Locos fell to defeat against a strong Brora Rangers team in their final game before the Highland League Cup Final. After substitute Sam Robertson had given the home fans some hope, two quick goals from the visitors killed the game off before Robert Ward got a late second for the Railwaymen.
Brora have scored over a hundred goals in the Highland League this season and it was easy to see why as they attacked relentlessly in the opening stages, Locos unable to spend any time in the opposition half. Alisdair Sutherland shot wide before a minute was on the clock and another Sutherland shot was well saved by Andy Reid before Jordan Macrae put the visitors in front, turning home a low Tom Kelly cross from the right.
Rangers continued to create chances with Reid saving from Tony Dingwall at his near post. Locos gradually worked their way into the game. Greg Mitchell fired narrowly wide from a Calum Dingwall corner before Logan Ross made a fine diving save to keep Ward’s effort out of the top corner. Mark Nicolson then came close to extending Brora’s lead but his effort from a corner came back off the crossbar.
Having grown into the game as the half wore on, Locos had everything to play for trailing by just one at the break. Chances were at a premium at the start of the second half but with almost an hour gone Brora doubled their lead. Again it was Kelly who provided the delivery from the right for Andrew Macrae to beat Reid from close range.
The reaction from Locos was good, Ward doing well to dribble into the box but shooting narrowly over. The home fans did get a goal to cheer though, Sam Robertson seized on a defensive lapse to work his way into the box before slotting home. Robertson’s goal may have been enough to sow a few seeds of doubt in the away team but just a few minutes later Dingwall restored his team’s two goal advantage, receiving the ball from a throw before firing a curling shot beyond Reid from the edge of the box. Andrew Macrae then secured the points four minutes later, latching onto a through ball to finish.
Locos still offered a threat and Ward added a second with 6 minutes remaining, making space for himself in the penalty area to score low past Ross. The men in fire and coal then put everything into getting the third goal that would set up an interesting finale but it wasn’t to be.
This wasn’t the ideal result ahead of next Saturday’s big game, and at times Locos struggled against the attacking prowess of Brora, but there were positives to take, not least the way they reacted to Brora’s early dominance. At the final whistle though, all attention turned to Bellslea next week.
Locos: A Reid, Mitchell (T Reid), Dingwall, Souter, Ward, Halliday, Burnett, Wilson, Michie, Anderson (Gill), Meres (S Robertson) Unused Subs: Buchan, B Smith, L Robertson, Farquhar
Brora Rangers: Ross, Kelly, A MacDonald (G MacDonald), Williamson, Nicolson (Gamble), Gillespie, MacLean, Dingwall, A MacRae, J MacRae (Gunn), Sutherland Unused Subs: Meekings, Malin, Ewan, Nicol