Locos were left to rue missed chances as a late Andy Hunter equaliser denied them victory at Christie Park. Even after Cole Anderson was dismissed midway through the second half, it was the Railwaymen who continued to create the bulk of the chances with the hosts having Fraser Hobday and the woodwork to thank for preventing them falling further behind.
The opening half was as tight as most expected it to be with little created inside either penalty area. A Jonny Smith effort for Locos went wide in the opening exchanges while Callum Murray and Robbie Foster both narrowly failed to find the target from distance for the hosts. Hobday in the Huntly goal saved well from Anderson and Andy Reid was called into action to save low from Foster. Smith came close to breaking the deadlock on 36 minutes but his header came back of the post.
A minute from the break, Locos took the lead through the best move of the game. Sam Robertson did brilliantly to win the ball back in his own half and the ball was moved quickly upfield via Sam Burnett and Greg Mitchell to Robert Ward on the left hand side of the box and he drove beyond Hobday.
Locos began to find a bit more space in attack after the break and it took an excellent save from Hobday to prevent Mitchell doubling the lead with a close range header. The Locos skipper then tried his luck from distance but dragged his shot just wide.
A second Locos goal was beginning to look inevitable as Anderson thundered a shot against the crossbar but five minutes later, the midfielder was sent off. Having been booked for simulation in the first half when he appeared to have been pulled back, he received a second yellow card after colliding with Michael Clark as the Huntly skipper cleared.
It was Locos who continued to pose a threat though, without troubling Hobday further. After a dangerous Huntly cross flashed across the goalmouth, Burnett came close after being teed up by Smith.
With time running out, there was a suspicion of handball as Hunter controlled the ball in space before rifling a shot against the underside of the bar and, much to Locos dismay, the assistant referee ruled that it had crossed the line as it bounced before being cleared.
There were positives to take from this game for sure, particularly the attacking intent in the second half, but this was definitely two points lost for Locos who will feel they should have sown the game up well before the equaliser.
Locos are back at Harlaw Park next week where they welcome Turriff United for a fixture that was postponed at the end of last year.
Huntly: Hobday, Connelly, Booth, Dalling, Clark, Still, Murray (Morris), Sewell, Hunter, Blacklock (Allen), Foster (Dangana) Unused Subs: Heslop, Gauld, Grant, Storrier
Locos: A Reid, T Reid, Mitchell, Dingwall, Ward (Gill), S Robertson (Meres), J Smith, Burnett (Buchan), Wilson, Michie, Anderson Unused Subs: Halliday, B Smith, L Robertson Farquhar