Written by Graeme MacLeod March 7th 2023

Aidan Cruickshank netted a double as we came back from a goal down to win 4-2 against Inverness CT U18s at Nairn Academy tonight. Scott Davidson and Ciaran Young were also on the score sheet.

There was eight change to the team from Saturday’s match at Rothes. Tyler Eadie, Liam Balfour, Scott Stewart, Robbie Lean and Reid Peterkin from the Reserves Team also all appeared from the bench as substitutes.

The visitors flew out of the traps and went ahead on four minutes with Gavin Thompson rising highest in the penalty box to meet a Robbie Thompson free kick from the left from the left to crash home a free header as we failed to heed our warning from a similar set piece just seconds previously which Leo Walker had headed against the post.
 
Inverness almost doubled their lead but Lewis Munro in the Nairn goal got down well to his left to save Robbie Thompson’s low effort from just inside the box after the midfielder had been allowed to dribble forward from midfield.

We responded from there though and Scott Davidson forced the visiting goalkeeper into a low diving save on seven minutes.

Davidson grabbed the leveller on 11 minutes as he used his power to advance in on goal from the left after being fed by Stephen Rennie before smashing a rising drive beyond the goalkeeper at his near post.

We fielded two trialists and one went close with two headers and also called the Inverness goalkeeper into action as he had to tip a powerful drive over the top.

Davidson was denied a second by the goalkeeper on 38 minutes and then two minutes later, an inch-perfect pass from Aidan Cruickshank sat up nicely for the striker to hit first time but the captain-for-the-night rattled the underside of the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.

We went ahead for the first time on 53 minutes. Aidan Cruickshank intercepted a Caley pass out of defence, drifted in off the right flank and drove confidently at the defence before flashing a dipping effort past the goalkeeper from 18 yards.

Just a minute later, we made it three. Our second trialist intelligently reversed a free kick into the path of Cruickshank and he weaved his way inside before drilling home his second goal of the night.

We then made it four with 11 minutes left on the clock. Eadie’s low cross from the right was stepped over by Trialist for the unmarked Sam Gordon to step on to. He calmly picked out Ciaran Young and the substitute made no mistake with his first time drive from 15 yards.

Inverness pulled back a late consolation with Robbie Thompson curling a 25-yard free kick beyond the reach of the helpless Peterkin and into the top right hand corner.

Nairn County – Lewis Munro (Reid Peterkin 75), Cameron Lisle, Stephen Rennie, Matthew Strachan (Liam Balfour 69), Calum Howarth, Rory Williamson (Robbie Lean 75), Aidan Cruickshank (Sam Gordon 69), Kenny MacInnes (Scott Stewart 75), Trialist A, Scott Davidson (Ciaran Young 60), Trialist B (Tyler Eadie 60).

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