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Inverurie Loco’s end their season with a draw at Formartine

By Ali Morrison

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With the Highland League title race still a two (and statistically a not impossible three) horse race on Saturday between Brechin and Buckie, lower down in the league the end of the season for Inverurie Loco’s and the penultimate one for Formartine saw the two sides clash at North Lodge.

Formartine United’s recent wins include a 6-1 win over Rothes, as they now face Deveronvale away for their final match of the season. Picture: Phil Harman
Formartine United’s recent wins include a 6-1 win over Rothes, as they now face Deveronvale away for their final match of the season. Picture: Phil Harman

Formartine United 1 Inverurie Locos 1

Games between these two usually carry a certain kind of edge that derives more from the longstanding and occasionally acrimonious rivalry between them that stretches deep into the days when both plied their trade at Junior level than the immediate pressure of extracting points from each other. This one, the penultimate league match of the season for United and the concluding one for Locos carried its own history as a replay of a match abandoned a couple of months back after a floodlight failure curtailed it halfway through at 1-1.

It was not however a case of carrying on from where it had been left off as the circumstances surrounding it had altered. Last time out things looked to favour United who at the time needed 3 points to go top of the league and looked on track to do just that having gained the psychological advantage of equalising just before half time [and the point at which the game ceased] and had dominated Locos to the point of racking up 12 corners to their 2. Locos top scorer, Gaffney had been injured in scoring in this game and had been subbed off. This time win or lose, neither team ‘s league position could be altered by the scoreline.

In the circumstances it was a decently competitive encounter where each side scored an excellent goal but missed a plethora of chances before and after doing so . Both goals came late in the first half

Locos were the first to show their teeth. Almost predictably the goal l threat came from former United youngster Cole Anderson whose turn of speed took him into position to reach a cross from his left from Lewis Wilson but stretching to reach the ball ,succeeded in scooping it over the top rather than getting power and control onto the ball. United began to get a grip of the midfield with Lawrence and Rodger beginning to provide a decent level of supply to those ahead of them. Lisle and Emslie began to show that their fast direct style could cause difficulties for the visitors’ rearguard..25 minutes in the prolific Reid rose at the back post to glance a corner from Emslie toward the opposite top corner just wide of target.

United pressure continued and eventually bore fruit after a spell of Formartine sustained attack where shots from Lisle and Campbell rebounded from a thronged box before the canny EMSLIE picked up the ball twenty yards out and absolutely leathered it goalward with a ferocity that left Ellis fixated as the ball scorched past him into the net.

Formartine set out to increase their lead and gained territorial advantage from a high level of possession but lacked penetration while Locos defended in depth and denied them any clear sight of goal.. It looked like they could sustain this until the interval but a minute before the game reached that point Wilson, on the end of a breakaway, managed to dribble his way into the box before unleashing a well judged drive past Middleton to level..

The second half of the original game never took place,;this time it did but the outcome was still the same. Both games reached that point at a goal apiece, this one contrived to end that way too. It was a fair enough outcome .There was no lack of effort displayed in a game which was better than what can often be expected as “end of season fare” with little in the way of league positioning at stake. Perhaps the depth of rivalry had something to do with that.

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