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Sat 5th Sept – Huntly 0-0 Deveronvale

Huntly and Deveronvale had to settle for a share of the points after a goal-less draw at Christie Park.

The hosts welcomed back Craig Dorrat, Neale Allan and Alexander Thoirs after the trio missed the defeat at Wick, while Vale were unchanged from the side which held Turriff United to a draw the previous week.

Four minutes into the game there were appeals for a penalty from the home side when midfielder Ian Cruickshank was tugged as he made a run into the opposition box.

The returning Dorrat had a chance in the 13th minute when he sent a low drive towards the far post but former Huntly goalkeeper Grant Pennet got down to hold.

Only a minute later Pennet’s opposite number Fraser Hobday parried a Sean Keith effort before Michael Clark cleared the follow-up. The chances continued when Cruickshank rolled a shot wide after John Urquhart played a corner along the deck.

The best chance of the first half saw Huntly midfielder Gary McNamee power an effort off the underside of the bar and off the back of Pennet before the ball was cleared. Clark then headed wide from a Murray McCulloch cross.

Huntly’s Hobday continued his fine form from the defeat at Wick by denying Gary Harris as the forward was through on goal.

Vale had another opportunity to take the lead and it was Hobday who again denied the visitors with a last-ditch save from Martin Charlesworth.

Huntly passed up a chance just after the hour mark when Adam McNamee got by two Deveronvale defenders and as he got the ball past Pennet, he lifted his shot high and wide.

Another set-piece saw the Black and Golds go close again when former Deveronvale player John Urquhart struck a free-kick up and over the wall, and Pennet fumbled the ball behind.

A great goal-line clearance from Ross Aitken then kept out a shot from Allan, who had run on to a low driven corner from Urquhart.

Huntly’s Clark came close again, heading over from an Allan free-kick, while there was a controversial moment in the 83rd minute when Scott Fraser caught Cruickshank with a flailing arm off the ball. The visiting captain may have been fortunate to escape with only a caution for his offence.

The hosts came close inside the final minute of the game with Pennet keeping out substitute David Booth, while Deveronvale’s Connor Rennie’s strike went wide of the post as the game drew to a close.

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