Written by Nairn County FC July 25th 2017

ANOTHER positive performance from the under-20s saw them narrowly edged out by Inverness Amateur League Premier Division champions, Avoch in a pre-season friendly at Culloden. Stuart Finnie's men made the ideal start by opening the scoring just three minutes in. Max Ewan pressed a short pass out from the goalkeeper and picked the pocket of the defender to win possession in the Avoch box and although his shot was saved, Matty Macleod was on hand to knock home the rebound. County dominated the opening stages and on 11 minutes, Ian Payne raced in from the right and blasted for goal but his shot was palmed past the near post by the goalkeeper. Then, seven minutes later, Macleod had a free header off a Ewan cross from the left but he could only direct the ball off target. Avoch imposed themselves more as the half wore on and found a leveller on 24 minutes. A clipped free kick from deep on the right to the far post was not dealt with and Keith Mason was allowed to sneak home a header. The crossbar prevented Nairn from re-establishing their lead just two minutes later though with Ewan's looping header coming back off the frame of the goal after the goalkeeper managed to get a fingertip to it to keep it out of the net. Substitute goalkeeper Ryan Macleod made a trio of solid blocks as Avoch enjoyed the majority of the chances in the second half and at the other end, substitute Sam Gordon and Ewan both passed up decent chances from free kicks in dangerous areas. But it was Avoch who won it with five minutes remaining when Jordan Knight was afforded space in the penalty area and fired past Macleod. Nairn almost forced a draw in the final but substitute Andrew Colliar's 20-yard drive flew just last the left-hand post. Nairn County – Wilkie (R. Macleod 46), Tweedie (Gordon 28), Wheeler, Cameron Maclean, Munro, Cuthbert (McConaghy 85), Payne (M. Macleod 85), McConaghy (S. Main 54), Ewan (MacBean 46) (Ewan 77), M. Macleod (Geddes 61), Campbell (Colliar 77). Subs unused: – Graeme Macleod

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