A Paul Coutts penalty gave Locos a winning start to 2024 as they came from behind at Christie Park.
Coutts calmly stuck the spot kick away to complete a comeback after Lloyd Robertson had equalised Michael Dangana’s opener for the hosts. Dangana applied a first time finish to Lewis Crosbie’s right wing cross in the 13th minute after a scrappy opening to the game.
The Railwaymen settled after the early setback and began to dominate. Fraser Hobday was kept busy, saving excellently from Jay Halliday and dealing with Calum Dingwall’s follow up. The keeper then did will to tip Milosz Ochmanski’s header onto the post at full stretch.
Halliday then put an effort just over before the leveller came. Hobday had again made a fine save, tipping a Greg Mitchell shot over the bar. Locos took the corner short and Halliday’s ball into the box found it’s way Ochmanski whose shot deflected off teammate Robertson and into the net. The equaliser was no more than Locos deserved and left the game nicely poised at the break.
That second half proved to be an entertaining affair as both teams looked for a second goal. Locos defence dealt well with a number of dangerous deliveries into the box and when called upon Blessing Oluyemi made good stops from Alex Thoirs and Lewis Crosbie.
Nathan Meres was once again key to Locos attacking threat, driving at pace towards the home defence whenever he got an opportunity but clear chances were difficult to come by until substitute Dem Yunus tussled with Cameron Heslop in the box and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
With 15 minutes remaining, Huntly threw everything at Locos who continued to defend their box well. It was Locos who came closest to adding to the scoring as Yunus put Heslop under pressure and stole the ball only for Hobday to once again make a good stop.
This was a good performance and well deserved victory and Dean Donaldson will be delighted with the reaction of his players having fallen behind. With key players missing, he will also be pleased with the players who came into the team.
Brora Rangers are the visitors next week for a first game at Harlaw Park in more than a month and Locos will go into that game full of confidence after this display.