ANOTHER enthralling encounter involving thrill-a-minute Nairn County saw the 10-man visitors held to a draw away at Brora Rangers.
After an even opening period, Nairn broke the deadlock on 19 minutes. Wayne Mackintosh was the architect with a great, piercing run forward from midfield. The skipper lifted his head and played a neat pass into the stride of Ross Naismith with the attacker running in behind his marker to slip the ball under the advancing Joe Malin.
The visitors doubled their lead in sensational style on 27 minutes. Mackintosh clipped the ball in from the left with his delivery headed up into the air by Jamie Duff. It then dropped perfectly for Gary Kerr to smash into the top left corner from 15 yards with a first time volley.
The home side halved the deficit on 32 minutes though. Dale Gillespie whipped in a deep cross from the right and Paul Brindle made enough contact to see the ball sneak inside Dylan Maclean's far post.
County came close to adding a third on 49 minutes. Ross Naismith showed intelligence to knock the ball infield to Mackintosh and peel wide for the return before smashing a powerful drive inches past the top right hand corner with the diving Malin beaten.
But the visitors did manage to find a third on 52 minutes. Jamie Duff tugged the shirt of Callum Maclean as the County defender raced to the front post to meet a corner from the left with referee Liam Duncan awarding a penalty. Gregg Main stepped up to smash the ball home from 12 yards beyond Malin.
Former Nairn man Dale Gillespie had two chances to immediately pull one back for Brora. The powerful midfielder blasted a low shot that was well held by Dylan Maclean on 53 minutes and then a minute later, he scooped the ball over the top from just a few yards out off a low cross from the right.
Steven Ross went close again for the home side on 58 minutes as he headed a free kick from the left just over the crossbar.
Brora pulled one back on 74 minutes. Zander Sutherland's cross from the right was met by the run of Craig Campbell and he sent a header flying across Dylan Maclean and in at the far post.
County were living a charmed life by this stage and on 77 minutes, Steven Ross's bending shot from the edge of the box struck the underside of the crossbar and then the inside of the post before flying straight into the welcoming arms of Maclean.
But Brora found a leveller on 83 minutes. John Pickles raced down the line from right back and picked out the unmarked Craig Campbell inside. He took a touch and lifted his head before bending the ball inside the far post from 18 yards.
County were reduced to 10 men two minutes later when Wayne Mackintosh was dismissed for a second yellow after harshly being booked for an innocuous challenge.
Brora Rangers - Malin, J. Ross (yellow 55), Macdonald, Duff, Gillespie, Maclean (yellow 43) (Pickles 46), Brindle (Campbell 60), Pollock (S. Lisle 60) (y 80), Sutherland, Greig, S. Ross. Subs unused: Williamson, Munro, C. Lisle, Cormack (gk).
Nairn County - D. Maclean, J. Maclean, C. Maclean, S. Mackenzie (yellow 57), Glenn Main, Mackintosh (y 23, 85), Naismith (Morganti 61), K. McKenzie, Kerr, Gregg Main, Macrae (D. Mackenzie 72). Subs unused: Ednie, Moir, Highet, Reid, R. Macleod (gk).
Referee - Liam Duncan.
Pictures by Donald Matheson.