CALLUM Maclean rescued a deserved share of the spoils for understrength Nairn County at Deveronvale as he netted three minutes into injury time in this 2-2 draw.
The home side started brightly and on seven minutes, Callum Murray raced down the left and cut the ball back to Grant Noble at the near post. The striker spun and fired a shot away in one movement but Dylan Maclean was equal to it as he stood up well to parry at his near post.
A nice move by the Banffers saw Chris Blackhall step on to a cut back from the right on 14 minutes to sweep the ball goalwards but Maclean was equal to it as he dived to his right to hold on to the ball.
Another fine save by Maclean kept Nairn level on 23 minutes. Paul Sutherland fired in a low cross from the right that found Murray but his close range shot was beaten behind by the Nairn 'keeper for a corner.
The home side found a way through on 36 minutes though. County switched off after their own throw-in on the left allowing Deveronvale to work the ball inside to Chris Blackhall, who slipped a pass into the stride of Paul Sutherland and he advanced into the box to tuck a low shot under Maclean.
The visitors nearly struck back straight away but Gary Kerr was stretching to meet Ross Naismith's cross from right and fired well over from six yards.
Then, on 39 minutes, Kenny McKenzie found the space to deliver a low ball across goal from the left but it was just too far in front of the sliding Jack Maclean for him to convert. The ball rolled through to Naismith at the far post but his effort was cleared off the goal line by Lukas Krobot.
Eight minutes into the second half, Kerr stepped over a Naismith pass inside from the right to allow the ball to run through to McKenzie and he saw his curling low shot tipped behind for a corner by Pennet's diving save.
The hosts broke after a Nairn corner on 59 minutes with Grant Noble slipping the ball to Blackhall but he raced forward and blazed his shot well over the crossbar.
Nairn were level four minutes later. Jordan Macrae made a superb run forward before slipping the ball to Kerr inside the box. The striker was tripped by an out-stretched leg with referee Graham Beaton awarding a penalty and Ross Naismith stepped up to stroke the ball home from 12 yards.
But with County looking to build a head of steam in search of a winner they were caught out at the other end. Murray raced down the left from his own half and played the ball into the stride of the in-running Nathan Ross with the 'Vale sub taking a touch before despatching a low shot under Maclean and into the far corner.
Nairn almost found themselves level just a minute later though when Naismith's deep free kick from the left looked to be floating in at the far post but it was inadvertently directed over the crossbar by the head of Callum Maclean at the far post.
Just when it looked as if Nairn had run out of time to find a leveller, the visitors dug deep and rescued a share of the spoils three minutes into injury time. Paul Macleod was picked out in space in an unorthodox wide left position and he cut inside and on to his right foot before lifting his head and delivering a magnificent cross for Callum Maclean to crash home with a thumping near post header.
Deveronvale - Pennet, Dunbar, Jack (Rae 46), Begg, Fraser, Krobot (yellow 60), Sutherland, Blackhall, Ballard (Ross 70), Noble (Manson 89), Murray. Subs: Keith, Mackie (gk).
Nairn County - D. Maclean, J. Maclean, C. Maclean, S. Mackenzie, Glenn Main, Morganti (yellow 68), Naismith (Moir 80), K. McKenzie, Kerr, Riddell (P. Macleod 55), Macrae (D. Mackenzie 70). Subs: Ednie, Highet, Wilkie (gk).
Referee - Graham Beaton.
Pictures by Donald Matheson.