A late penalty denied Locos a first point of the season against Formartine United at Harlaw Park. The Railwaymen were second best for much of the game but worked hard to stay in it after conceding an early goal, before levelling with a spot kick of their own. An injury time red card for Mark Souter compounded the misery.
The visitors took the lead with just six minutes on the clock. A corner from the right was played low to the edge of the penalty area. The shot was blocked but Matthew McLean was quickest to the loose ball, firing past Andy Reid. Locos responded well, enjoying a spell of pressure but without threatening Ewen MacDonald in the United goal. The visitors continued to pose a threat though, Daniel Park hitting the inside of the upright before Paul Campbell was denied by Andy Reid from the penalty spot. A Glen Donald clearance was sliced high into the air and as Reid tried to claim, he and Campbell collided. The referee was quick to point to the spot but Reid dived low to his right to make his second penalty save of the season.
Formartine largely dominated the rest of the half but were unable to further test Reid, a Jonathan Crawford header narrowly over the bar the closest they came to extending their lead. Locos best moment came at the end of a good move involving Dem Yunus and both Lloyd and Sam Robertson but Blair Smith’s shot was blocked and ran harmlessly through to MacDonald.
Andy Low introduced Logan Johnstone and Garry Wood at half time and the latter came close to an equaliser 7 minutes after the restart. The strikers clever header from a Paul Coutts free kick was brilliant tipped over by MacDonald. Aidan Combe curled a shot against the crossbar with Reid beaten before Calum Dingwall netted the equaliser after Donald had been tripped as he attempted to reach a loose ball following a corner.
Locos then had a spell on the front foot before Formartine wrestled back control of the game, finishing strongly. Andy Reid saved twice from the lively Julian Wade but the visitors weren’t to be denied as Crawford slotted home the winner from the spot two minutes from time after Donald was adjudged to have fouled Wade. Wade was involved again as he was clipped by Souter as he approached the penalty area, seeing Locos reduced to 10 men.
This was certainly a better defensive performance than the previous game at Harlaw Park against Fraserburgh but there was a lot of defending to do and Low will be disappointed by the nature of the goals conceded. Next up is another home game on Saturday as Locos face Huntly in a repeat of last weeks Highland League Cup tie. Locos will be hoping for the same outcome.