SAM Robertson’s goal for Buckie Thistle just after half-time provided to be crucial as the Jags squeezed past Nairn County in a tight encounter at Victoria Park.
It means that Nairn have taken the same number of points as they did from games against the same opponents last season as they have faced in the opening eight games of the 2018/19 season – three of which have been away fixtures against teams to finish in last season’s top five.
The hosts took the lead 14 minutes in with Scott Adams turning the ball beyond James Kendall in the Nairn goal from close range.
The visitors pushed for a leveller and almost found one on 28 minutes but Buckie goalkeeper Lee Herbert excelled as he clawed the ball away from the top corner to keep out a header from Dylan Mackenzie.
Then, just a minute later, Tom Maclennan burst into the Buckie penalty area but his first-time effort was saved by Herbert to keep the home side ahead.
Buckie almost doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time through Declan Milne but his attempt at goal whistled wide of the near post.
But the Jags were able to add a second just three minutes into the second half. Substitute Sam Robertson – who had replaced earlier scorer Adams not long after he had put Buckie in front – guided the ball across the unsighted Kendall and in at the far post to put Thistle in control.
County gave themselves hope though as they pulled a goal back on 56 minutes to half the deficit. Dylan Mackenzie was fouled on the edge of the penalty area and from Gregg Main’s clipped delivery, the young striker was able to scramble the ball home amidst a crowded goalmouth.
The visitors pushed on for an equaliser and the closest they came to finding one was through Gregg Main’s attempted lob over the goalkeeper. But the back-pedalling Herbert was able to scramble the ball clear and prevent County from fighting back to earn a share of the spoils.
Buckie Thistle – Herbert, Mackinnon, Morrison, Adams, Cheyne, MacAskill, Ross, Murray, Adams (Robertson 33), Milne, Mackenzie. Subs unused: Davidson, Bruce, Strong (gk).
Nairn County – Kendall, Dingwall, Naismith, Callum Maclean, Glenn Main, Maclennan (McConaghy 60), MacDonald, Porritt, D. Mackenzie (Urquhart 70), Gregg Main, Ewan. Subs unused: Fernandino-Soto, Highet, Ednie, Wilkie (gk).
Pictures by Donald Matheson