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Keith Football Club continue best Highland League unbeaten run in 16 years by ending Inverurie Locos bogey sequence at Harlaw Park

By Charlie Simpson

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It’s been eight long years since Keith last defeated Inverurie Locos, but make no mistake, this was a thoroughly deserved 2-1 victory, stretching their unbeaten run to nine games, the longest sequence for over 16 years.

Keith FC's Gavin Elphinstone. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Keith FC's Gavin Elphinstone. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

Essentially a team performance, but the goal hero at one end was Gavin Elphinstone with a deadly double, whilst goalscoring hero from the Huntly game Craig Reid, pulled off a superb penalty save at the other end.

It took the Maroons only two minutes to edge ahead, playing up the Harlaw Park slope, Elphinstone heading home from eight yards.

Jordan Cooper should have extended the lead a couple of minutes later but his shot wasn’t powerful enough, goalie Zack Ellis making the save.

Craig Reid, in the form of his life, then denied Nathan Meres as he raced clear, with a stunning stop.

Keith doubled the score with 25 minutes on the clock when Elphinstone sprinted through to smash home his ninth goal of the season from 15 yards.

Reid then came to the rescue again nine minutes from the break, pulling off an astonishing double save.

Two minutes into the second half a rare Craig Gill mistimed tackle upended Blair Smith inside the box but Reid was equal to the task, brilliantly diving to his right to save Paul Coutts’ spot kick – his fourth such save from open play this season.

The custodian was beaten though on the hour mark despite as fine initial save but Myles Gaffney pounced to rifle home the loose ball from 10 yards.

Perhaps in the past, Keith heads might have drooped but there is a distinct firmness and will-to-win about the Maroons these days, and they kept taking the game to Locos with Ryan Robertson and Liam Duncan both going close to extending the lead.

The latter, a late substitute, was the victim of a blow to the face from Thomas Reid thus earning the Locos defender an instant red card with four minutes remaining.

Keith team: Reid, Killoh, Lynch, Coull, Robertson, Gill, Elphinstone (Tough), Brownie, Cooper (Addison), McKeown (Duncan), Stewart (Ironside). Subs: Yeats, Smith, Macleod.

Referee: O Lawrence.

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