Locos and Huntly played out a goalless draw in front of a healthy crowd as the wait for a home win goes on. Mark Souter hit the woodwork while Andy Reid saved superbly from former Railwayman Andy Hunter in a game that otherwise struggled to serve up clear goalscoring opportunities.
Hearts were in mouths as a mix up between Souter and Reid almost presented Huntly with an early chance but Logan Johnstone was on hand to clear. Souter then had the first opportunity of the game, getting on the end of a Calum Dingwall corner, but glanced his header wide. The visitors were awarded a free kick in a central position which Hunter struck low into the wall.
Huntly skipper Michael Clark put a speculative effort over the bar before another Souter header struck the post on the half hour mark. Jamie Michie did well to win the ball on the right before floating an inviting ball into the box. Souter’s contact wasn’t perhaps as good as it might have been but Fraser Hobday was relieved to see the ball come back off the upright.
For all the endeavour, the spark of quality was lacking in the final third from both teams and it wasn’t until the last few minutes of the half that we saw some more attempts at goal. First, Reid got down to make a routine save from a Huntly header before, in stoppage time, Robert Ward was unable to control a difficult volley and it drifted wide.
At the start of the second half, the teams exchanged half chances as Ward and Morris fired over, Ward also saw an effort well blocked, as did Hunter. The best of these chances fell to the lively Nathan Meres who surged forward and got into the box but his shot was comfortably dealt with by Hobday.
Just after the hour mark, the visitors had their best opportunity to break the deadlock as Hunter headed goalwards from close range. Reid got across goal like the proverbial salmon to claw away with the striker appealing in vain that the ball had crossed the line. Ward then forced a save from Hobday with Dingwall volleying the loose ball wide.
Despite the end-to-end nature of the contest at his stage, few inside Harlaw Park felt a breakthrough would come but both teams kept plugging away. In the closing stages, neat play between Souter and Meres saw the latter reach the ball before Hobday in the Huntly box but put his shot wide from a tight angle. Hunter had one final chance from a set piece but put his free kick straight into the arms of Reid.
The defenders were certainly on top in this game but there was also a lack of quality in attack and it looked from an early stage as if anyone who could find the back of the net would secure the points. Locos are now unbeaten in their last four games and will be pleased to have secured successive clean sheets, but will be desperate to finally get that first Harlaw Park win in the rearranged fixture with Lossiemouth next weekend.
Locos: A Reid, T Reid, Mitchell, Dingwall, Souter, Johnstone, Ward, Wood, Halliday (Robertson (Gill)), Michie (Petermann), Meres Unused Subs: Alberts, Thain, Farquhar
Huntly: Hobday, Elphinstone (Allen), Booth, Connelly, Clark, Dalling, Blacklock (Grant), Still, Foster (Murray), Hunter, Morris Unused Subs: McCormick, Hay, Sewell, Storrier