Huntly 4 Nairn County 6 - Report

5th November, 2016 •
Posted In: Match Reports
Written By: Graeme Macleod •
Comments: 0 Comments

AN unbelievable second half showing from Nairn County saw them battle back from 3-1 and 4-2 down to thump Huntly 6-4 at Christie Park as Ronnie Sharp's men took all three points on an exhilarating afternoon.

The home side boast four former County stars on their books after big money summer moves but it was their young and upcoming replacements who stole the show at Christie Park as Nairn battered the hosts in the second 45 minutes.

Huntly took four minutes to find their way into a lead. County caused their own downfall by giving the ball away 30 yards from their own goal and it broke wide on the left for Jordan Morrice to step on to and lash across debutant Ryan Macleod and into the far corner from 12 yards.

Just 10 minutes later, Huntly doubled their tally. A quick corner caught Nairn napping as the ball was played to the unmarked Jordan Morrice 30 yards from goal and he stepped on to lash a fizzing low drive into the bottom right hand corner.

County looked threatening going forward in the opening stages despite the loss of two early goals and Wayne Mackintosh spooned a Ross Naismith corner from the left just over the crossbar as he stretched to meet it at the far post.

Mackintosh was at the heart of things again on 26 minutes as he was picked out by Kenny McKenzie's cut back from the by-line on the left but the skipper's touch let him down five yards from goal and the ball trickled away.

It was the skipper's midfield cohort who was next to have a go for County as Gregg Main stepped forward and thumped a powerful shot past the post by a matter of inches.

But Huntly added a third against the run of play on 38 minutes. A simple long punt forward was flicked on by Dennis Wyness and Robert Duncanson ran on to it to lift the ball over the advancing Ryan Macleod.

County pulled a goal back four minutes before the break though through a stunning set piece. Ross Naismith stepped up to a free kick 30 yards out and proceeded to bend a spectacular effort over the head of goalkeeper Stuart Grant and into the top right hand corner.

After scoring just before half time, the visitors did the same just after the break as a sweeping move resulted in Jack Maclean pulling the ball back from the by-line on the right for Wayne Mackintosh to tap into the empty net.

But the home side restored their two-goal lead just four minutes later. Glenn Main's header dropped to Joe Burr and he picked out Jordan Morrice on the left with the Huntly wide man seeing his low shot trundling across Macleod and into the bottom corner.

A thunderous drive from Gary Kerr was pushed around the post by a stunning save from Stuart Grant. But from the resulting corner, Callum Maclean rose highest to crash a header into the net.

After Kerr had fired just beyond the top corner and nicked a Macrae cross wide at the front post, County drew level from the penalty spot on the hour-mark. Mackintosh jinked his way into the box from the right before being tripped and Gregg Main stepped up to send Grant the wrong way from 12 yards.

The goal continued to elude Kerr and on 65 minutes, he stooped to meet Naismith's whipped ball in from the right with a glancing header that bounced past the post with Grant rooted to the spot.

County passed up a glorious chance to go in front on 72 minutes with sub Jason Morganti nicking the ball away from goalkeeper Grant after the stopper dropped a clanger but the midfielder hit the post with his first touch of the game.

The hosts went down to 10 men a minute later with Elliot Duff sent off for a straight-legged lunge on Kenny McKenzie.

County went in front for the first time on 76 minutes as Glenn Murison headed the ball over his own goalkeeper with the ball trickling into the net.

Nairn could have killed the game with seven minutes left when Kerr slipped substitute Dylan Mackenzie in on goal but he was denied by Grant.

But the young striker made no mistake on 89 minutes. A short corner by Mackintosh fed Gregg Main and he raced along the by-line before firing the ball across goal for Dylan Mackenzie to poke home County's sixth of an incredible afternoon.

After four minutes of added time, the referee blew for full time prompting scenes of joy and togetherness not seen in a Nairn County team for many years as they applauded the supporters who backed them so vocally throughout the match.

Huntly - Grant, Webb, Still (yellow 75), Croll (yellow 38), Wyness, Napier (Duff 30) (red 73), Murison, Johnston, Morrice, Naismith (Clark 69), Duncanson (Burr 46). Subs unused: Ritchie, Ingram, Reid (gk).

Nairn County - R. Macleod, J. Maclean, C. Maclean, Mackenzie, Glenn Main, Mackintosh, Naismith (D. Mackenzie 80), K. McKenzie, Kerr, Gregg Main (yellow 76), Macrae (Moganti 71). Subs unused: Mackay, Ednie, Trialist, D. Maclean (gk).

Referee - Chris Fordyce.

Pictures by Donald Matheson

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