BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
From Hong Kong to Australia, Neil McLean’s family have gone Loco for his stunning solo strike against Annan.
Now the Harlaw Park stalwart is determined to go one better in the today’s Scottish Cup replay – and tee up a tie against Premiership Hamilton.
With Highland League minnows Inverurie Loco Works trailing 4-3 in injury time last weekend, McLean took matters into his own hands, producing a remarkable mazy dribble straight from kick-off before floating a spectacular chip into the far corner.
The goal has been an internet smash, while the Scottish Football Association’s official twitter account even suggested it could be the best goal in the competition ever.
McLean said: “It’s been a surreal few days! With the coverage all the games get, on the internet and through Scottish FA, it means anyone can see the goal.
“It is strange seeing a Highland League player being mentioned on the news and the BBC and things like that. My sister, Fiona, lives in Hong Kong and she saw it! My family in Australia got in touch. It seems to have travelled a bit.
“I have a couple of pals who actually work as coaches for the SFA who have been in touch.
“It’s been an exciting week and it’s great for Locos. I’ve been there a long time and it is great to play a wee part in the club getting more recognition and exposure.”
However, McLean’s full focus is now on stunning Annan at Galabank, with Accies awaiting the victors in the fourth round.
Having been at the club for 12 years, “Nacho” was part of the team which reached the same stage in 2009, ultimately succumbing to a 3-0 defeat against Motherwell in front of 2,500 fans in Inverurie.
He added: “The whole town got behind the Locos for the Motherwell tie, and it was something I hadn’t experienced before.
“The businesses and shop-fronts were all red-and-black and the whole place got a lift. We’d love to experience that again.
“It is a wonderful club, run by great local people and guys who have been there for a lot longer than I have and put a lot of time, effort and money into the club. It’s great to reward people like that.”
And, having dominated large swathes of the first encounter between the sides, Locos will have no fear at a gusty Galabank.
“We won’t have the element of surprise, which was to our benefit in the first game,” McLean acknowledged. “There might be a feeling that our chance is gone.
“However, we will go down there with a game plan and plenty of confidence.”