INVERURIE Locos recorded their second 4-0 win at Strathspey Thistle this season on Saturday, and their reward is a Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup home meeting with Nairn County in the last eight, Neil Gauld netting a hat-trick and reaching the 30 goal target he recently set himself.
Locos opened the scoring after just 16 minutes when Gauld fired past Steven Martin, and the same player doubled the lead on 32 minutes. A third was added shortly before the break courtesy of former Keith stalwart wide man Dean Donaldson. Gauld sealed his hat-trick just before the hour mark
The determined Jags tried in vain to net a consolation goal, hitting the woodwork twice. Martin Groat struck a shot off the post, before young striker Josh Peters crashed a shot off the crossbar
Co- manager Kenny Coull was pleased to see the tie wrapped up in the first forty-five and paid tribute to his defence for ensuring there was no hope of a second half fightback.
Coull said, “It was a steady and professional showing, a result never in doubt after our first half display, once again our scorers took their goals well. Strathspey went about their job well but didn’t cause us any real threats although that was probably due to our strong defending.”
Looking ahead to what is the tie of the round on April 5, he added, “There’s a bit of a buzz about us just now. Nairn County is about as tough a draw as we could have got but we will be confident having beaten them at their ground recently. It is the type of tie that you want to come up against as it will be a stern test.”
Strathspey: Martin, Mochan, Ross, Howard (Aubrey 65), Jones (Maley 60), McKernie, McShane, Tulloch (Hardie 35), Peters, Wardope, Groat.
Locos: Reid, Maclean, Maitland, Begg (Souter 77), Broadhurst, Anderson, Leyden, Mitchell, Gauld (Ross 77), Bavdige, Donaldson (Hunter 77)
Sub not used: Adams
Referee: W Cusiter
The Locos Under 20 team went down 3-1 to Fraserburgh in their final Aberdeenshire League game at Harlaw Park
This Saturday Locos are back on home soil with a home League game against bottom side Fort William. Kick off is at 3pm.