INVERURIE Locos made the most of their home advantage to brush aside an in-form Fraserburgh on a clear yet windy evening at Harlaw Park last Wednesday, (March 5).
Early confusion in the Locos box presented Scott Barbour with a couple of close range efforts, with the second being cleared off the line by Neil McLean at the back post.
Minutes later, the referee chose to interpret Neil McLean’s forearm block as ball to hand and refused to give in to away penalty claims.
Locos counter attacked through Jordan Leyden carrying the ball down the left flank. Spotting an empty box, Leyden fired in a long floated cross to pick out Dean Donaldson at back post, only for the winger to aim his powerful header straight into the gloves of Scott Cowe.
A whipped Neil McLean free kick was dummied by Martin Bavidge, which allowed Dean Donaldson to get in a close range effort, with the Locos man blasting low into the keepers chest before Fraserburgh cleared the danger.
At the start of the second half there was a speculative Dean Donaldson 25 yard effort. But just before the hour mark, Neil MCLEAN tried his luck from a similar position after John Maitland allowed the ball to run last his feet. With space to set himself up, McLean put his laces through the ball, sending it off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
Neil MCLEAN looked to have settled the match with an even more spectacular effort than the opener. Martin Bavidge did the hard work to take the ball down the left flank, before holding the ball and up and releasing it into the path of McLean. With a defender in his way, McLean simply chipped the ball over the rooted man and in doing so set himself up for a 25 yard volley which had the right amount of dip to find the top right corner.
Yet again, Fraserburgh bounced back a threatening ball in from the left flank had the defence chasing its tail as a series of shots were blocked. Through the crowd, it appeared as if Willie WEST managed to poke the ball over the goal line before a Locos defender cleared the danger. Throwing their hands into the air in a vocal protest, Fraserburgh yells soon turned to cheers as the referee signalled for the goal.
Locos held out amid severe pressure in the closing minutes to collect the full points.
Locos: Reid, McLean, Maitland, Begg, Broadhurst, Anderson, Leyden (Souter 89), Mitchell, Gauld (Ross 73), Bavidge (Hunter 80), Donaldson.
Subs: Young, Mathieson
Fraserburgh: Cowe, Johnston, McBride, Cooper Cowie Chalmers, Willox (Fowlie 70), West, PA Bruce, Noble (Main 70), Barbour
Subs: Thomson, Clark, Leask.
Referee: G Beaton