IT was the biggest Highland League win of the season for Nairn County as Dylan Mackenzie (pictured) struck his second hat-trick of the campaign in this rout of lowly Lossiemouth.
After a scrappy start, County broke the deadlock 13 minutes in with a lightning break off a Lossiemouth corner kick.
James Kendall came and claimed Ally Bellingham’s delivery before bowling the ball out to Ewen Urquhart. The midfielder then fed it wide for Adam Porritt, who slipped a through pass for Dylan Mackenzie to run on to with the striker rounding goalkeeper Stewart Black and rolling the ball home.
The ball broke nicely to Ewen Urquhart in the penalty area five minutes later but he could not keep his shot down as he blazed over the top from 15 yards.
But the visitors made it two on 22 minutes. Porritt claimed the assist again as he delivered a free kick from wide on the left just inside the Lossiemouth half of the pitch and with the ball flighted towards the far post, Callum Maclean was on hand to meet it with a side-foot into the roof of the net.
Kendall was called into action on 29 minutes as his punch off a cross ball from the right dropped at the feet of Ryan Stuart. But the English shot stopper got down well to block the Lossie attacker’s 12-yard snap shot.
County should have made it three on 32 minutes when Callum Maclean found himself out on the right wing from where he delivered a fine cross for Fraser Dingwall to knock down to Ewan. But the attacker’s first-time effort from six yards went straight into the gloves of the grateful Black.
The third County goal arrived six minutes later though. Ramsay’s free kick from 30 yards out on the right found the feet of Dingwall at the far post who managed to pick out Callum Maclean. He blasted the ball across the face of goal and Max Ewan stretched out a leg to divert it home from barely a yard.
Lossiemouth goalkeeper Black was then fortunate to escape with just a yellow card when he grabbed the ball out of his net and blasted it off the head of Callum Maclean from just a few yards away.
The hosts brought very little to the proceedings but they were then inches away from pulling a goal back with the last action of the half. Moray Taylor sidestepped a challenge at the edge of the Nairn box to work the opening for a shot. But his rising effort smashed off the face of the crossbar.
The hosts took a lift from the half-time interval but it was Nairn who scored next as they went 4-0 up 10 minutes after the turnaround. Lossiemouth were the architects of their own downfall when a throw-in on the left 30 yards from the by-line was mis-controlled by last defender Aaron Hamilton. And Dylan Mackenzie was on it in a flash, as he nicked the ball away and sprinted in on goal before rounding Black and passing the ball into the empty net for his second goal of the day.
The hosts should have pulled a goal back on 64 minutes when they had a man over on the right. That was Ross Archibald and the ball was played into the attacker’s path but he could only direct his low shot across goal and past the post.
Dylan Mackenzie showed him how it was done just two minutes later though as he completed his second hat-trick of the season. Glenn Main threaded a through pass that Lossie defender Aaron McLean looked favourite to win. But Mackenzie burned him for pace to latch on to the ball before advancing in on Black’s goal and smashing an angled shot beyond the goalkeeper.
Lossiemouth – Black (yellow 38), McCall, McLean (y 37), Hamilton, Bellingham, R. Archibald, L. Archibald, Campbell (McCauley 81), Stuart (McLaren 65), Taylor, Allen (Forbes 69). Subs unused: B. Campbell, McDade, Sewell, Dear (gk).
Nairn County – Kendall, Dingwall (yellow 41), K. McKenzie, Callum Maclean (y 50), Glenn Main (Naismith 83), Porritt, Ednie, Urquhart, D. Mackenzie (Dey 74), Ramsay, Ewan (McConaghy 69). Subs unused: Cuthbert, Cameron Maclean, Munro, D. Maclean (gk).
Referee – Liam Duncan.
Pictures by Donald Matheson.