Written by Graeme MacLeod June 26th 2023


Goalscorers: Kieran Duffty (53, 54); Jordan MacRae (78), Sam Gordon (82), Alan Pollock (87)
Man of the Match: Glenn Main

Nairn County record appearance holder, Glenn Main, was recognised with a farewell match at Station Park between a Nairn County XI and the Glenn Main Select.

The man of the moment played in every outfield position during his lengthy career at Station Park and he encapsulated that versatility by playing the first half at centre back for the NCFC XI before playing as a striker during the second 45 for the Select.

Wayne Mackintosh charged forward for the County XI on 12 minutes before finding Jordan MacRae on the left. He played a neat one-two with Dale Gillespie at the edge of the box before seeing his low shot repelled by Select goalkeeper, Ross Hepburn at the near post.

Two minutes later, Glenn Main’s diagonal pass two minutes later was collected by Alan Pollock wide on the right. He cut inside and fizzed an effort across goal and just past the far post.

Gillespie picked Robbie Lean’s pocket on the edge of the box on 16 minutes but the retreating Hepburn bravely slid across his line to prevent a goal, colliding with the post in the process.

Gillespie’s slack pass on 19 minutes was intercepted by Logan Hallam, who advanced in on goal before squaring the ball for the on-rushing Sean McWilliams. Goalkeeper Dylan Maclean made a fine save down to his left though to prevent the Select wide man from opening the scoring.

Hallam was involved again on 23 minutes, this time collecting a short backpass from Martin MacDonald. But Maclean bailed out his centre back, smothering the ball at the Select attacker’s feet to keep the match goalless.

Pollock’s cross on 24 minutes was retrieved at the far post by MacRae, who pulled the ball back into the path of Mackintosh. He was denied by a splendid save from Hepburn though, he reacted well to keep out the midfielder’s goal-bound drive from 12 yards.

Gregg Main collected a loose clearance at the edge of the Select box on the half-hour but his snap shot was deflected behind for a corner by Jack Anderson.

Hallam collected a low pass forward from Rory Williamson on 32 minutes and worked some space for a shot 18 yards out by Maclean was equal to the forward’s low effort.

Gregg Main’s corner kick on 38 minutes picked out the unmarked MacDonald 10 yards out at the far post but he could only scoop his volley over the crossbar.

In the second half, Glenn Main’s attempted chip over substitute goalkeeper James Kendall from 20 yards drifted past the right-hand post.

The opening goal arrived on 53 minutes though and it was the Select who struck first. Glenn Main fed Mervyn Grant on the right and he arrowed the ball into the feet of Kieran Duffty, who had drifted in from the left towards the edge of the box. The striker controlled it well before firing his rising shot back across the diving Kendall and into the left-hand side of the goal.

Just a minute later, Scott Mutch was set free to advance on goal from the right by Main’s through pass and although the midfielder’s low, angled drive was blocked by the legs of Kendall, the ball spun up into the air for Duffty to head home his second of the game.

The Nairn County XI almost pulled a goal back in spectacular fashion on 56 minutes but Mackintosh’s overhead kick off Pollock’s clipped in-swinging cross from the right went just a whisker past the far post.

Main set Duffty free again on 58 minutes but instead of going for his hat-trick, he attempted to tee up the man of the hour with a return pass inside but his first time shot from 15 yards was blocked by Kendall before Kyle Grimm blasted the rebound past the right-hand upright with the goal gaping.

It was a chance to kill the contest and one the Select were to live to regret as the County XI mounted a late fight back.

On 68 minutes, Max Ewan worked some space on the edge of the box to fire in a low shot but Hepburn got down well to make a comfortable save. Then, on 72 minutes, MacRae controlled a throw-in from Ewan in an advanced area on the left and spun towards the by-line before flashing a low shot from a tight angle across goal and past the far post.

The deficit was halved on 78 minutes when Ewan wriggled free of his marked to clip a right-footed delivery towards the far post from the left edge of the box, which was guided home by the slightest of touches off the head of MacRae.

Then, on 82 minutes, Pollock sent Sam Gordon running in behind Sam Walker and the winger clipped the ball over the advancing Hepburn and it was all-square once again.

Gregg Main’s trademark free kick on 84 minutes was saved by Hepburn before Duffty teed up Grimm at the other end a minute later only for him to drag his low shot from just inside the box past the near post as both teams searched for a winner.

It arrived on 87 minutes with the move of the match proving decisive. Sean Webb played a pass forward to Pollock, who laid it back for Callum Maclean to knock into Gregg Main. He then flicked it into the path of Pollock and the Rothes midfielder drove into the box before sidestepping Lee Haines and drilling the ball under Hepburn with his left foot.

Nairn County XI – Dylan Maclean (James Kendall 46), Paul Macleod (Jordan MacRae 65), Adam Naismith (Brian Macleod 60), Glenn Main (Ryan MacDonald 43 (Sean Webb 46)), Martin MacDonald (Callum Maclean 46), Wayne Mackintosh (Martin MacDonald 85), Alan Pollock, Gregg Main, Jordan MacRae (Max Ewan 46), Dale Gillespie (Sam Gordon 46), Robbie Duncanson (Willie Barron 60). Sub unused: Conor Gethins.

Glenn Main Select – Ross Hepburn, Marc Macdonald (Paul Morganti 70), Jack Anderson (Martyn Brown 60), Andy Maclean (Mervyn Grant 46), Nathan Grant (Jack Maclean 77), Robbie Lean (Lee Haines 46), Rory Williamson (Kyle Grimm 46), Jack Maclean (Scott Mutch 46), Logan Hallam (Glenn Main 46 (Graeme Kennedy 72)), Sean McWilliams (Kieran Duffty 46), Sam Walker.

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