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High on confidence after a strong midweek result over Deveronvale, Inverurie continued their recent good run of form with a commanding victory over Strathspey. 

Andy Hunter put the home side ahead early in the game before Martin Laing and an own goal from Richard Finnis secured the points in the second half.

The writing was on the wall for Strathspey early on as Inverurie struck the crossbar within the opening five minutes.

Colin Charlesworth then provided a heavily weighted corner to find Jordan Leyden lurking at the back of the box. He was able to take the ball back into a dangerous position only to see his resulting shot clip the crossbar.

Inverurie sustained their pressure resulting in an opportunistic Hunter breaking the deadlock just a minute later.

The assist came via a thundering Joe McCabe effort from the edge of the box which clipped the underside of the crossbar, and with Locos players claiming the ball had crossed the line, Hunter ended the debate with a well-placed rebound effort past Stewart Black from six yards out. 

As Locos became more and more comfortable in possession, the intensity of the match dropped, seeing only a handful of opportunities created by the home side.

The best came through the patient work of Leyden on the right wing who worked his way inside the box before firing a tame effort on goal. 

Spotting the loose ball, Hunter pounded, only to see his shot agonisingly deflected high over the crossbar in front of goal.

Having created very little throughout the game, Strathspey closed out the half with a series of corners which Inverurie were able to away from the untested Scott Mathieson. 

Mirroring the early intensity of the opening half, Inverurie came out of the break seemingly intent on doubling their advantage. A reaction save from Black all but kept Strathspey in the game as Leyden's free-kick received a deft flick on from Charlesworth, requiring the keeper to make a low save to his right.

As Strathspey absorbed this pressure, Inverurie looked to the wings to breakdown the stubborn defence. A long ball down the right flank provided Charlesworth with the time to control the ball before firing a low effort across goal, only to see his effort drift agonisingly wide of the far post. 

Dominating in possession, Inverurie controlled the centre of the pitch, seeing centre-back Ross Anderson momentarily promoted to midfielder and he provided the perfect pass to feed in McCabe, whose shot was brilliantly blocked by the oncoming Black.

Eventually the Strathspey defence cracked as Laing gave Locos a deserved second goal. 

With space once again available on the wing, Kyle Willox whipped in a high effort from the left which required a stretching save from Black. Finding himself in the perfect position, Laing picked his spot as he converted the rebound from six yards.

With the game moving into the final minutes, Strathspey finally registered their first effort at goal as Ryan MacLeod stood over a free-kick 25 yards out. Aiming for the far top corner, MacLeod applied too much power to his effort, seeing his shot rise above goal.

Inverurie continued to press throughout the remainder of the match and were rewarded with a late third goal, albeit through a piece of misfortune for Strathspey.

The build-up saw Locos substitutes combine as Neil McLean advanced through midfield before laying the ball wide for Martin Bavidge to dummy for Laing.

Aiming his effort low across goal, Laing's effort was well saved by Black, only for the loose ball to deflect into the net off the unfortunate Finnis.

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Press and Journal Highland League 2016-17

Rank Teams Played GD Points
1 Brora Rangers 34 80 81
2 Buckie Thistle 33 85 79
3 Cove Rangers 33 74 79
4 Formartine United 33 35 72
5 Fraserburgh 33 27 60
6 Forres Mechanics 34 21 58
7 Turriff United 34 14 58
8 Wick Academy 33 23 52
9 Inverurie Locos 34 18 50
10 Keith 34 -14 47
11 Clachnacuddin 34 -24 41
12 Lossiemouth 33 -13 38
13 Huntly 33 -41 34
14 Nairn County 33 -19 31
15 Deveronvale 34 -24 30
16 Rothes 33 -67 26
17 Fort William 34 -92 11
18 Strathspey Thistle 33 -83 9

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