1 - 1
|Paul Lamberton (60)||
Scott Kellacher (72)
Lewis Mackinnon for Gary Farquhar (73)
Andrew Allan for Iain Brooks (89)
Johnny Seaton (34)
Steven Edwards (36)
A tremendous second half display of grit and determination coupled with a stunning performance from goalkeeper Jim Calder ensured that Nairn County took a point from their visit to Buckie Thistle's Victoria Park.
Les Fridge was yet again forced to shuffle the pack as Scott Nicholl missed out due to unavailability while Garry Ewing began his exile from the club. But Brian Macleod returned to the side in place of Nicholl in the only change from the side that defeated Fraserburgh a fortnight ago.
County, playing into the strong wind in the first-half, almost got off to a dream start as Iain Brooks was put through on goal but he pulled his shot wide of the post to the relief of the home defence.
But the bustling forward couldn't believe his luck as he found himself in the same situation only moments but again he tugged his attempt at goal wide of the post under pressure from the home side's Paul Lamberton.
Kevin Soutar then tried his luck for the home side with a low shot from range that Calder smothered before the Buckie forwards piled in to attempt to scramble the ball over the line but a combinaiton of Calder and Colin Macleod saved Nairn before the veteran keeper finally collected the ball.
As the Buckie pressure mounted on the Nairn goal, Lamberton looked set to put his side in front as John Coutts swung in a cross from the left to the unmarked Jag but somehow he missed the target with his header from close range and it looked as if Nairn may have luck on their side.
County were then reduced to ten men after 34 minutes though as Johnny Seaton was given his marching orders for allegedly lashing out the home side's Franny More. It now seemed an uphill task to even take a point from the match with a man less against a Buckie side that have been free-scoring of late.
Uphill then turned to impossible two minutes later as Nairn againn saw a man dismissed, this time Steven Edwards was the perpetrator as he put the boot into Jamie Shewan with a petulant kick right in front of the referee leaving the man in the middle with no choice.
The home side were looking to make their numerical advantage count and get their noses in front before the break as Coutts fired in angled drive that Calder did well to block before the ex-Caley Thisle keeper produced a tremendous save low to his left to deny a powerul Donnie Munro shot.
Les Fridge was forced to re-jig things at half-time and County came out for the second half deploying a 4-4-0 formation and aiming for the corners with long-balls whenever they gained possession in hope of clinging on for a draw.
Calder was again the hero for Nairn minutes after the break as Munro thought he'd broke the deadlock with a towering header destined for the top corner before the County custodian flew through to air to make a finger-tip save.
Mike Macdonald then squeezed his way past Scott Kellacher and looked odds on to open the scoring but somehow he placed the ball well wide of the target from only eight yards and it was beginning to seem as if it might be one of those days for the homesters.
But the opening goal finally arrived a minute after the hour mark as Franny More glided down the right wing before firing in a cross that was just perfect for the on-rushing Paul Lamberton to side foot into Calder's top left hand corner leaving him with no chance.
The roof was beginning to threaten to cave in as the Jags went straight back into attack when Macdonald picked out Shewan with a long ball only for the home side's midfielder to find Calder still in top form.
But Nairn equalised in the 72nd minute with by far their most bizarre goal of the season. David MacRae won a free-kick some 40-yards from goal which was flighted into the box by Scott Kellacher but evaded everyone and looked a safe bet to be gathered by home keeper Kevin Main. But the Jags shotstopper seemed to be one step ahead of himself as he looked to his full-back to throw the ball to before he'd caught it and allowed it to slip through his fingers and over the line sparking scenes of jubilation amongst the travelling support.
Buckie threw even more bodies forward to try and get back in front and should have grabbed a second goal when a Macdonald cross from the right was met by the unmarked Stuart McGuigan at the back post but he miss cued and sent his volley sailing out of the ground from close range.
In the 80th minute a positive run forward from David MacRae gave Nairn some well-needed breathing space at the back and almost gave the visiting side an unthinkable lead. He cruised past two defenders down the left before laying up the on-running Willie Barron whose shot was well-saved by main at his near post. the ball then broke to Barron again wide on the left and Iain Brooks was only inches away from poking Barron's low cross over the line.
Buckie again progressed forward but Nairn managed to hold out the final few nervy minutes for a well-deserved point that could possibly have been three with 11-men.
A good point for County to take and one that would have been commendable even with a full compliment of players on the pitch and that makes this result even more impressive but the indiscipline is something that the manager will be keen to stamp out and actions that should not be tolerated from any player as the two sendings off cost Nairn any realistic hope of a win in this match.
|Jim Calder (GK)||44||17||-||17||-|
|Andrew Allan (sub)||-||1||-||1||-|
|Lewis Mackinnon (sub)||19||9||1||9||1|
No league table has been added for this season.