No home comfort for Locos
There was to be no final Harlaw Park swansong of the season for Inverurie Locos last Wednesday (March 25), who finished their home campaign with yet another home defeat, this time neighbours Formartine Utd the victors 3-2.
On a bitterly cold midweek night, Formartine came out of the traps on a high, Cammy Keith twice going close against a home defence leaving him too much space.
It was third time unlucky. In 10 minutes, Paul Napier fed Neil McVitie who in turn crossed for KEITH to first time the ball home from ten yards.
Good work between wingers Martin Laing and Jordan Leyden led to the ball having to be cleared and when it came out, captain Neil McLean sent in a rising effort which Andy Shearer tipped over
Locos were at last starting to pose a threat, Leyden pinpointing a ball to the penalty spot area, Andy Hunter poking over.
But at the other end, disaster as Stuart Anderson was allowed to swing in a deep ball from the right, centre back SMITH having time and space deep at the back post to head the ball back across goal into the corner of the net.
Reid made a vital intervention to cut out a Napier ball from the right then Neil McVitie saw a header cleared off the line
But against the run of play, a lifeline right on half time. Scott Begg who along with David Ross had replaced Laing and Leyden linked up with Martin BAVIDGE who took the ball down and struck it sweet on the half volley. Shearer could not keep the ball out as it beat him at his right post.
Bavidge came close to equalising three minutes after the restart, Begg again the provider, but this time after a jink or three from the powerful No 10, he bulleted the ball over the crossbar.
At the other end, the dangerous Keith cut inside right back Kieran Adams but Reid was alive to his shot.
Locos needed to up the pace and they did so through McLean whose in-swinging free kick was head-flicked goalward by John Maitland but with insufficient power to trouble Shearer.
And after a clearing header almost let in Hunter with a chance to force in an equaliser, Bavidge and Marc Young battered in shots that were blocked. The ascendancy was with the Red and Blacks, Shearer quick out to block at the feet of former Scottish Semi Pro team mate McLean
But as has been the story of the team at home in 2014/2015, the sucker punch killer third goal. Ex Locos favourite Stuart McKAY, on as a sub, was right on the goal-line to force a header home after Keith chipped Reid following good work by Craig Duguid and another new player Calum Bagshaw
Neil McLEAN reduced the leeway in 87 minutes sweeping a right foot shot firmly inside Shearer’s right corner and despite Ross shooting inches over right at the full time whistle, there was to be no salvage job.
Inverurie Locos: Reid, Adams, Maitland, Young, Forsyth, Broadhurst, Laing (Ross 37), McLean, Hunter, Bavidge, Leyden (Begg(37)
Subs: Michie, Keir, Mathieson
Formartine Utd:Shearer, Jeffrey, Duguid, Hay, Smith, Clark (Bagshaw 58), Napier, McVitie (Lawrence 86), Keith, Anderson, Dingwall (McKay 67)
Subs: Paterson, Munro, Watson
Referee: A Cooper