BREEDON HIGHLAND LEAGUE
NAIRN COUNTY 1 – 3 BUCKIE THISTLE
SATURDAY 14 JANUARY 2023
STATION PARK, NAIRN
Goalscorers: Ross Tokely (6 pen); Max Barry (24), Josh Peters (60)
Royal British Legion Nairn County Man of the Match: Andrew Greig
County went into their latest League encounter with second placed Buckie Thistle in a rich vein of form following nine matches without defeat. The visit of Graham Stewart’s Buckie side was pitched as game of the day In the Highlands.
A victory for the visitors would see them move into pole position in the League, with the Brechin City – Fraserburgh match being postponed. In contrast, a victory for the Station Park side would see them moved up to eighth in the league – while at the same time maintain their unbeaten run of results – something had to give.
The Home side opened brightly, and were ahead as early as the sixth minute. Andrew Greig weaved his way into the box, but was impeded following a challenge from Jack Murray, with Match Referee Scott Donohue pointing immediately to the spot. Ross Tokely was delegated to take the resultant award and sent Lee Herbert the wrong way from the resultant spot kick to give the home side an early advantage.
Buckie retaliated, and eight minutes later Josh Peters well struck right foot drive brought an equally good point blank save from Dylan Maclean on his six-yard line as the Victoria Park looked to restore parity.
The home side countered, and some neat interplay involving Scott Davidson – Steven MacKay – Kenny McKenzie ended with the striker pulling his final effort wide of the far post.
Just past the midway point the visitors clawed their way back into the match. Josh Peters got the better of full-back Steven Rennie, giving him a clean run on goals, his effort was brilliantly blocked by County keeper Dylan Maclean, however, the loose ball fell to the inrushing Max Barry to steer the ball into the net for the equaliser.
Minutes later, Buckie’s Jack Murray was only inches away from giving Thistle the lead with a rasping 30 yard drive that drifted wide of the far post with Maclean at full stretch.
The second period opened with the home side looking to take the match to their opponents with Andrew Greig racing to the byeline following a mazy run down the left flank. His cutback saw Steve Mackay just fail to make a clean contact before being cleared by Ryan Fyffe.
Eleven minutes into the second period the visitors surged in front with a quality effort. They were awarded a corner on the right, and from the resultant flag kick Joe McCabe superbly headed his side into the lead with an effort that found the postage stanp corner of the net.
The question was would the home side respond to that setback, yes they did, and when Andrew Greig caused further problems down the left, a second cutback on the byeline – was this time sent flashing past the upright by the incoming Angus Dey.
On the hour, the visitors added a third effort, and it was to prove disaster for home skipper Fraser Dingwall. He allowed a through ball from Andy MacAskill to slip under his foot on the half-way line – Josh Peters raced onto the error, before rounding the stranded Maclean and sliding the ball into the empty net.
The home side continued to threaten with the match moving from end to end, the games final effort saw Dylan Maclean save well following a right foot effort from Joe McCabe.
County now face a new challenge, as one run ends, another one is just round the corner, and their visit to Fraserburgh on Saturday is the opportunity for all to show how far the club has been turned round since the arrival of Manager Steven Mackay with a positive result.
NAIRN COUNTY: Dylan Maclean: Cameron Lisle, Stephen Rennie, Ross Tokely, Fraser Dingwall, Wayne MacKintosh (Ciaran Young 65), Steven MacKay (Aidan Cruickshank 72), Angus Dey, Kenny McKenzie, Scott Davidson, Andrew Greig (Sam Gordon 86)
Subs not used: Liam Shewan, Callum Howarth, Lewis Munro (gk)
BUCKIE THISTLE: L.Herbert, M.McLaughlan, R.Fyffe, J.Murray, S.Pugh, M.Goodall (T.Maclennan 83) M.Barry, S.Adams, J.McCabe, A.MacAskill, J.Peters (K.Macleod 73)
Subs not used: L.MacKinnon, H.Munro, C.Ramsay, S.Urquhart, D.Strong (gk)
Match Referee: Scott Donohue