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Ward double helps Inverurie Locos down Formartine; Rothes end Wick’s winning run

Inverurie Locos forward Robert Ward
Robert Ward celebrates after scoring his side's second goal against Formartine.

A well-taken double from Robert Ward helped Inverurie Locos defeat rivals Formartine United 3-1 at North Lodge Park.

The result helped the Garioch club move above Brora Rangers and into fourth spot in the Breedon Highland League.

Locos manager Richard Hastings, whose side were beaten 2-0 by Fraserburgh the previous week, said: “I’m delighted we managed to bounce back from last week and I’m very proud of the boys in terms of their effort and work rate.

“For 90-plus minutes the boys just never stopped and  we scored some good goals.

“The whole performance in terms of creativity and good finishing was very pleasing.

“Robert Ward hasn’t been able to train this week due to injury and he went and scored two goals, which is even more pleasing.”

Formartine United skipper Stuart Anderson returned to bolster the home side in central defence but striker Scott Lisle was a notable absentee due to injury.

Locos had experienced midfielder Neil McLean ready to come off the bench.

Robert Ward scores his second and Inverurie Locos’ third goal of the afternoon. Pic by Chris Sumner.

Locos took the lead in the fifth minute when Kieran Shanks guided a Craig Gill cross from the right past the helpless Ewen Macdonald from six yards.

In the 18th minute, Robert Ward saw his 25-yard drive cannon back off the crossbar with home keeper Macdonald beaten as Locos continued to dominate.

At the other end Daniel Park created a chance for himself but, from the tightest of angles, he shot across the face of goal and the ball went out for a throw-in.

Shortly after Jonny Smith’s swerving 25-yard free-kick was only just kept out by Andy Reid, the ball rebounding off the Locos’ keeper’s chest before being hacked to safety.

Five minutes before the break Inverurie made it 2-0 when Ward picked up the ball from a corner kick 15 yards out and beat Macdonald with a superb low drive into the far corner of the net.

Calum Dingwall forced Macdonald into an excellent save in the first minute of the second half as Locos picked up where they left off before the interval.

Robert Ward celebrates helping Locos up to fourth place in the table with the win at North Lodge Park.

With 20 minutes to go, Formartine United threw themselves a lifeline when Cole Anderson dived to head a deep cross past Reid in the Locos’ goal.

But with nine minutes to go Locos ended any hopes of a home comeback when Ward grabbed his second goal of the game with a low drive into the far corner of the net.

Formartine manager Paul Lawson was disappointed with back-to-back defeats after going down 4-0 at Buckie Thistle last weekend.

He said: “I’m very disappointed as from the first minute Locos were on top, although Daniel Park was very unfortunate not to score with a chance in that first half.

“We showed a bit more in the second half and for a 15-20 minute spell I thought we were right back in the game.

But when you are chasing the game you are always vulnerable at the back and that’s what happened.

“It’s not good enough and we need to look at things as we are conceding too many goals so we really need to address that.”

Meanwhile, Formartine have completed the signing of Inverurie Locos central defender Kieran Adams.

The 30-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year deal.

Lawson said: “We identified that we needed an experienced centre half and Kieran definitely fitted that bill. Kieran will definitely be an an asset to our team as we move forward.”

Wick Academy 1-2 Rothes

Rothes ended Wick Academy’s six game winning streak after overturning a 1-0 deficit at Harmsworth Park.

Speysiders manager Ross Jack said: “We lost a goal when the ball took a couple of ricochets with our goalkeeper Sean McCarthy going the other way, but we thought that there had been a handball in the build up to that opener.

“However, I thought we were excellent in how we reacted to that setback, and I can’t remember Academy creating any more chances after that opening goal.

“Our equaliser came a few minutes before half time and totally changed the half-time team talk.

“There was no panic, we were kicking down the slope in the second half and after Jack Brown scored with a brilliant strike early in the second half we were pretty comfortable and saw the game out well.”

Danny Mackay scored Academy’s opener after a spot of pinball in the Rothes box but the visitors equalised four minutes from the break when Ryan McRitchie bundled in a cross from Wayne Mackintosh.

Rothes grabbed the winner early in the second half with a brilliant strike from former Caley Thistle youngster Jack Brown who ran from deep, rounded the keeper and smashed a left foot shot into the net from a tight angle.

Wick boss Gary Manson said: “I thought a draw would have been a fairer result.

“There was virtually nothing in the game between two evenly-matched teams.”

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