Written by Nairn County FC August 14th 2017

POOR finishing cost the under-20s dearly as their North of Scotland League campaign ended in defeat at Lossiemouth. The fiery Grant Park pitch did neither team any favours, contributing to a 90 minutes that lacked any real quality. After an uninspiring opening 25 minutes, the visitors opened the scoring with a sublime moment from debutant Max Ewan. A foul on Sam Gordon some 22 yards from goal presented the 16-year-old with a chance to have a strike on goal with a free kick and he took full advantage with his right-footed effort by lifting the ball over the wall and into the top left-hand corner. Lossiemouth's first shot at goal came three minutes later but Louis Pashley fired straight at Dylan Maclean from the left, with the goalkeeper gathering easily at his near post. Pashley was at it again for Lossie on 29 minutes as he nipped on to a slack Ian Payne back pass but his shot was deflected just wide. It looked as if another Ewan free kick had led to Nairn doubling their lead on 38 minutes. His effort from a similar range deflected into the path of Euan Wheeler, who lashed the ball into the roof of the net but the centre half was denied by the offside flag. Two minutes after the turnaround, Ian Payne diverted Ewan's free kick into the box from the left over the crossbar from close range at the back post. County had an even better chance a minute later. A neat Ewan flick put Sam Gordon in one-on-one with the goalkeeper but he could only poke the ball past the left-hand post. But Lossiemouth were back on level terms on the 52nd minute. Callum Ednie sent an attempted head flick back to the goalkeeper up in the air and that allowed Jack McArthur to nip in and loop the ball over the head of the advancing Dylan Maclean from the edge of the box. County should have been back in front just two minutes later. Payne made a dart to the near post to meet Ewan's low cross from the left but he fired over the crossbar. The visitors were made to pay as Lossiemouth went ahead on 55 minutes. Louis Pashley stepped up to take a corner on the right and he whipped his in-swinging delivery over the head of Maclean and into the far corner. County looked for a response on 68 minutes with Ewan latching on to a bouncing Craig McDermott through pass but the striker could only flick the ball past the post. In injury time, sub Ryan MacBean sclaffed a shot from close range straight after the goalkeeper after meeting Craig Munro's knock down. Nairn County – D. Maclean, Munro, Wheeler (MacBean 77), Cameron Maclean, Ednie, Cuthbert (Jack W. Watson 60), Payne (yellow 80), Gordon (McConaghy 69), Ewan, M. Macleod, Campbell (McDermott 60). Subs unused: Stewart (gk). Lossiemouth – Bushell, Thomas, Watson, McCall, Ure, Sewell, Kennedy (Reid 75), S. Campbell (yellow 66), Lees (Taylor 78), McArthur (B. Campbell 60), Pashley. Subs unused: Mullan, Kelman. Referee – Alan Proctor. Graeme Macleod

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