JORDAN Macrae's double kept Nairn County U20s' unbeaten North of Scotland League run going in an entertaining 2-2 draw with an experienced Lossiemouth team at the Academy Playing Fields, writes Graeme Macleod.
Craig Munro's defensive header caught the Lossiemouth back line on its heels, allowing Jordan Macrae to opportunity to stretch his legs and race in on goal 27 minutes in. The striker showed great strength to shrug off his marker, followed by impressive pace to get away from a covering defender and finally a cool head as he despatched a low shot beyond the Lossie goalkeeper.
The lead lasted just three minutes. Lossiemouth worked the ball from the left wing over to the right corner of the box, where Brodie Allan was on hand to lash a crisp low drive beyond Ryan Macleod in the Nairn goal and into the bottom corner of the net.
County restored their lead on the stroke of half time. Again, it was Macrae's pace which caused the problems for Lossiemouth as he raced away from the Coasters' first team defender, Chris Ross to latch on to Jack Maclean's raking pass forward from his own half. Jordan Macrae again advanced in on goal and placed a clinical low shot past the 'keeper.
Lossiemouth found a leveller on 57 minutes through former Nairn striker, Ryan Green. The former Forres Mechanics and Buckie Thistle centre forward and one-time Highland League championship winner was one of a maximum of three overage players in the Lossie team along with Ross and Jordan Main. It was a long throw-in from the left that led to the goal as Green was the quickest to react when the ball that was launched into the box was knocked down. The striker smashed home from six yards out.
Both teams had chances to win an entertaining and high-paced encounter. A great one-touch, passing move on 63 minutes involving Maclean, Jack Dickson and Matty Macleod led to Dominic Edwards picking out a cross from the right that was met by a side-foot volley from Macrae that smacked the crossbar on its way over.
Then, five minutes later at the other end, a 30-yard piledriver by Green was brilliantly palmed over the crossbar by Macleod.
Some great individual skill from Macleod 20 minutes from time saw him work an opening out of nothing as he skinned the Lossie left back on the by-line and danced past the centre half to create an opening. But he could only blast his left-footed drive over the bar.
Nairn County - Ryan Macleod, Chris MacKinnon, Calum Ednie, Craig Munro, Reece Barton, Jack Dickson, trialist (Ryan McBean 67), Jack Maclean, Jordan Macrae, Matty Macleod (Craig Alexander 83), Dominic Edwards. Subs unused: Sam Gordon, Fraser Wilkie (gk).