Written by Nairn County FC November 12th 2020

Forres Thistle took a shock lead in the latest pre-season friendly at Station Park but we fought back to level terms in the first half before three goals within quarter-of-an-hour of the restart sealed it. Indeed, there was some heroic defending on display from the hard-working Jags as they put in a number of goal line clearances to prevent us from doubling our tally of four. Gussie Dey bagged the first half equaliser after Sean McIntosh's early opener for Forres with Callum Maclean, Tom Maclennan and Callum Ednie all on target after the restart. Dylan Maclean returned in goals while Liam Shewan and Seamus McConaghy were back in the team and there was a first start of the season for Ciaran Young. Callum Ednie, Adam Porritt and Will Counsell made way while Gordon McNab was rested. Scott Davidson was fit enough to be named among the subs, meaning a team of: Nairn County – Dylan Maclean (Will Counsell 46), Callum Maclean (Callum Ednie 57), Liam Shewan (Adam Porritt 46), Adam Naismith, Fraser Dingwall, Cohen Ramsay, Max Ewan (Liam Shewan 68), Tom Maclennan, Ciaran Young (Glenn Main 46), Gussie Dey (Jack Maclean 57), Seamus McConaghy (Scott Davidson 46). Subs unused: -. It was a disjointed start to the game for us and the visitors settled quickest, opening the scoring on eight minutes. There had been a couple of warning signs beforehand too but this time the Jags made it count as a low free kick was whipped in from the left and Sean McIntosh made a run across the front post to flick the delivery goalwards. The ball then flashed beyond Dylan Maclean and Forres were in front. The lead lasted 12 minutes though as we drew level through Gussie Dey. A Cohen Ramsay corner from the right was headed clear but only as far as Ciaran Young on the edge of the box. He kept the ball alive by beating his man in the air and directing the ball to the unmarked Max Ewan to the left of goal. He then drove a low shot across goal which was parried by Daniel McLeod in the Forres goal but Dey was on hand at the far post to tap in the rebound. Ewan then teed up Tom Maclennan on 24 minutes but his dipping shot from 22 yards clipped the top of the crossbar on its way over. Liam Shewan's cut back from the by-line on the left found Ewan but his shot at the near post was scrambled clear for a corner. That then led to a series of six consecutive corner kicks as we pressed for the lead, two of which needed goal line clearances from Forres defenders to keep the score level at the break. It took just five minutes of the second half for us to go in front for the first time. Callum Maclean showed great improvisation when the ball dropped to him and he spotted McLeod off his line as he directed a perfectly-weighted header up and over the exposed stopper with the ball then dropping into the net. Two minutes later, Maclennan's free kick from 20 yards out to the left of goal curled up and over the wall before dipping into the bottom left-hand corner of McLeod's goal to give us a 3-1 advantage. We had picked it up a gear by now and a great, one-touch move led to substitute Scott Davidson rounding McLeod on the hour-mark. His shot was cleared from the goal line but Davidson retrieved the ball on the by-line and with McLeod still out of his goal, the striker clipped in a cross which was netted by a towering header from Callum Ednie, as he outjumped two defenders to direct the ball home at the far post. Maclennan saw his low shot parried by McLeod three minutes later. Glenn Main was first to the loose ball but McLeod took the sting out of his effort, as the ball trickled on to the post. In the scramble which followed, Main was there first again but this time his effort was deflected on to the opposite upright as Forres somehow avoided falling further behind. There was one more goal line clearance required as Shewan rounded McLeod nine minutes from the end but his effort from an acute angle was hacked clear by a covering defender. We wish Forres Thistle the best of luck for their new season and thank them for the match.

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