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Inverurie Locos and Banks o' Dee share the spoils in draw

By Kyle Ritchie

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It was honours even for Inverurie Locos and Banks o' Dee at Harlaw Park on Saturday.

The Aberdeen side travelled to the ground for their first away match in the Highland League.

It was the hosts that took the lead after about 15 minutes when Fergus Alberts scored his first goal for Locos.

Banks o' Dee came back into the game in the second half and got an equaliser through Magnus Watson.

The home side had a late surge and pushed for the winning goal which they were unable to score and they had to settle for the 1-1 draw and a point.

Both teams struggled to create chances at the start of the match.

It was Locos who made the breakthrough when a long ball was floated into the Banks o' Dee box and Alberts leaped up and headed it home.

There was another chance for the hosts when the ball fell to Calum Dingwall and he fired in a long range shot which was saved by Banks o' Dee goalkeeper Ross Salmon.

The visitors had an opportunity when Locos keeper Andy Reid came out for a ball, which was missed, and he left the net empty, however, none of the away forwards were able to score.

From a Banks o' Dee corner the ball fell to Marc Young who tried a looping effort towards goal but the ball landed on the roof of the net.

At the other end a through ball was guided towards Garry Wood who was flagged for offside.

It was a nervy time for the visiting defence just before the break as there were a few loose balls in their box. However, the Locos attackers could not get on to them and the danger was eventually cleared.

At the beginning of the second half Wood made a good run towards goal but he was denied by the defenders.

The visitors started to come back into the match with Mark Gilmour managing some good play in the Locos box. Reid was on him to save the ball and thwart the attack.

They then got their equaliser when Watson hit a low shot across the goal and into the net.

The away side continued to apply the pressure with Gilmour seeing an effort go just wide of the target.

Locos were awarded a free-kick which Dingwall fired towards goal and Salmon managed to tip over the crossbar.

At the other end Gilmour made a good run. He was under pressure from Locos defender Mark Souter and was unable to get a good shot away, with Reid there again to gather the ball.

Locos pushed for the late winner as the game came to a close. From a Dingwall corner Logan Johnstone managed to get a header onto the ball but could not guide it home.

Dingwall then had a close opportunity himself from a free-kick which was swung in and nearly found the target.

The hosts had two corners after that, however, they could not take advantage of them and had to settle for the draw.

Locos manager Richard Hastings said: "We certainly had the better of the first half and then we just let them into it in the second half.

"It was disappointing but its work in progress and the main thing is you don't want to lose football games especially at home.

"There was that spell in the second half we were disappointed with but if you look at the way we finished the game it was very strong and we could have potentially won the game at the end. That shows the spirit that is there.

"If the game had just petered out and you crawl over the line that would have been concerning. However, the fact that there was a good rally at the end that gives us something going forward.

"It was good for Fergus Alberts to get his first goal and gets him off the mark. I would have liked it if we had created a few more chances in the first half.

"Letting them back into the game in the second half was all our own doing. They dropped off their players, we gave them too much space and they are going to hurt you if this happens.

"Andy Reid came to our rescue which you will need at times throughout the whole of the season. He came up big for us during the game.

"The new players we have brought in have settled in really well over the pre-season and getting to know how we play.

"There's a lot of quality in the changing room and its just about getting the best out of each other to ensure success.

"We'll take the positives out of this game and we'll look at what we can do better so we are ready for the trip to Rothes on Saturday."

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