Inverurie Locos looked to be heading out of the Scottish Cup after going two goals behind to neighbours Huntly but three inspired second half substitutions turned the tie on its head and gave the home side a dramatic 4-3 victory. In Monday’s third round draw, they were given a home tie against Division 2 side Arbroath
The visitors missed a great chance to go ahead in 11 minutes when a penalty was awarded following handball by captain Neil McLean.
David Booth’s spot kick was low and weak allowing Andy Reid to make the easy save. It was the first penalty missed by Booth for his club.
From two goal saviour against Turriff a week before to sinner was big centre forward Lukasz Stasiak.
The 6ft 6in Pole couldn’t get out of the way of a Clark Bain corner and head flicked into his own net at the back post for an unfortunate own goal, putting Locos one up Seven minutes later the Strathbogie side levelled for their 100th goal in the competition. Michael Fyfe’s corner on the left came to Andrzej Kleczkowski who flicked on for Russell Guild to beat Reid all ends up with a diving header
Within three minutes Huntly took the lead, midfielder David Booth atoning for his earlier miss by beating the offside trap and rounding Reid before netting. Goal of the game in 54 minutes looked fit to win the tie. Neale Davidson started off a series of passes, finally taking the killer pass from Guild and placing the ball into the corner of the net
There looked no way back for the Red and Blacks but the introduction of Jamie Michie, Andy Low and Nicky Gordon in 62 minutes was crucial - the very experienced and highly rated Clark Bain, Graeme Stewart and Craig Ross the players to give way.
From doom and gloom around the ground, there seemed an air of time to throw caution to the wind. The power swung dramatically inside six minutes. A long passing movement ended with Neil Gauld putting pressure on a Huntly defender before claiming the final touch as the ball was sent past Neil Hastie
Then Gordon was the provider on the right wing sizing up his cross for predator Neil Gauld to race to the back post and send his supporters wild by forcing home the equaliser
It was anyone’s game for the winning now.
So many players had come alive and one of them was Stuart McKay. He headed Gauld’s bye line delivery just over the bar but the winner came in 80 minutes.
Kieran Adams’ header from Jamie Michie’s free kick came off the post and rolled to the right and when it was returned in with interest, Stuart McKay made no mistake with his close range header going straight into the net.
The margin of victory would have been even more emphatic if Gauld had not been denied a hat trick soon after by an offside flag.
Inverurie Locos: Reid, Young, McLean, Bain(Michie 62), Adams, Broadhurst, Ross(Gordon 62) Stewart(Low 62) Gauld, McKay, Begg Not Used Souter S Gray Huntly Hastie, Campbell, Naismith, M Gray Brownhill(Coyle 86), Naismith, Gukid, Booth , Kleczkowski, Stasiak, Fyfe((McCarthy 76) Subs Not Used Dorrat Skinner Bowman Ref A Newlands Attendance 509
A relieved Locos co-manager Kenny Coull said after the game: “We came back from the dead. The boys once again didn’t perform in the first half. We gave them goals without them threatening us, we’ve caused our own issues.
“At 3-1 behind you could feel the defeat atmosphere round the ground, but credit to our players for keeping us in the Scottish Cup. Scott(Buchan) mentioned it, their third goal was a very good one, but the boy(Neale Davidson) could have been closed down earlier.
“We had to do something, we had to change it. We have quality of competition in the squad. “Andy Low was itching to get on, the Neil Gaulds, Stuart McKays, Nicky Gordons and Scott Beggs then come more into the game.
“The frustrating thing for us as coaches and managers is they do the business in training, showing they press and force people into mistakes, that’s what happened. We got our rewards.” The third round ties will be played on Saturday, November 3.