NAIRN County earned a hard-fought point as they battled out a 1-1 draw with Rothes at Station Park as Gregg Main’s stunning strike just before half-time cancelled out Craig Cormack’s opener.
The visitors threatened an onslaught early on as they bombarded the County goal and it was no surprise when Cormack’s goal arrived, finally breaking the resistance of impressive goalkeeper James Kendall. But Main played a captain’s role to haul his side out of the mire with his long-range leveller with both sides cancelling out other out in the second half.
Scott Graham had the time to let fly from 22 yards on eight minutes but his low effort was parried behind by James Kendall, who dived down to his left to make the save.
Kendall was called into action again a minute later. This time he had to dive to his right to touch Scott Davidson’s free kick from the left edge of the box past the near post after the Rothes centre forward had bent the ball around the defensive wall.
Jaime Wilson broke at pace down the right for Rothes on 12 minutes before finding Davidson centrally at the edge of the box. He turned and let fly but his powerful shot was palmed wide by Kendall’s left hand.
The opener arrived just a minute later though as Rothes edged ahead. Craig Cormack turned inside Fraser Dingwall on the left before unleashing a bending right-footed effort from just outside the box that nestled in at the far post.
The visitors threatened again on 19 minutes with the Nairn defensive wall splitting to let through Kris Duncan’s right-footed free kick 22 yards out to the left of goal. But Kendall managed to scramble across his line and make a save at his near post.
Nairn conjured up their first chance on 21 minutes with Dylan Mackenzie running away from Jamie Duff down the left before cutting the ball back to the arriving Gregg Main. But the on-rushing captain leaned back when connecting with his first time, side-footed effort, sending the ball well over the crossbar from 15 yards.
Max Ewan then did well down the left to work the space for a cross which found Tom Maclennan at the far post. But Rothes full back Dale Wood defended well to put enough pressure on the Nairn midfielder so that his tame effort dropped wide of the target.
A Nairn free kick from 22 yards just to the right of goal was slipped by Adam Porritt down the outside of the defensive wall to the unmarked Gregg Main on 27 minutes. The midfielder had time to set himself but his blast was superbly kept out by the diving Cammy Mackay at his near post, who rose a strong wrist in the air to make the save.
The captain drew his team level with his next effort though as he found the net four minutes before half-time. Tom Maclennan picked out Gregg Main with a pass infield from the right touchline just inside the Rothes half. He had acres of space to receive the ball before stepping on to guide a powerful low effort into the bottom left-hand corner of the net from 25 yards.
Rothes started the second half in the ascendancy as they had the first and on 51 minutes, Davidson found half-a-yard to thump the ball goalwards with his left foot from 20 yards but Kendall got down well to hold the ball with visiting forwards sniffing around for a tap-in.
A goal line clearance prevented Nairn from going in front on 72 minutes. Gregg Main’s deep in-swinging corner kick from the left found Fraser Dingwall at the far post and his downwards header was hacked clear just as it was about to bounce in.
Nairn County – Kendall, Dingwall, Naismith (yellow 36), Callum Maclean, Munro (MacDonald 77), Glenn Main, Porritt, Gregg Main (y 83), D. Mackenzie (Trialist 86), Maclennan (Urquhart 73), Ewan. Subs unused: Fernandino-Soto, Highet, McConaghy, Wilkie (gk).
Rothes – MacKay, Stark, Wood, MacDonald, Duff, Maley, Wilson (MacLellan 73), Duncan, Davidson, Graham, Cormack (yellow 37) (Trialist 64). Subs unused: Ballam, Milne, Neil, Campbell, Donaldson (gk).
Referee – Dan McFarlane.
Pictures by Donald Matheson