THE changing of the guard at Lossiemouth sparked a right royal response to Saturday’s humiliating 7-0 defeat against Inverurie Locos.
Raging Coasters boss Stevie Dunn dropped his goalkeeper and entire back four for the midweek visit of Rothes, and reaped the rewards with a 2-0 victory to end a recent barren spell.
Dunn branded last weekend’s crushing home loss to Locos “unacceptable”, and demanded a much improved performance from his new-look team on Wednesday night.
He got his wish, as goals by Ryan Farquhar and Shawn Scott helped turn a dominant Lossie show into a deserved three points.
“It should have been a lot more,” said the Lossiemouth manager. “We pretty much dominated from start to finish but weren’t clinical enough. The main thing is we went about it the right way, unlike Saturday.”
From the team which shamed the shirts at the weekend, out went keeper Connor Hall and stoppers Chris and Tony Ross, Grant Mitchell and Darren Bailey.
In came Errol Watson between the sticks, while Scott Wilson, Scott Gordon and Ryan Farquhar were promoted from the bench and striker Shawn Scott returned from injury.
A reshuffled rearguard registered Lossie’s first defensive clean sheet of the season, and manager Dunn warned his dropped regulars that they now have to fight their way back into the side.
“I’ve told them if you’ve got the jersey you need to play well to keep it, but just too many of them didn’t turn up on Saturday.
“We were two yards off the pace, we didn’t pick up the runners and were caught ball-watching in defence time after time.
“It was unacceptable what happened on Saturday, to ship seven goals and show no fight at all.
“Along with the coaching staff we put our heads together at training on Monday and realised quite a few changes had to be made. It worked with the defence against Rothes and they never really looked like conceding.”
Watched by 120 female supporters on the club’s Ladies’ Day, Lossie failed to impress the fairer sex as they flopped badly against title chasers Inverurie.
Locos front man David Ross plundered a 10-minute hat-trick inside the opening quarter, adding a fourth before the break to render the contest over by the change of ends.
Dean Donaldson, Martin Bavidge and Andy Hunter added three more Inverurie goals to complete a miserable afternoon for the Coasters.
But the Rothes midweek win ended a run of four defeats and a draw in their previous five outings, and boosted team confidence ahead of a difficult trip to Formartine United this weekend.
With manager Dunn at a wedding, his assistant Jim Stables and coaches Stevie Dixon and Ryan Green are in charge of the team at Pitmedden.
Chris Ross and Scott Wilson are unavailable, while Lossie expect on-loan midfielder Willie Mathers to be banned from playing by Formartine, his parent club.