EWEN Urquhart’s maiden goal for Nairn County was enough to earn a first win of the season as he was the only man to find the net at Princess Royal Park to sink Deveronvale.
Nairn gifted ‘Vale a scoring chance just two minutes in when Kenny McKenzie knocked the ball behind for a corner kick that was met by a header by Michael Dunn from close range but he sent his effort over the crossbar.
The visitors came into the game though and on 10 minutes, a short corner between Kenny McKenzie and Tom Maclennan on the left was worked to Gregg Main and he fizzed a shot from 20 yards inches past the near post.
County then failed to deal with a ‘Vale free kick into the box from out by the corner flag on the left with the ball being send back across goal to the unmarked Kyle Willox at the near post. But Dylan Maclean made himself big and threw himself across his goal to make a superb point black block.
Nairn moved the ball about well and had a lot of possession but they again needed Dylan Maclean to keep them level on 34 minutes. The ball dropped to the out-stretched leg of Dane Ballard after he threw himself at Robert Scott’s flick-on off Graeme Watt’s long ball. But the Nairn ‘keeper made himself big again to keep out the centre forward’s effort from close range.
Dylan Maclean excelled again three minutes before the break when Ballard advanced in behind the Nairn defence down the inside right channel before smashing an angle drive from 15 yards. And the ball was destined for the inside of the roof of the net until the County goalkeeper dived to his left to get the slightest of touches to divert it over.
But Nairn found their way to goal two minutes after the turnaround. Glenn Main did well to win the ball 30 yards from the Nairn goal as ‘Vale looked to advanced before striding forward and feeding Max Ewan down the left. He jinked his way past Lewis Dunbar before clipping over an inviting delivery. And Ewen Urquhart charged on it from the right to meet the ball with a header from 10 yards out at the back post, sending it back across Errol Watson in the home side’s goal and into the far corner.
Then, just a minute later, Jack Maclean was unmarked to meet Tom Maclennan’s free kick into the box from left of the centre circle. But he was back-pedalling and could only float his header past the near post.
Nairn were denied a golden opportunity to double their lead by a poor refereeing call on 57 minutes. Tom Maclennan was fouled from behind by Michael Dunn at the edge of the box with the ball running into the path of Kenny McKenzie, who was clean through on goal with Dylan Mackenzie in acres of space for a cutback and a tap-in. But referee Chris Fordyce pulled it back to give County the free kick. Gregg Main then saw the low set piece that followed go under the wall before being clutched by Watson.
Deveronvale pressed forward for an equaliser but the visitors were inches away from making the points save on 83 minutes when Dylan Mackenzie just beat the out-rushing Watson to a Michael Dunn header back to poke the ball past the goalkeeper. But it rolled narrowly past the post.
Deveronvale – Watson, Dunbar, Watt, Aitken (yellow 48), Dunn (y 57), Willox, Nowosielski, Allan (Robertson 83), Ballard, Noble (Wallace 61), Scott (MacLennan 76). Subs unused: Gauld, Adams, Brailsford, Blanchard (gk).
Nairn County – D. Maclean, Dingwall, K. McKenzie, Callum Maclean (J. Maclean 46), Glenn Main, Ramsay, Urquhart (MacDonald 80), Maclennan, D. Mackenzie (Highet 89), Gregg Main (yellow 60), Ewan. Subs unused: Fernandino-Soto, Ednie, Munro, Kendall (gk).
Referee – Chris Fordyce.