Written by Nairn County FC January 28th 2017

STUFFY Inverness Athletic gave Nairn County a tough work out at Station Park with Jordan Macrae's late double adding some gloss to a comfortable scoreline. County back-up goalkeeper Ryan Macleod turned out for the visitors as a guest and excelled between the posts for the North Caledonian League outfit. Ross Naismith was restored to the County starting line-up and he touched Gary Kerr's low delivery from the right across goal and past the far post by a matter of inches on 15 minutes. Then, a minute later, Dylan Mackenzie rose well in the box to meet Gregg Main's out-swinging free kick from the right but he could not get over the ball enough to direct it on target, with his effort flying over the crossbar. County went close in similar circumstances on 21 minutes with another out-swinging Main free kick from the right met by his brother, Glenn's head but again he could only send the ball over the top. Naismith went even closer on 25 minutes. He ran on to a loose ball on the left to dip a right-footed shot towards goal and off the crossbar on its way over. The opening goal continued to elude the home side and five minutes before the break, Dylan Mackenzie rose well to meet Naismith's cross from the left with a glancing header at the front post that flew across goal and past the far post. But the opener finally arrived a minute before half time. Gregg Main whipped a low ball across goal from the right and Gary Kerr slid in at the far post to knock home his side's first of the afternoon. The second half started in the same vein with Nairn dominant and when a corner from the right dropped to Callum Maclean at the far post, his volley was superbly tipped away by Macleod. The second goal arrived seven minutes into the second half after Mackintosh was shoved off the ball as he kept it in play by the by-line. The referee awarded a penalty and Gregg Main made an immaculate job from 12 yards. Jordan Macrae was unfortunate not to add to the score on 64 minutes but the ball bobbled over his foot as he stretched to meet Gregg Main's low delivery from the left. Five minutes later, Kenny McKenzie ran on to Mackintosh's through pass but he was denied by the advancing Macleod. The loose ball dropped to Calum Riddell but his lob on the follow up dropped over the bar. Glenn Main came close to adding another to Nairn's tally after he was slipped in on goal 12 minutes from the end but again Macleod excelled as he tipped away the County vice-captain's low, side-footed effort. Nairn made sure of the win through two goals in as many minutes from Macrae. Ryan Macleod's kick out off a pass back on 83 minutes was picked up by Jordan Macrae 30 yards out and he ran in to slip the ball under the goalkeeper. Two minutes later, Kenny McKenzie weaved in from the right and rolled the ball across goal for Jordan Macrae to clip home his second of the afternoon from close range. Nairn County – D. Maclean (Wilkie 68), S. Mackenzie, Ednie (C. Maclean 46), P. Macleod, Glenn Main, Mackintosh, Naismith (K. McKenzie 46), Trialist (J. Maclean 46), Kerr (Riddell 46), Gregg Main, D. Mackenzie (Macrae 46). Subs unused: Barton. Referee – Gordon Seago. Graeme Macleod

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