Written by Nairn County FC August 14th 2021

Fraserburgh fought back from the loss of an early goal as they responded to Max Ewan's stunning opener to maintain their perfect start to the new Highland League season with this narrow win at Station Park. Ewan's first goal of the season gave us the lead in spectacular style but Fraserburgh levelled before the break and went in front from the penalty spot on the hour-mark. The visitors went further ahead 10 minutes from time and although a late own goal gave us hope, it was the Broch who edged it. Ronnie Sharp handed a first start of the season to the fit again Scott Davidson while Callum Maclean also returned to the team as Liam Shewan was on the bench after sustaining a knock last week and Angus Dey was unavailable. That meant the teams were: Nairn County – Will Counsell, Ben Williamson, Kenny McKenzie (yellow 68), Cohen Ramsay, Ryan Fyffe, Glenn Main, Max Ewan, Callum Maclean, Conor Gethins (Dylan Mackenzie 80 (y 90+1)), Scott Davidson (Rory Williamson 73), Seamus McConaghy (Liam Shewan 55). Subs unused: Sam Gordon, Callum Ednie, Dylan Maclean (gk). Fraserburgh – Paul Leask, Lewis Davidson (Owen Cairns 80), Bryan Hay, Ryan Cowie, Kieran Simpson, Grant Campbell, James Beagrie, Paul Young, Paul Campbell, Lewis Duncan (Willie West 73), Scott Barbour. Subs unused: Gary Harris, Logan Watt, Ryan Sargent, Sean Butcher, Edward Flinn (gk). We went in front with just seven minutes played in fantastic style. Seamus McConaghy's cross from the right was overhit and retrieved by Max Ewan at the opposite corner flag. He dragged the ball back up the touch line and inside before turning his man to open up the shooting opportunity. And it was one he took full advantage of by bending an impressive effort from 22 yards out across Paul Leask's goal and into the top right-hand corner of the net. We looked to consolidate our promising start and were comfortable in the opening stages. We threatened again on 17 minutes but Callum Maclean headed over from a Conor Gethins corner kick from the left. Then, three minutes later the returning Scott Davidson drove a low delivery across goal, with the ball deflecting off a Fraserburgh defender and bouncing off the top of the crossbar on its way over the top. For their part, Fraserburgh seemed disjointed during the opening half-an-hour, with the stiff breeze taking any passes into the final third either through to County goalkeeper Will Counsell or out for a goal kick. But the Broch got their eye in and their increasing pressure paid off with a leveller on 39 minutes. It was a sloppy one to lose from a County perspective as a Paul Young corner kick from the left was allowed to bounce in the six-yard box and following a scramble in the Nairn goalmouth, Bryan Hay was free as the ball broke loose and he swept home from close range. Fraserburgh carried that momentum into the second half and looked to pin us back in the early stages – Ryan Cowie's delivery from the left on 50 minutes found the unmarked Hay at the far post but he was denied his second goal of the afternoon by a splendid diving save from Counsell, who clawed the defender's header away from the top corner. The visitors made it count on the hour-mark though as they went in front for the first time. Callum Maclean's pass back from midfield was short for Ryan Fyffe and Young was on to it in a flash, nipping away from the Inverness CT loanee. As he brushed past the defender in the box, the Broch midfielder was upended and referee Gordon Seago pointed to the penalty spot. Paul Campbell stepped up to place the ball into the bottom right-hand corner to put the visitors ahead. Just as we were preparing to gear up for a late push in search of an equaliser, the Broch made the points safe on 79 minutes. A ball in from right found the feet of Scott Barbour at the edge of the box. He spun away from Cohen Ramsay to open up the space for a shot and flashed a low effort under Counsell. That turned out to be the winner as we pulled one back late on to setup a nervy finale. Ewan's trickery bamboozled Owen Cairns with the Nairn attacker flicking the ball off the shin of the back-tracking full back and towards goal. With committed goalkeeper Leask wrong-footed, the ball trickled into the net to half the deficit but we ran out of time in our pursuit of a point.

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