NAIRN County threw away all three points at Kynoch Park as Keith came back from a goal down at half time to condemn Ronnie Sharp’s men to defeat.
A wicked deflection off his own man almost gave Keith the lead with Ryan Spink’s long range shot clipping Cammy Keith on the back. But the ball flew just off target with Dylan Maclean beaten.
The hosts continued too have the best of the opening exchanges with Bradley Manson’s low shot across goal at the far post off a free kick from deep on the right taking a slight nick the send it off target.
Callum Maclean could not quite guide Cohen Ramsay’s clipped ball back into the danger area with Keith goalkeeper Greg Simpson gathering after the stopper had initially dropped Kenny McKenzie’s dead free kick from the left.
County had a golden opportunity to open the scoring on the half-hour. Kenny McKenzie was tripped just inside the box on the left by Macaulay Rae with referee Alan Proctor pointing to the spot. But Maroons stopper Simpson threw himself to his right to repel Max Ewan’s penalty kick.
But the young attacker made amends by creating the opening goal for County on 34 minutes. He chased a hopeful ball down the left channel, overtaking defender Rae who had a five-yard head start to then feed the unmarked Adam Porritt inside. And the midfielder then whipped a dipping effort over the stranded Simpson with his right boot from 25 yards out to put Nairn ahead.
A superb block by Keith left back Ryan Spink prevented Nairn from doubling their lead five minutes into the second half. Ewan again created the chance out of nothing, this time mugging Ryan Robertson out on the left before hitting the by-line and cutting the ball back for Dylan Mackenzie. But his first time shot was prevented from finding the net by the sliding Spink.
It was to prove fatal for Nairn as Keith turned the game on its head to win it with two goals in an eight-minute spell. Craig MacAskill’s in-swinging corner kick from the left was completely missed by Dylan Maclean, leaving Bradley Manson with the simple task of tapping the ball home from a few yards out at the far post.
Keith completed the turnaround a minute after the hour-mark. MacAskill advanced down the right and cut inside Kenny McKenzie before picking out Manson with a low cross. The midfielder’s effort was blocked but the loose ball dropped at the feet of Cammy Keith, who composed himself before sweeping the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.
Keith had the chance to put the seal on it 10 minutes from time but he sliced his left-footed effort into the side-netting at the far post.
Nairn rallied to try to nick a point and on 86 minutes, Callum Maclean fed the arriving Kenny McKenzie but goalkeeper Simpson stood up well to block the left back’s shot.
Then, less than a minute later, substitute Jack Maclean arrived unmarked to meet Porritt’s cross from the left with a side-footed volley that flew straight into the grateful arms of Simpson.
Keith – Simpson, Manson, Spink, Rae (yellow 28), Robertson, Begg (Young 63), MacAskill (y 73), Brownie, Keith, Keir (Hutcheon 3 (y 54)), Berton (McAllister 76). Subs unused: Barron, Smith, Selfridge, Stewart (gk).
Nairn County – D. Maclean, Naismith, McKenzie, Callum Maclean (yellow 12), Dingwall, Glenn Main, MacDonald (J. Maclean 80), Porritt, D. Mackenzie (Dey 63), Ramsay (McConaghy 63), Ewan. Subs unused: Ednie, Cuthbert, Munro, Kendall (gk).
Referee – Alan Proctor.
Pictures by Donald Matheson