0 - 1
0 - 1
|None.||Tony Low (90)|
Neil MacDonald for Duncan Jones (83)
Craig MacMillan for Andy Low (69)
Mike MacDonald for Andy Matheson (69)
Neil Davidson for David MacRae (78)
Stephen Skinner (18)
Wayne Mackintosh (35)
Willie Barron (70)
Neil MacDonald (84)
Matt Northcroft (Referee)
A last minute Buckie goal condemned Nairn County to their first home defeat of the season as the Jags stretched their lead to six points over Les Fridge's side at the top of the Highland League table. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the home support, made even worse by the fact that the winning goal was scored by former Station Park favourite Tony Low.
The manager's team selection was severely hampered as he was without the services of squad members Chris Finnigan, Angus Lawrie, Darren Jarvie, Scott Nicholl, Iain Brooks, John Calder, Scott Graham and Ross Mackenzie for a variety of reasons. This meant that Neil MacDonald - who was returning from suspension - earned a place on the bench alongside young defender Callum Riddell, promoted from the youth ranks to fill the last substitute position.
Fridge's containment tactics worked an absolute treat for 89 minutes and 44 seconds as Nairn's well organised and disciplined set up kept their illustrious visitors at bay. Then disaster struck 16 seconds from time with Low's goal, after a free kick that the referee wrongly awarded Buckie's way.
The depleted home side came flying out of the traps and almost got of to the best possible start. Duncan Jones fired a 30-yard shot towards the goal of Kevin Main - who has been prone to embarrassing blunders against Nairn in the past - but the ball dipped just over the crossbar.
County were back in the attack after 10 minutes as midfielder Wayne Mackintosh raced past two Buckie defenders before teeing up Steven Edwards on the edge of the box. But the Nairn midfield man failed to make a true connection with the ball and he dragged his shot across goal and past the post.
Buckie then missed a glaring opportunity to take the lead and their was double delight for the home crowd as not only did their side manage to stay level but their former talisman David MacRae was the sinner. Full back Bob Duncan jinked down the left and cut the ball back to MacRae - on his first return to Station Park - and somehow Nairn's top goalscorer from last season managed to miss the target from a couple of yards.
Stephen Bruce then went close for the visitors but his drive floated over the crossbar and then moments later, the Jags striker thought he should have had a penalty when he was challenged by Martin MacDonald in the box. Referee Matt Northcroft waved play on though, insisting that the Nairn defender played the ball.
MacRae then had another horrendous miss five minutes before the end of the half. Bruce picked the midfielder out with a perfectly weighted ball into the box but somehow he managed to send his header from a couple of yards way past the post.
Defender Stephen Skinner was first to go close to breaking the deadlock in the second half but his shot drifted just wide of Main's goal.
Nine minutes into the half, a Tony Low shot clipped the top of the crossbar of its way over before his namesake Andy forced John Campbell into a great diving save. The Nairn goalkeeper recovered sufficiently to then deny Graeme Stewart from the rebound.
Duncan Shearer then threw on last season's Highland League top goalscorer Craig MacMillan as his side struggled to break down Nairn's resistance. And the move almost paid instance dividends when the former Inverness CT youngster got on the end of a Tony Low cross but his effort flew agonisingly across goal and past the far post.
Nairn conjured up another attack in the 84th minute when Willie Barron almost cashed in on some woeful defending by the visitors. His low drive had Main beaten but flashed past the post.
Campbell came to Nairn's rescue again three minutes from time when he parried a MacMillan shot from the edge of the box to safety.
With the home side looking good for a share of the spoils, disaster struck. The visitors won a free kick in a wide area that should have been awarded to Nairn in the final minute of play. The subsequent delivery into the box was cleared behind for a Buckie corner. The flagkick into the box was headed away by the Nairn defence but the clearance found Tony Low lurking some 20 yards from goal and he blasted a volley high into Campbell's net that the goalkeeper could not keep out despite getting a glove to it.
There was still time left for Tony Low to feel the wrath of former team mates John Campbell and Martin Sanderson as he dived in the box to try and cheat his way to a penalty that was not given.
|John Campbell (GK)||28||16||-||65||-|
|Neil MacDonald (sub)||21||10||-||36||-|
No league table has been added for this season.