A Julian Wade strike 7 minutes from time prevented Locos securing their first home win of the season in a tight game against Formartine United. The Dominican international turned sharply to finish from six yards out after a throw into the box had led to a bit of a scramble. The goal was frustrating for Locos who, having struggled to hold onto slender leads recently, had been coping well with increasing pressure from the away team.
The second half had started well for Locos, who had taken the lead through a Ryan Spink own goal in the 50th minute which was starting to look like it might be enough for the Railwaymen to take all 3 points. Both teams will probably be reasonably content with a draw from a game of few clear chances, although it took a double save from Andy Reid to deny the visitors a winner in added time.
The first half was a guarded affair, with neither side able to get behind the opposition defence, leading to a string of efforts from outside the penalty area. Tyler Mykyta, who posed a threat throughout, was first to try his luck, firing narrowly wide. Jay Halliday then saw his deflected shot loop onto the top of the net after excellent footwork to create the opportunity for himself. Two more Mykyta free kicks that were not far off target were as close as we got to a goal in the opening 45 minutes as, while Locos saw more of the ball, it was United who carried the greater of what threat there was.
Richie Hastings responded by introducing Lloyd Robertson in place of Calum Dingwall for the second half and he was involved in the opening goal of the game soon after. Robertson played a slide rule pass to release Logan Johnstone on the left of the area and Spink could only poke his cross beyond Ewen MacDonald.
Locos visibly grew in confidence and Robertson was again at the forefront as his dangerous cross was met by Robert Ward who was unable to steer his header on target. For the most part though, the efforts continued to come from distance and didn’t trouble the keepers. Robertson and Wood firing over for Locos, while Kieran Lawrence and Mark Gallagher were off target for the away team.
Wade’s equaliser left enough time for both sides to go looking for a winner. After substitute Jamie Michie had stung the palms of MacDonald, Reid saved excellently with his legs after a well-timed tackle by Halliday on the edge of the area unwittingly sent the ball invitingly into the path of an attacker. Reid was also on hand to make a more comfortable save from the follow up.
A good point against a very strong Formartine team but Locos have another opportunity to get that elusive Harlaw Park victory next week as another of the league’s big hitters Buckie Thistle visit following the midweek trip to Deveronvale.