Inverurie Loco Works 2 - Turriff United 1
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Inverurie Locos came out on top in a pulsating Old Farm derby at Harlaw and it was a tie that deserved to be played out in front of spectators.
Andy Low’s Railwaymen set out in their twentieth assault on this famous old tournament, having lost all four of their finals and indeed five of their last six ties.
On a super mild Garioch night, there was a competitive debut for new Loco Kieran Shanks.
The thirty third tie in the competition for Inverurie saw the lads attack the Railway End first but it was Turriff, boosted with a third of their outfield personnel being on loan from Pittodrie, who settled the better early doors.
Michie shot wide from long range, Stuart was well over also from distance and a Mitchell effort deflected behind.
Mytyka shot wide of the target with Brown asking questions of Andy Reid in the Locos goal next, the big man coming up with the answers.
Agony for Andy Watt next as he went down, unable to continue, being replaced by Ryan Broadhurst.
The typical energy of Mitchell forced a Locos corner before a remarkable few moments that saw disallowed goals at both ends.
Turriff rattled the post then thought they had snatched a lead that maybe their play just about merited, but alas a touch on the way into the net made it correctly ruled out.
As they celebrated Locos immediately sent Shanks totally clear, as the young man lost his footing, he pushed the ball to Hunter who netted.
In all the stramash the flag was raised in error, but in truth it was such a helter skelter moment that the mistake was understandable.
Hobday then spilled a cross with Hunter’s attempt blocked.
Jamie Michie was the pick of all the players in the engine room and he had a flashing header from a long way out go wide.
There was no crowd of course but stacks going on to entertain those tuned into Facebook Live.
The evergreen McLean shot over, Mytyka went wide and McLean again missed the target from thirty yards.
Locos were the better side now after Turriff edged the opening gambit on points and a lovely curling try from Dingwall just evaded the back stick.
The lively Ward got his angles wrong after an underhit Soapy backpass had the forward facing an open goal, albeit from a testing wide berth.
Andy Hunter headed straight at the keeper, but the tall rejuvenated lad had his charges in front seconds later.
McLean with a free kick of the very highest order, just the correct weight and trajectory, with HUNTER stabbing home with glee.
A goalbound Shanks attempt struck Burnett, who had no chance to get out of the flight path.
Shanks looked second favourite to get on the end of a teasing through ball but managed to direct the ball goalward with the outside of his boot, the Turra keeper doing well to repel.
Hunter headed wide, Dingwall headed over and Shanks was close with a header too, but that second goal wouldn’t come.
The ball broke for MYTYTA after a close range Reid save and Turriff had parity on fifty four minutes.
Gauld replaced Burnett.
Kieran SHANKS netted what turned out to be the winner with a goal of the utmost quality.
The touch, turn and rasping finish into the onion bag’s roof was nothing short of sublime.
United forced Andy Reid to display his Gordon Banks wares immediately, Ward’s unchallenged downward header was surely destined to nestle in Reid’s bottom right corner, but the goalie displayed superb agility to get down super swift and scoop the ball away.
Shanks was a total nuisance to the visitors, his latest mazy run having defender’s turning this way and that, with a lay off so nearly allowing record scorer Gauld to finish this tie.
Ward and Gauld both went close for their respective sides, with Mytyka losing his composure to lift a thirty yard open goal wide after the keeper had raced clear to thwart an earlier chance.
Locos spent the bulk of the four additional minutes camped near the Turriff box, with the whistle being met with cheers from the home officials.
Turriff had put up a good fight, Luke Turner and Robert Ward being the best of the performers.
For Locos, this was a commendable win especially having played fewer build up matches than the visitors, with debutant Shanks and the buzzbomb Michie picking up the a joint MOTM award. Locos now go to Fraserburgh on Saturday in the Quarter-finals, in what is always a thorough and demanding test.
Report by Billy Thomson.