Inverurie Locos progressed to Round Three of the Scottish Youth Cup with a comprehensive and dominant victory on Sunday against Montrose. Heavy morning rainfall had largely given way to better conditions as this tie got underway in front of another good Harlaw Park crowd.
The young Locos were attacking the Railway End in the first period. Jordan Cooper sent in a rasping shot that was inadvertently blocked by a team-mate. Ethan Grant was looking strong and dangerous - he let fly from distance, his shot just clearing the bar. The same player then bent a curling right foot attempt wide of the far stick.
Craig Gill left his opponents aware of his presence on the park with a couple of wholehearted challenges, the type that a cup-tie is always the better for seeing. Montrose were struggling to construct anything meaningful in the Locos half but Liam Stewart was almost played in, but the energetic Cameron Moultrie tracked back forty yards to not only intercept but immediately set up a counter attack.
Josh Bolton and Damien Kalinowski traded shots on target but neither troubled their opposing keeper. Bolton then got a slight glance that took his headed attempt over keeper Euan Rose but agonisingly inches wide of the goal. Referee Spence halted play to issue a stern lecture to Owen Lawrence for dissent.
Inverurie were well worth their lead when it came but it arrived courtesy of a cruel piece of luck for Murray Soutar. A Moultrie whipped cross was loaded with quality and danger, forcing the defender to get something on it but the ball spun off his forehead and crashed into the Montrose net. Thirty three minutes, 1-0 Locos.
Owen Lawrence had to receive a caution on thirty five minutes for a jersey pull. Defender Soutar was keen to atone for netting at the wrong end and the defender sent a low drive towards goal that was deflected wide. Locos were set to double their advantage however and it was a belter.
If you like your football to be on the deck and see the ball zip around with purpose this was right up your street. A succession of neat passing was followed by a killer one-two that saw Cameron Moultrie clear inside the box, wide to the right. He drew the keeper and drilled a fantastic shot low into the onion bag.
Thirty nine minutes gone. Reece Brown smashed in a rising shot from close in that Rose did ever so well to beat away to safety. The keeper came off worst in an honest fifty-fifty challenge soon after, and unfortunately had to leave the park on a stretcher after a very long stoppage. Sad to see. Tyler Webley took to the field and his first involvement was to tip a Craig Gill shot over the bar. The sub goalie then watched a Thomas Reid header go over and did brilliantly to dive low to block a Moultrie effort.