Written by Nairn County FC August 19th 2021

Reserves Head Coach Stuart Finnie was aggrieved as his side went down to a late penalty award in a narrow pre-season defeat at Invergordon. Our young side went toe-to-toe all the way with the North Caledonian League big hitters in their final pre-season preparation match and came away disappointed not to have anything to show for their efforts. Dylan Maclean, Tom Maclennan, Callum Ednie, Sam Gordon and Ciaran Young from the First Team squad were all given run outs. The team was: Nairn County Reserves – Dylan Maclean (Gus Wilson 70), Liam Balfour (Trialist 65), John Grant (Nathan Grant 65), Callum Morrison (Duncan Robertson 70), Callum Ednie, Scott Mutch, Robbie Mackenzie (Shaun Young 60), Tom Maclennan, Sam Gordon, Ciaran Young, Kyle MacDonald (Logan Hallam 60). Subs unused: -. The visitors started well and even before their early openeer, Ciaran Young went through on goal from the left but blazed wildly over the crossbar. Young then received the ball into feet and spun away from his marked before playing a perfectly-weighted through pass for Kyle MacDonald to run on to. The nippy wide man advanced in on goal and made no mistake as he knocked the ball past the goalkeeper to put us ahead. Again, Young went through on goal not long after the opener but the striker clearly left his shooting boots at home as he again blasted over the crossbar. Coach Finnie will be hoping he is firing on all cylinders come Saturday's opening day. The hosts levelled 10 minutes after going behind with a clipped pass being blasted home first time beyond Dylan Maclean in the Nairn goal. Young put MacDonald through on the goalkeeper again but again the Invergordon stopper came out on top but the lively pairing look like they have the early makings of a fruitful attacking partnership. A defensive mix-up led to Maclean handling the ball outside his penalty area but the referee went with just the yellow card and the hosts failed to capitalise on the set piece. The second half was evenly-contested, although we felt we had a strong claim for a penalty kick when Ciaran Young was upended in the box but play was allowed to continue. The sense of injustice was compounded by the late award of a questionable spot kick to the hosts which was slammed home from 12 yards to settle what was overall an even match in favour of the home side. We would like to thank Invergordon for hosting us last night and we look forward to meeting them again during the North Caledonian League season.

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