For the second Saturday in a row Inverurie Locos racked up a three goal lead by half time but failed to add to their tally in a second half against Keith, although they remained well in control.
The win sets them up nicely for this Saturday’s Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup “tie of the round”, a quarter final meeting with Nairn County at Harlaw Park
Keith have lost numerous top players to other clubs in the past year but with places up for grabs for the big Cup tie, there could be no taking the match lightly.
In five minutes right back Ryan Broadhurst took a ball on the volley 30 yards out but the ball drifted over former Locos keeper Daniel Bell’s crossbar
Four minutes later Broadhurst was again prominent, finding winger Jordan Leyden who in turn quickly centred for David Ross with an acrobatic kick eight yards out that was saved by Bell at the expense of a corner.
But in 14 minutes the opener duly came and what a well worked goal it was too. A corner from the left by Ross was knocked back across goal by Ross Anderson, Jordan LEYDEN finishing well right in front of goal.
Seven minutes later, Ross, playing through the middle alongside Gauld, beat the offside trap but Bell was out to block. And soon after the one way traffic continued, captain Neil McLean on to Ross who quickly fired into the net but was judged marginally offside
Bell was in fine form behind an overworked defence and next up, Broadhurst’s long ball to Neil Gauld floated over the head of defender Bruce Milne, the top scorer tried to curl the ball past Bell who made a fine save
Broadhurst was to to the fore again in 39 minutes as it became 2-0. His perfectly flighted cross from the right was met by the downward header from former Keith winger Dean DONALDSON, clocked up his 20th goal of the campaign
Four minutes later it was 3-0. Neil GAULD picked up an incisive pass from Leyden through the inside left channel and played the ball into the corner of the net with his right foot leaving Bell well beaten.
Five minutes after the restart Bell saved well from Gauld with his legs and looking to return a favour from earlier in the game Donaldson crossed to Broadhurst who had a free header right in front of goal but wasted the chance, and a few minutes later Leyden and Ross had shots blocked in quick succession.
The game went through a very dour spell with little or no goalmouth action, the biggest talking point being a potential leg breaking tackle by former Turriff defender Michael Ralton on Mark Souter, amazingly the persistent offender getting off with a yellow card.
Late on Gauld went close with a header, and Souter, now hobbling, hitting a rising volley over the bar. The Maroons at last brought Andy Reid into the game, but he saved well from second half sub Craig Cormack with half time sub Stuart Massie ballooning the rebound over.
Keith: Bell, Hutcheon, Greig, Milne, Robison, Ralton, Keith (Cormack 70), Whelan, McDonald (Raffel 46), MacAskill (Massie 46), Collinson.
Locos: Reid, Broadhurst, Maitland (Forsyth 69), Souter, Adams, Anderson, Leyden (Begg 62), Maclean, Gauld, Ross, Donaldson (Bavidge 62)
Subs: Mitchell, Mathieson
Inverurie Locos take on Nairn this Saturday, in the Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup Quarter Final at Harlaw Park. Kick off is at 3pm (to a finish).