Inverurie Locos maintained their position at the top of the Highland League table with a comfortable home win over Fort William 3-0.
A relatively quiet opening to the match saw neither side dominate as half chances came and went, a 20 yard half volley striking the cross bar from Locos centre back Gordon Forsyth on ten minutes the main point of interest.
Locos broke the deadlock minutes later. From a pass by Ryan Broadhurst, David Ross did well to keep the ball in play at the back post as he somehow directed the ball past Richard Munro at the front post, across goal and into the path of the grateful Martin BAVIDGE who calmly slotted the ball into the open goal.
A goal to the good, Inverurie began to shift through the gears as they continued to apply the required pressure to double their advantage with 24 minutes played. Having drawn a corner out of the defence, Neil McLean’s curled cross led to a low Ross Still header towards the crowded goal line. Failing to clear the rebound, the Fort defence could only watch as BAVIDGE once again found himself in the perfect position to poke the ball into the goal, albeit off an unfortunate defender on the line.
As the half entered injury time, Ian Foggo produced Fort William’s sole effort of the match as he struck for goal from 30 yards out, with his shot producing enough dip and swerve to force Andy Reid to parry instead of comfortably catch the ball.
At the start of the second half, Andy Hunter’s cross picked out a lurking Neil Gauld in front of goal, only for his header to skim off the top of the cross bar.
Fort then set about reminding Inverurie that the match was not all over, Foggo once again turned heads as he dispossessed a deep defending Gauld on the edge of the box, before driving goal wards. Attempting to wrong foot Reid, Foggo looked to place his shot across the face of the goal, only for Reid to smother the effort.
An individual piece of set piece brilliance from Neil Gauld on the hour mark sealed the points. Standing over the ball five yards from the box, GAULD deceived those expecting a cross and instead curled his shot off the inside of the far right post.
As the final ten minutes approached, Martin Bavidge found himself presented with the most opportunistic chances to claim a hat trick as a mix up between Gemmell and Munro saw the keeper clear the ball directly into his defender. With the ball falling to Bavidge at the edge of the box, the striker could only look on as he placed his low effort agonisingly wide of the far post.
Taking the shine off a fine performance, the final moments of the match saw a worrying injury for Andy Hunter as the midfielder was stretchered from the pitch after an accidental clash of legs as he fought for the ball.
Inverurie Locos: Reid, Maitland, Still, Begg (Keir 72), Forsyth, Broadhurst, Hunter, McLean (Young 64), Gauld (Donaldson 72), Bavidge, D. Ross
Subs: Coull, Mathieson
Fort William: Munro, Tot (Campbell), Foggo, Moffat, Hardwick, Gemmell, Mainland (McFarlane67), McLeod, Stein, Quigg, Grant (Forbes)
Referee: A Shepherd