Highland League: Inverurie boss Cooper gives credit to his players after Buckie bashing

Inverurie Loco Works manager Neil Cooper.

Inverurie Locos manager Neil Cooper was delighted with his side as they took another step towards securing a top-four finish in the Highland League with a 3-1 win over Buckie Thistle.

A goal in each half from Andy Hunter had the Railwaymen in charge before Andy MacAskill scored a penalty for the Jags but Chris Angus’ strike against his former club secured the points for Locos.

The win keeps them in third place and on course to finish in the top four and qualify for next season’s Challenge Cup.

Cooper felt his side deserved the win and said: “There wasn’t much between the teams in the first half and we got the break before half-time.

“We were fairly comfortable at 2-0 up and then the linesman has given a penalty against our goalie Andy Reid and I didn’t think it was a penalty.

“I thought Andy had the ball. But credit to the players it didn’t affect us too much and we pushed on.

“The third goal was a deflection back towards the Buckie goal and Chris Angus got on it and gave us a 3-1 lead.

“It was really good and well-deserved three points for us.”

Cooper was also pleased to beat last season’s champions and added: “We’ve improved a lot since last year and we want to try to finish as high up the table as we can and guarantee a top-four place as early as possible.

“Once we do that we’ll try to get as high up as we can, we’re third just now and we’d like to push Fraserburgh in second.

“But Formartine and Brora will be thinking the same.

There’s still a lot of games to go, but the boys are doing well – they’re a great credit to the club and are playing some good football.”

Buckie boss Graeme Stewart said: “We didn’t deserve to lose the game, we were probably slightly the better team.

“A draw or a narrow win for us would probably have been fair, so it was encouraging.

“It was still very sloppy goals that we’re letting in which I need to try to stop.”

The Jags gave 17-year-old Jack Murray his debut. The midfielder has signed on loan at Victoria Park from Ross County until the end of the season.

Stewart added: “Jack was very good and was man of the match for us today. “At 17 he’s a very big lad and he has a good attitude.”