1 - 1
|Richie Taylor (75)||
David MacRae (pen.) (67)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Richie Taylor for Richard Craig (56)
Matthew Gairns for Levi Stephen (56)
Martin Fellowes for Jerry O'Driscoll (79)
Steve Sanderson for John Mackay (64)
Ross Campbell (27)
Richard Craig (34)
Gary McGowan (41)
Scott Anderson (52)
Martin MacDonald (72)
Steven Edwards (87)
John MacAskill (90)
A resolute performance from Nairn County ensured that they took a well deserved point from this match with reigning champions and current table-toppers Huntly at Christie Park. Indeed, the visitors can feel themselves unfortunate not to have taken all three after dominating possession wise for long spells of the match and creating the more clear cut goalscoring opportunities.
Manager Les Fridge sprung a surpirse on the travelling support by deploying top scorer Martin MacDonald in defence along with fellow striker Scott Kellacher. With Iain Brooks, Johnny Seaton and Duncan Jones missing out due to prior commitments, John Mackay came in to make his first league appearance for the club while Steven Edwards also made a return to the starting XI.
County were quickest out of the blocks and went close to opening the scoring after only two minutes. Steven Edwards' cross from the right was poorly dealt with by Ross Campbell, landing right at the feet of Tony Low but the former Inverness CT winger's shot was deflected wide by the alert Scott Anderson.
Campbell almost atoned for his error at the other end as he sent a Levi Stephen corner from the left goalwards with an overhead kick that was held by his namesake John in the Nairn goal.
Nairn were the width of the post away from breaking the deadlock in the 16th minute. A great throughball by Willie Barron sent David MacRae harring towards goal but his low shot from 10-yards struck the outside of the left hand psot and went behind for a goal-kick.
Five minutes before half-time, MacRae was again on the end of a Barron build up and again he was denied. This time the Nairn wideman collected the ball at the halfway line on the left wing and surged forward before cutting the ball back to last season's top scorer MacRae upon hitting the by-line. However, the former Inverness CT midfielder's strike from 15-yards ruffled the outside of the side-netting.
County opened the scoring seven minutes after the hour-mark as a MacRae run into the box was brought to an abrupt halt by Campbell. The County midfield man susted himself down to stroke the spot-kick home sending home goalkeeper Richard Bowman the wrong way.
The visitors could have made it two only a couple of minutes later as Tony Low timed his run to perfection to race through on goal but he delayed in unleashing his shot allowing Mark Gray to make what turned out to be a match saving tackle as the Huntly equaliser duly arrived minutes later.
Substitute Matthew Gairns swung in a 75th minute corner from the right that Scott Anderson flicked on to the awaiting Richie Taylor at the back post and the former Buckie Thistle and Keith man made no mistake as he smashed home from a couple of yards scoring the first competitive goal of John Campbell's Nairn career.
Taylor nearly made it two in the 83rd minute when he slithered his way past Soctt Kellacher and Martin Sanderson but his shot was hacked clear from the goal-line by the well placed Steven Edwards.
Depsite a barrage of Huntly pressure towards the end of the game, it was Nairn who had the last chance of an entertaining game as a Low corner from the left was only cleared as far as the awaiting MacRae who saw his 20-yard volley well held by Bowman.
In the end a draw was a decent result for County on a ground where they were comprehensively beaten on two occasions last season. The side now move forward to Monday's North Cup showdown at Station Park with Inverness CT needing nothing less than a win to progress to the semi-final stage.
|John Campbell (GK)||25||3||-||3||-|
|Steve Sanderson (sub)||24||7||2||68||26|
No league table has been added for this season.