Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup Final: Keith 2 Inverurie Loco Works 1
Inverurie Locos and Keith lined up at a blustery Princess Royal Park, both sides determined to put tough seasons behind them by clinching the show-piece Highland League Cup.
Although Inverurie held the advantage for the majority of the match after Scott Begg opened the scoring in the first half, Keith produced the goods in the second half as Andrew MacAskil equalised before Cammy Keith won the cup from the penalty spot.
In typical cup final fashion, both sides took their time in sizing their opponents, producing only speculative efforts in the opening 15 minutes.
The monotony was soon to be broken when Locos were awarded a free kick on the byline after Neil McLean's run was abruptly stopped. After the original set piece broke down, Stuart McKay had his head in his hands after slotting wide past an open goal. Fortunately for the winger, the resulting corner led to the opening goal of the match.
John Maitland split the defence with a high curling cross, allowing Locos to rush passes in the box. Spotting half a yard of space, Scott Begg only had eyes for goal, slotting the ball past Murray Kinnaird from 10 yards.
Inverurie then could have gone on to build a comfortable lead as they shifted through the gears. Neal McLean came close to capping off an exceptional solo move by breaking through the defence, only for his handful of shots to be blocked, before Kinnaird eventually pushed the ball wide to end the move.
Frustration began to arise for Keith as they still couldn't put Inverurie under pressure. Zander Jack eventually cracked, taking an effort from 20 yards which almost dipped into the top right corner.
Half-time 0-1 Inverurie Loco Works
Taking further control of the match, Inverurie continued to struggle in producing a clinical effort on goal. They looked set to double their advantage as Clark Bain lined up an effort from the edge of the box, only for his shot to be deflected wide.
Given all their domination, Inverurie were to be the makers of their own downfall after Stuart McKay lost the ball on the right flank. As the defence struggled to make up ground, Andrew MacAskil fluffed his first effort, before composing himself and side footing the ball into the net from just inside the box.
Keith should have then taken the lead minutes later, if it wasn't for the incredible reactions of Andy Reid to parry a header from 5 yards out.
With the match now level, either side looked as if they were capable of winning the tie. As Neil Gauld spurned some potential chances, Keith sat back and absorbed the pressure.
As momentum began to swing their way, Keith launched an attack which saw them rewarded with a penalty after drawing a hand ball from Kieran Adams as he slid to block a low effort. Stepping up to the spot, Cammy Keith confidently placed his effort into the left side netting of the goal.
With the clock running down, Inverurie threw everything they had at a solid Keith defence, but still couldn't break them down. With discipline beginning to slip, Locos captain Steven Park watched the final seconds from the side line after being sent off for a last gasp trip to prevent a certain goal. Running the clock, Cammy Keith took his time before placing the ball to the right of Andy Reid, only to see the keeper tip the ball onto post.
Dreams of an unlikely Locos comeback were dashed as Keith maintained possession, before bursting into wild celebrations as the final whistle blew.