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FULL STEAM AHEAD AS LOCOS GET OFF TO A FLIER
 
 Deveronvale 0-3 Inverurie Locos
 
Scorers: Mackie 1, Hunter 28, Donaldson 82
 
Vale's youngsters had a reality check when they lost out to an experienced Inverurie side which included former Aberdeen first team players Darren Mackie and Stuart Duff with manager Neil Cooper adding to the vast knowledge held by the visitors in the Banffer's final home fixture of the campaign.
 
It took just thirty five seconds for the the Garioch side to open the scoring when Darren Mackie raced onto a long ball over the top and easily lobbed the stranded Grant Pennet while Andrew Hunter had the visitors comfortable two up at the interval.
 
Vale's night wasn't going to plan at all and keeper Grant Pennet was forced off with a suspected broken nose before Dean Donaldson completed the scoring late on with a looping header over substitute keeper Matthew Mackie. We 
 
One change to Steve Dolan's side from the one which comprehensively defeated Inverness Clach on Saturday saw Steven Davidson return from suspension, the central defender replacing the unavailable Ross Aitken while skipper Liam Forbes slotted into midfield in another very young starting eleven for the Banff outfit.
 
Former Don Darren Mackie opened the scoring within a minute of kick-off but only lasted twelve minutes before being replaced by Dean Donaldson while two heavy challenges from Stuart Duff on Callum Murray saw the winger twice receive treatment in the early stages leaving the on-loan winger hobbling for the remainder of the half.
 
Andrew Hunter's near-post flick off Neil McLean's flag-kick was saved by Grant Pennet on his goal line while at the opposite end a clever set-piece from James McLaren very nearly caught out Ryan Booth at his near post but the ball smacked the advertising boards behind the keeper's goal.
 
Locos doubled their advantage when Dean Donaldson broke into an unmarked position inside the Vale 18-yard box and had loads of time to pick out the unmarked Andy Hunter who simply smashed the ball past Grant Pennet from 16-yards with plenty of red shirts in the area but caught ball watching.
 
Neil McLean wasn't far away from netting a third as the home defence stood off the Locos captain and just watched as he drove a left-footer narrowly wide from distance while a brave save at the feet of Andrew Hunter by Grant Pennet saw the keeper take a sore one in the face and was forced out of the game as blood poured from his wound. Matthew Mackie replaced the unfortunate Vale custodian. HT
 
Unsurprisingly Steve Dolan was forced into a change at the interval, Kevin Souter replacing the injured Callum Murray and as things got underway Vale's first corner of the match saw Lukas Krobot's deflected effort on goal turned around the post by Inverurie keeper Ryan Booth.
 
Dean Donaldson hooked an effort wide after decent build-up from the visitors in a so far dreary end of the season second forty-five full of misplaced passes and silly conceded fouls.
 
Kevin Souter rattled the face of the cross bar midway through the half with a curling free-kick from 20-yards after Liam Forbes was fouled and then again substitute Souter went close with an effort from even further out which almost nestled in the top corner with keeper Booth firmly rooted to the spot.
 
Locos sealed the points with a bit to spare when substitute Dean Donaldson looped a header over Matthew Mackie after fellow sub Martin Laing got away from his marker on the left flank and sent in a deep cross to find the head of the scorer.
 
The final piece of action from this dreary affair saw Liam Forbes' driven low cross palmed to safety by Ryan Booth on a night more or less to forget for Steve Dolan's babes for various reasons.
 
Vale: Pennet (Mackie 43), Dunbar, Willox, Forbes (cpt), *52 Krobot, Davidson, Sutherland, Gauld, Scott, *18 McLaren, Murray (Souter 46)
Subs: Johnston, Sopel, Chisholm
 
Locos: Booth, Rennie, Mitchell, *17 Duff (Young 84), Crisp, Broadhurst, Souter, Mackie (Donaldson 12), *89 Hunter, *78 McLean (cpt), Leyden (Laing 77)
Subs: French, McCabe, Mathieson (gk)
Manager: Neil Cooper
 
Referee: Will Smith
 
Vale Stats:
Efforts On: 3
Efforts Off: 1
Woodwork: 1
Corners: 3
Offside: 3
Overhead Conditions: Quite Calm
Playing Surface: Ok
Temp at KO: 10 deg C
Last Season: 1-4
 
Reporter: Neil Montgomery
Reported LastEdited: 6-Apr-2017
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