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Having survived a late pitch inspection thanks to the help of a hard-working team to soften up a hard area of the park, Inverurie and Deveronvale shared the points at Harlaw Park.

Deveronvale made the dream start as they broke the deadlock after only 11 minutes through the tenacious Martin Charlesworth.

A cross into the box from Zander Jack was headed against a post by Charlesworth and the striker reacted the quickest to steer the rebound past keeper Errol Watson from six yards out.

Inverurie provided a quick response as Andy Hunter saw his curling 20-yard free-kick tipped over the crossbar by Grant Pennet.

As the half-hour mark approached, the hosts found themselves back on terms as Neil McLean provided the perfect corner to pick out Ross Anderson at the front post, with the defender rising above the Vale defenders to knock the ball past Pennet.

With half-time quickly approaching, Deveronvale produced a great counter-attack to take the lead into the break as Charlesworth grabbed his second of the game.

Bradley Manson provided a low pass from midfield which split the Locos defence, allowing Charlesworth to take on Watson one-on-one and the striker calmly slotted the ball past the oncoming keeper.

Sensing the match was beginning to slip away from them, Inverurie brought on Colin Charlesworth to restructure their midfield. The impact may not have been instant, but the refreshed strategy saw Locos once again tie the game with half-an-hour to go.

David Ross provided an inch-perfect cross to find Martin Laing lurking at the back post and the midfielder directed his header into the net.

The home fans then endured a frustrating remainder to the half as Inverurie continued to create chances, but failed to execute them.

Anderson came close to an almost identical recreation of his earlier goal as he once again got his head into a corner from McLean, only to see Pennet stop the ball with his legs.

Charlesworth, Laing and Hunter all came close to giving Locos the lead after excellent moves, only to see their shots either hit the near post or skim just wide of goal.

With the game still in the balance, Deveronvale came agonisingly close to claiming the three points in the final minutes as Sean Keith fired his free-kick towards the back post.

The ball was met by Lukas Krobot, but defender’s back-post header somehow missed the target and drifted wide of the far post.

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Press and Journal Highland League 2016-17

Rank Teams Played GD Points
1 Buckie Thistle 34 94 82
2 Cove Rangers 34 79 82
3 Brora Rangers 34 80 81
4 Formartine United 34 35 73
5 Fraserburgh 34 29 63
6 Forres Mechanics 34 21 58
7 Turriff United 34 14 58
8 Wick Academy 34 23 53
9 Inverurie Locos 34 18 50
10 Keith 34 -14 47
11 Clachnacuddin 34 -24 41
12 Lossiemouth 34 -18 38
13 Nairn County 34 -17 34
14 Huntly 34 -43 34
15 Deveronvale 34 -24 30
16 Rothes 34 -69 26
17 Fort William 34 -92 11
18 Strathspey Thistle 34 -92 9

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