Banks o’ Dee were breached for the first time at Spain Park this season as Locos strong away form continued. Two late goals for the home team ensured this will go down as a seven goal thriller but in truth the Railwaymen were much the better team, dominating for large parts of the game and offering a constant threat to the home goal.
It was the home side who took the lead though, through a familiar face. After a bright start for Locos that saw efforts from Jamie Michie and Lloyd Robertson blocked and a Mark Souter header just off target, Dee began to grow into the game. Mark Gilmour fired over before, on 22 minutes, Neil Gauld was challenged by Souter. The defender appeared to win the ball but after some hesitation the referee awarded a penalty. Gauldy picked himself up and slotted home the spot kick.
Locos reaction to the setback was excellent and Garry Wood levelled on the half hour. Following an excellent 1-2 between Calum Dingwall and Nathan Meres, the latter teed up Logan Johnstone whose perfect cross was superbly headed home by Wood. It was no more than Locos deserved and they were now back on the front foot. Ross Salmon saved excellently from Robertson and then blocked Mere’s close range effort.
There was nothing the keeper could do to keep out Michie’s excellent finish having picked his way through the home defence just four minutes before the break. Things got even better for Locos a couple of minutes later as Salmon rushed out of his penalty area on the right only to be beaten to the ball by a teammate. The clearance only fell to Robertson though and, although he scuffed his shot, the ball fell to Wood who fired past Salmon before he could set himself. There was still time for Andy Reid to tip a dangerous Dee effort over the bar before the half time whistle.
The men in fire and coal continued to look lively at the start of the second half and it looked like Banks o’ Dee’s afternoon was going to get worse when Robert Ward was brought down as he surged towards the penalty area. The referee allowed play to continue, however, and the home side breathed a sigh of relief. Michie then stole the ball in the box but Salmon was alert to claim the ball at his feet before he could get a shot or pass away. Ward, who was one of a number of excellent performers for Locos, did extend the lead with 20 minutes remaining. He showed quick feet to create the opportunity before shooting low past Salmon from 20 yards.
Despite having a strong wind behind them in the second half, Dee had rarely threatened Reid’s goal after the break until Lachie Macleod applied a simple finish to a ball played across the box from the left to give the hosts a glimmer of hope. That glimmer got brighter with 4 minutes left to play as Locos were unable to prevent Lachie’s brother Hamish getting a shot away from the edge of the box that beat Reid’s dive.
Locos saw the game out to take all three points from an impressive performance and just the reaction Richie Hastings would have been looking for after the disappointment in midweek. It’s back to Harlaw Park on Saturday for a meeting with a Rothes team whose form has improved greatly since Locos put five past them in August.
Banks o’ Dee: Salmon, Stark, Armstrong, Kelly, Lawson, Young, Watson (H MacLeod), Wallace (Crosbie), Gauld (Philipson), Gilmour, L MacLeod Unused Subs: Shearer, Henderson, Lewecki, Selbie
Locos: A Reid, T Reid, Gill, Dingwall, Souter, Johnstone, Ward, Wood, Michie, Meres (Burnett), Robertson (Thain) Unused Subs: Alberts, Petermann, Smith, Farquhar