his freshness, fired wide from an acute angle.
But there was to be a breakthrough for the deadly GAULD in 77 minutes. Seconds after he battered the ball off the top of the upright, sub Martin Laing quickly set him up to zoom in on goal and fire high into the roof of the net.
2-2 now but that was to change in the 90th minute, Jordan LEYDEN the hero, cutting in from the right and curling the ball away from Shearer, the ball nestling into the corner.
Formartine Utd: Shearer, Dingwall, Duguid, Jeffrey Smith, Clark, Anderson, McVitie (Lawrence 88), Keith, Napier(Madle 72), Bagshaw (McKay 76)
Subs: Munro, Marshall, Watson
Inverurie Locos: Reid, Michie, Forsyth, Begg (Laing 64), Souter ( Keir 85), Broadhurst, Young, McLean, Gauld, Bavidge, Ross (Leyden 72)
Referee: C Spence