Locos lose their last Allan Park encounter with Cove Rangers

Cove keeper Sandy Wood clears from the feet of og Locos Jordan Leyden.
Cove keeper Sandy Wood clears from the feet of og Locos Jordan Leyden.

Inverurie Locos’ last ever league trip to Allan Park ended in disappointment with a 3-2 defeat.

Cove Rangers’ winning streak continued as they rose to third in the table after coming out on top by the odd goal in five in terrible conditions with high winds and regular snow showers the order of the day

Dean Donaldson was back from suspension and preferred to Martin Laing while Andy Hunter returned to the squad after a long injury absence and took a place on the bench, Cove were without unavailable centre forward Jamie McAllister so ex-Loco Jamie Watt was up front alongside Daryl Nicol.

There was little for either set of fans to get excited about in the opening quarter of the game. In 10 minutes Gordon Forsyth’s diagonal was chested down by Martin Bavidge but the striker’s cross was cut out.

There was a locking of horns between the two No 8’s Stuart Duff v Neil McLean, this was going to be a duel to watch and savour. Soon after that Nicol’s first serious run of the day was cut out by Kieran Adams.

The Aberdeen side went in front in 25 minutes when they won a free kick on the left side of the pitch 20 yards out direct from goal. NICOL stepped up and saw his shot hit the leg of a player in a wall that was parting. Scott Mathieson was totally deceived and could only watch as the ball trickled over the line.

Locos’ best chance came in 35 minutes, Jordan Leyden’s free kick headed down by Kieran Adams to Martin Bavidge whose shot at point blank range was turned round for a corner by Sandy Wood.

The talking point of the game came a minute from the break. After an interchange of passes by the home team Stuart Duff’s obvious forward pass was knocked home by the predatory NICOL in a clear offside position.

In 59 minutes, Jamie Michie was inches away from pulling a goal back when his low right foot shot was not far from Sandy Wood’s right post.

The game looked all over midway through the second half when Ryan BROADHURST stuck out his leg to deflect a dangerous squared ball from the right by Daniel Park past his own goalkeeper.

With nothing else to do but throw caution to the wind, Locos got a lifeline in 81 minutes, Broadhurst’s indirect free kick from just inside his own half could have been left by WOOD but the keeper rose to catch the ball and saw it fall from his grasp into his own net.

There were loud claims for a penalty when Andy Hunter was upended in the box, in the aftermath Jamie Michie and Darren Kelly went head to head behind the referee’s back.

Five minutes from time it was 3-2 , Jamie Michie’s precise deep cross headed over Wood by substitute Andy HUNTER who had made a huge difference to the game since his introduction for the final quarter of the game.

The comeback just needed icing on the cake, and they could have equalised right on full time when Neil McLean fired against the woodwork from right in front of goal.

Cove Rangers: Wood, Redford, Clark, Yule, Watson, Kelly, Park (McBain 86), Duff, Watt (Selfridge ), Nicol, ( Smith 69 ), Scully.

Subs: Reid

Inverurie Locos: Mathieson, Mitchell, Forsyth, Begg ( Hunter 64 ), Adams, Broadhurst, Michie, McLean, Leyden (Laing 64), Bavidge, Donaldson

Subs: Keir, Anderson, Pennet

Referee: G Beaton