The Harlaw Park faithful finally saw a home win as a late Robert Ward strike settled this edgy encounter with Lossiemouth. The win looked unlikely for long spells as Locos twice came from behind.
The Coasters had the first attempt at goal, Andy Reid dealing comfortably with an early shot from distance, before Locos settled. Their build up play looked good at times but, as has been the case so often this season, they struggled to create chances having got themselves into good positions.
In fact, the first moment of real quality in the game came as the visitors took the lead in the 26th minute, Ryan Stuart placing a curling shot beyond Reid and inside the far post. The goal seemed to deflate Locos as they struggled to find the right pass at key moments and were becoming visibly frustrated. Their best moment of the half came as a lovely Thomas Reid pass picked out Logan Johnstone on the left side of the penalty area but his cross was just out of the reach of Matthew Petermann arriving in the box.
Logan Ross in the Coasters goal could rarely have had a quieter 45 minutes but he was beaten early in the second half as Locos were handed a route back into the match. Fergus Alberts went down under pressure from Lewis McAndrew as he tried to get on the end of a ball into the box and the referee allowed himself pause for thought before pointing to the spot. The visitors felt hard done by but there was little sympathy from Locos as Jamie Michie sent Ross the wrong way with the penalty to level the scores.
Locos began to look more of a threat and first Ward, then Reid were picked out by free kicks into the box but couldn’t get their efforts on target. The game remained tight though, as both managers made changes in an attempt to get the all-important second goal. Those changes looked have paid off for Lossie boss Joe Russell as Baylee Campbell used his first touch just moments after he was introduced to steer home a driven cross from fellow substitute Ross Elliott. With just ten minutes left on the clock, the celebrations in the away dugout suggested that they thought the game was won.
Locos had other ideas though, and once again got themselves on level terms just four minutes later. Calum Dingwall’s cross from the left was asking to be finished and Greg Mitchell obliged at the back post. This set up a frantic finale as neither team looked ready to settle for a point.
Elliott headed against the underside of the bar for Lossiemouth before Locos went up the other end and found Johnstone at the back post where he too struck the woodwork with a fierce strike. Locos didn’t have wait long to get another chance though as Mark Souter got his head to a ball sent into the box to nod it into the path of Ward who volleyed into the roof of the net to spark wild celebrations that were born more of relief than anything.
This wasn’t particularly pretty and certainly not convincing but this result could just provide the spark that Locos have been missing of late, particularly at Harlaw Park. There can be few more difficult places to try to build on that momentum than at Dudgeon Park where Locos meet Brora Rangers next weekend.
Locos: A Reid, T Reid, Mitchell, Dingwall, Souter, Johnstone, Ward, Alberts (Wood), Michie, Petermann (Thain), Gill Unused Subs: Smith, Mason, Farquhar
Lossiemouth: Ross, Farquhar, Leslie, McAndrew (Stewart), J Kennedy, N Kennedy, L Archibald, Morrison, R Archibald (Elliott), Stuart, Macleod (Campbell) Unused Subs: O’Halloran, Forbes, Thomson, Sim