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Aberdeen 1 - 2 Inverurie Locos

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Inverurie Locos

Aberdeenshire Cup Semi Final
Aberdeen scorers: Hamilton 29.
Inverurie Locos scorers: Gaffney 36, Meres 58

06/03/2024 | KO: 19:30

An Inverurie Locos fightback at Harlaw Park on Wednesday night ensured it would be the Highland League side who were to advance to the final of the Aberdeenshire Cup at the expense of a youthful Aberdeen XI in a closely fought affair.

Alfie Bavidge fired the Dons into the lead in the first half, but two goals either side of the interval meant it would be an all-Highland League affair in the April Cup final, with Buckie Thistle victorious in the other semi-final.

Naming a similar looking team that defeated Keith by three goals to two in the previous round at Peterhead, Scott Anderson selected an XI which comprised of Under 18 faces and on-loan Dons, including the likes of Bavidge and Findlay Marshall. Tom Ritchie lined up in goals, and Ryan Duncan made up a youthful XI, with Aaron Reid, scorer of a hat-trick which included a last gasp winner in the quarterfinal named amongst the substitutes.

There were some familiar names in the Loco Works squad, including two of last seasons Under 18s: Milosz Ochmanski in the starting XI, and Blessing Oluyemi, who took a space on the Railwaymen’s bench.

After an evenly contested opening five minutes it was Duncan who was first to test Zak Ellis in the Loco Works goal with an effort from outside the box, his attempt well held.

Adam Emslie was beginning to look lively, his effort saved ten minutes after Duncan’s on the opposite flank. It was a quiet opening 20 minutes to the tie at Harlaw Park, with chances of real quality at a premium.

Veteran captain Paul Coutts’s delivery from set pieces looked the most likely avenue for an Inverurie goal, after two opportunities from free kicks went abegging his in swinging corner was narrowly header over by Mark Souter.

Duncan and Kai Watson combined nicely down the flank which allowed Watson to deliver an inviting ball into the six-yard box, but with the low and dangerous cross crying out for a touch to send it goal bound there was no takers.

After 30 minutes the Dons had the lead. Moving up the pitch at pace following a routine save from Ritchie, Emslie was on the charge and unleashed Bavidge who after eyeing up his target unleashed a powerful effort to beat Ellis, break the deadlock and end a stodgy half hour of football.

It didn’t take long for Locos to find an equaliser. With Dylan Lobban dispossessed in the middle of the park, Inverurie took full advantage and after an initial effort came back off the post, Gaffney was on hand to slot home at the back post.

As the first half began winding down Bavidge was continuing to come to life and done well to work his way round the edge of the box and evade a sea of Locos challenges before eventually getting his shot off, which eventually went wide.

Cole Anderson had the last chance of the half when he shot over Ritchies goal from outside the box, and the sides went in level at the interval.

Half time Aberdeen XI 1 Inverurie Loco Works 1.

Brendan Hamilton was adjudged to have fouled Anderson in what looked to be a dangerous area for a freekick near the start of the half, but the ‘home’ side couldn’t make the most of the opportunity, the dead ball clattering off the Aberdeen wall and eventually cleared to safety.

Jay Halliday done well to keep a hold of the ball and tee up Gaffney to have a go, his effort palmed upwards by Ritchie and claimed at the second attempt.

Locos had the lead a mere minute later.

A mix up at the back allowed Meres to steal possession and power the ball across the Dons keeper and into the back of the net.

The Railwaymen looked an invigorated side after coming out for the 2nd half and after having a strong claim for a penalty dismissed Meres went close and Gaffney closer with a one-on-one effort that the centre forward could only prod past the post.

Aberdeen chances were limited, Bavidge’s half chance with a glancing header caught with ease by Ellis with 20 minutes on the clock remaining.
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Ritchie, Watson (Reid 77), Hamilton, Murray, McKenzie, Emslie, Lobban (Boyd 87), Bavidge, Stewart, Duncan, .

Unused Subs: Mackie, Wilson, Clark, Akindileni, Vitols.
Inverurie Locos Teamsheet
Ellis, Souter, Reid, Halliday (Dingwall  82), Coutts, Anderson, Robertson, Ochmanski, Meres (Wilson 82), Gaffney, Johnstone Unused Subs: Duncan, Smith, Robertson, Chauvin, Oluyemi
Attendance: 420
Venue: Harlaw Park, Inverurie
Referee: Duncan Nicolson
Next Match
10 Jul 2024 / 19:00 / Balmoor Stadium, Peterhead