It’s been an eventful week for Locos. Following last Saturday’s “adventures”, the Scottish Cup replay against Annan Athletic went ahead on Tuesday evening.
There was a downpour of rain and sleet half-an-hour before kick-off but, thankfully, that passed and the match was played in relatively good conditions.
Locos were unlucky. Annan play up and over their midfield who must wonder at times why they’ve even bothered to turn up. Locos had got wise to this and the defence coped really well until an old-fashioned hoof up the park was misjudged and fell kindly for Peter Weatherson to beat the offside trap and score on the stroke of half-time.
Locos started the second period feeling slightly aggrieved to be behind, but they required goalkeeper Scott Mathieson to make a wonderful save from a Matty Flynn piledriver to prevent them falling further behind early on.
After that, however, Locos took the game to Annan but luck deserted them as they hit the bar twice in the last five minutes – the second from a great Gordon Forsyth shot which ‘keeper Jordan Hart diverted with his fingerstips. Not even Annan would have begrudged Locos a period of extra-time.
Locos did themselves and the Highland League proud. There was no discernible difference between the standard of the Scottish League 2 leaders and the Inverurie men.
The game was not of the highest quality, but it was entertaining. Another Scottish Cup campaign is over, but Neil McLean’s wonderful goal in the first match in Inverurie, a global internet sensation, will long be the talk of Harlaw Park. Neil’s young nephew told me proudly on Saturday that he had seen his uncle’s goal on television in Hong Kong!
On Saturday it was back to “auld claes and porridge” for both Locos and Huntly and the teams, understandably, were not at their best after the mid-week cup exertions. Locos stuck with the side which had played at Annan and deservedly won 3-1, albeit thanks to a rather soft late penalty just as Huntly threatened to pull Locos back.
As Michael Selfridge tucked away the spot-kick, I couldn’t help reflect that this piece of good fortune would have been better served on Tuesday. Football, however, is full of “ifs and buts” and, of course, there’s always next year…..