2 - 2
2 - 2
Iain Brooks (74)
David MacRae (pen.) (86)
Scott Buchan (pen.) (67)
Andy Roddie (50)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Steve Sanderson for Johnny Seaton (67)
Martin MacDonald for Brian Macleod (80)
|Allan Padua for Barry Somers (78)|
Eric Robertson (Referee)
A rousing performance when 2-0 down earned Nairn County a deserved share of the spoils against a title chasing Inverurie Locos side at Station Park.
In what was truly a game of two halves, a dull opening 45 minutes was followed up by end-to-end action after the break as Nairn refused to give up and Inverurie couldn't quite kill of their valiant hosts.
The Locos opened the scoring five minutes into the second half when former Don Andy Roddie lashed home from the edge of the box. This lead was doubled in the 67th minute when Scott Buchan converted from the penalty spot but Nairn halved the deficit eight minutes later when Iain Brooks powered a header past visiting keeper Michael Smith. The comeback was complete four minutes from time when Steven Sanderson was felled in the box and David MacRae stepped up to convert the resulting spot-kick.
The home side could have opened the scoring after less than a minute of play. Willie Barron latched onto a Duncan Jones through-ball and skipped past Ally Graham but he couldn't quite stab the ball beyond Smith as the keeper blocked the Nairn man's effort with his legs.
The game then went through a dull spell, as neither side was able to exert any sustained amount of pressure on the other. This almost changed in the 24th minute though as Barron was sent clear down the right by a great pass from John MacAskill but his cross found no takers as it was cleared to safety by Locos' defender Mark Simpson.
Less than 60 seconds later, Barron was again at the heart of things for the hosts. A high free-kick into the box from Scott Kellacher was spilt by keeper Smith and fell at the feet of the County forward but he could only steer his shot from the edge of the box past the right hand post.
Duncan Jones almost added to his growing collection of stunning goals for Nairn three minutes into the second half when unleashed a powerful shot from 22-yards that flashed just inches past Smith's left hand post.
The opening goal finally arrived in 50 minutes in and it fell the way of the visitors as they opened the scoring with their first shot on target. The ball broke kindly to Andy Roddie at the edge of the box but his shot was blocked by the County defence.
However, the former Don collected the loose ball and tried his luck for a second time and on this occasion he found the back of the net as his low shot took a crucial deflection off of a Nairn leg sending it past goalkeeper Jim Calder and into the bottom left hand corner.
This lead was doubled in the 67th minute as Calder came racing out of his goals to clear a through-ball but was just beaten to it by Locos' Barry Somers. The Nairn goalkeeper couldn't put the brakes on in time and collided with the Inverurie midfielder sending him crashing to the deck. After consulting with his linesman, referee Eric Robertson pointed to the spot and Scott Buchan stepped up to ram the penalty straight down the middle and into the net.
Nairn hauled themselves back into the reckoning though seven minutes later when they chopped the visitors' lead in half. Tony Low surged down the left wing and delivered a pinpoint right-footed cross to the back post where Iain Brooks was on hand to power a header across goal, past Smith and into the net.
The home side almost drew level less than a minute later. Again Low was the supplier down the right, delivering a carbon copy of his cross for the first goal, but the recipient - Steven Sanderson - could only direct his header into the arms of Smith.
The visitors almost killed off County in the 84th minute as Stuart McKay cut in from the left and drifted past Scott Kellacher but his low shot from 20-yards was held by Calder.
Nairn grabbed a dramatic equaliser in the 86th minute. As Nairn piled men forward, the ball broke to substitute Steven Sanderson inside a crowded penalty area and he was brought down by Ally Graham. Referee Robertson pointed to the spot and David MacRae stepped up to duly convert the resulting spot kick.
Both sides had chances to win it at the death as the game finished with a cup-tie feel to it. Firstly, Iain Brooks beat goalkeeper Smith in an aerial dual but the struck the base of the post and trickled over the by-line at the wrong side of the upright.
Inverurie were the width of the crossbar away from winning it at the death as Craig Ross whipped in a powerful cross from the right that was headed against his own bar by Jones under pressure from Locos' striker McKay.
Nairn then went up the other end of the park and could have on it themselves. Substitute Martin MacDonald was sent through on goal but instead of pulling the trigger first time, he cut inside - wrong-footing goalkeeper Smith - but this gave the Locos defence time to recover and Simpson was able to deflect the ex-Brora striker's shot past the post.
An action packed second half will give Nairn boss Les Fridge something to think about as he considers the reasons behind his side falling two goals behind. But he will be pleased with the never-say-die attitude that his troops displayed to battle back and take a point from a team considered by many to be the champions come the end of the season.
|Jim Calder (GK)||45||19||-||48||-|
|Martin MacDonald (sub)||23||22||5||22||5|
|Steve Sanderson (sub)||24||18||5||79||29|
No league table has been added for this season.