Written by Nairn County FC March 12th 2023

BREEDON HIGHLAND LEAGUE
NAIRN COUNTY 2 – 0 HUNTLY
SATURDAY 11 MARCH 2023
STATION PARK, NAIRN

Goalscorers: Conor Gethins (72), Matthew Strachan (78)
Royal British Legion Nairn County Man of the Match: Andrew Greig

Second-half goals from substitute Connor Gethins and young defender Matthew Strachan ensured that County got back to winning ways at home to Huntly in this special league fixture as the club held a fundraising day for TeamHamish.

The Home side opened with striker Scott Davidson recalled to the starting line-up following two defeats, while the influential Ross Tokely was again missing through suspension.

The first period proved to be a dour struggle with too many misplaced passes, niggly little fouls continually affecting the flow of play.

The best opportunities during the first period fell to the home side. In 20 minutes, Andrew Grieg and Scott Davidson combined to open up the Huntly defence, with only a last ditch challenge from skipper Michael Clark keeping the score level.

The visitors retaliated, and only a fine save at his near post by Dylan Maclean, denied Andrew Hunter.

Home fans were screaming for a penalty after half an hour. Kenny McKenzie weaved his way along the byeline and was hauled down by James Connolly. However, to the consternation of County fans, match referee Billy Baxter waived away the home side appeals.

The referee was in the thick of things again minutes later when he turned down home appeals when a Davidson effort appeared to strike defender Lyall Booth on his forearm, with the referee unmoved.

The second period opened with the home side on the attack. Andrew Greig worked his way down the left flank, his cross into the box was headed narrowly past by Aidan Cruickshank.

The visitors were being seen little in an attacking sense – but Hunter was looking to spark them into life with little effect.

The home side introduced Connor Gethins into the action after 67 minutes, replacing youngster Aidan Cruickshank, and this proved to be the turning point for the home side.

County went even closer within a minute of that change, when the substitute flighted in a cross that saw skipper Fraser Dingwall power a header of the face of the crossbar – with Huntly keeper Fraser Hobday completely stranded.

The deadlock was eventually broken two minutes later in sensational style. Scott Davidson did the spadework – and when his pass released substitute Connor Gethins, the veteran striker swept home a superb right foot effort that left Hobday helpless.

Twelve minutes from time the home side made the points safe. The home side were awarded a corner. From the resultant flag kick, the impressive Matthew Strachan capped a superb performance when he bulleted home a superb header to seal the points.

NAIRN COUNTY: Dylan Maclean: Callum Maclean, Callum Howarth, Matthew Strachan, Fraser Dingwall, Kenny McKenzie, Kenny MacInnes (Ali Gillies 58), Angus Dey, Aidan Cruickshank (Conor Gethins 68), Scott Davidson, Andrew Greig (Sam Gordon 84) 

Subs not used: Cameron Lisle, Stephen Rennie,  Wayne MacKintosh, Lewis Munro (gk)

HUNTLY: Hobday: Connelly, Booth, Dalling, Clark, Blacklock, Murray, Sewell, Hunter (Grant 79) Morris (Allan 64) Dangana (Foster 69) Subs not used: Thoirs, Heslop, Gauld, Storrie (gk)

Match Referee: Billy Baxter

 

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