Inverurie Locos 5-2 victory over Nairn County on Saturday has set up a home semi-final meeting with Buckie Thistle in the Breedon Aggegates Highland League Cup on Saturday April 19 as a reward for an outstanding performance.
Locos hit the ground running in front of a bumper crowd looking for entertainment and they were certainly to get it. Calum Donaldson pulled off a superb reflex save early to foil Dean Donaldson from clocking up his 21st of the season. Deano’s point blank header came after Neil Gauld appeared to dummy Jordan Leyden’s cross.
A well fired-up Leyden produced a replica cross for the opener in five minutes, his cross arriving between two defenders allowing Neil GAULD to easily tuck away his 34th of the season from close range.
Martin Bavidge was back in the line up after being on the bench at Keith and he looked well up for the occasion. Following a corner on the left he fired narrowly over the crossbar, but the first sign of danger at the other end saw Stuart Leslie get in a shot which was cleared for a corner.
The absence-hit County equalised in 34 minutes. Midfielder Glenn MAIN engineered a good position for himself 25 yards out, there seemed no danger with his shot though, until it took a strong deflection off Scott Begg and flew over the head of a helpless Andy Reid.
Locos regained their lead with half time looming, Captain Marvel Neil MCLEAN driving on unchallenged. As he neared the 18-yard box, he looked up and firmly powered a left foot shot inside Donaldson’s left corner.
It could’ve been 3-1 soon after when the in form Donaldson made a great diving save to keep out a Gauld effort after fine lead up work by Ryan Broadhurst and Donaldson.
The winning of the tie was down to two quickfire goals shortly after the resumption. Martin Bavidge’s outside of the foot pass in the opening minute set up LEYDEN to keep his cool and place the ball wide of Donaldson as the goalkeeper advanced.
Within two minutes Dean Donaldson unselfishly cut back from the right to set up Sponsors Man of The Match BAVIDGE to side-foot into the net.
Robbie Duncanson brought out a diving save of Reid while at the other end Scott Begg’s header was ushered off the line for a corner.
The Wee County battled away and were back in the game on the hour. Kieran Adams tripped Stuart Leslie near the bye line and former Locos defender Michael MORRISON converted from the penalty spot to make it 4-2.
With only two minutes left, good work by substitute David Ross and Begg led to LEYDEN firing home the last goal, a superb left foot strike hit with great back-lift.
Inverurie Locos: Reid, McLean, Maitland, Begg, Adams, Anderson, Leyden, Broadhurst, Gauld (Souter 82), Bavidge (Mitchell 90), Donaldson (Ross 76)
Subs: Forsyth, Mathieson
Nairn County: Donaldson, Main, MacDonald, Morrison, Webb, A Naismith, R Naismith (MacKintosh 46), MacPhee, Cameron (Moore 84), Leslie, Duncanson
Subs: MacCallum, Barton, Ellis
Referee: A Milne