INVERURIE Locos exacted long awaited revenge on Formartine United on Saturday, after six defeats, and it was a result earned through sheer hard work, dedication, allied by flair and boundless enthusiasm as well as two cracking strikes.
Locos recalled free from suspension Ross Anderson and fit again Dean Donaldson but there were no places in the 18 for fully recovered defender Ryan Broadhurst or midfielder John Maitland. Greg Mitchell got a starting slot after impressing in Monday’s Under 21 game, he was at right back, captain Neil McLean in centre midfield.
The home side almost drew blood in the first minute. Neil McVitie, restored in place of Calum Bagshaw, fed the ball through to Michael Ewen. Last season’s club top scorer advanced towards goal and looking slightly off balance, seeing his shot come off the inside of the post.
Then it was dangerman Cammy Keith feeding Ewen on the left and from his inviting cross Gordon Forsyth stayed calm and headed out for a corner.
Locos scored with effectively their first serious attack. Neil Gauld skipped away from a hesitant stand in centre back Stephen Jeffrey. His fellow defenders backtracked, Gauldy squaring to Martin BAVIDGE, who took a good touch on the ball then blasted it high past Andy Shearer.
One up, two lucky escapes, and looking good for Locos on the luck front. But there was no luck involved in the quality of wide man play, David Ross switching to Dean Donaldson, but Bavidge could take the move no further.
19 minutes and it was 2-0. Kieran Adams chipped the ball through the centre, Neil GAULD controlled it on his chest, let it fall and hammered it high into the roof of the net, Shearer left well beaten.
Rare slack play at the back by Locos proved again how easy it could be to be punished but Andy Reid made a great tip round the post to foil Paul Napier.
At the other end Reid made another blinder of a save, Ewen again kept out when on another day he’d have bagged a hat trick, but it was Gauld who came equally close in the last attack of the day. He outstripped all opponents but with the goal gaping, fired against the post.
The final whistle was greeted with loud acclaim by the vociferous support recently called the “noisy neighbours”. What a noise they created jointly in driving their team on for a memorable success. No doubt Formartine will be all out for revenge when the sides meet again in the Aberdeenshire Cup Final in a fortnight. It promises to be a cracker.
Formartine United: Shearer, Jeffrey (M Smith 82), S Smith, Munro, Campbell, Clark, Park (Donnelly 82), McVitie, Keith, Ewen, Napier (Bagshaw 71).
Subs: Paterson, Ritchie, Davidson, Calder(gk)
Inverurie Locos: Reid, McLean, Forsyth, Souter, Adams, Anderson, Ross, Mitchell, Gauld, Bavidge (Hunter 86), Donaldson (Begg 90).
Subs: Mathieson(gk), Low, Coull, Keir, Michie
Referee: G Duncan