Locos secured a point from a game that at one point looked to be getting away from them at Station Park. When Scott Davidson superbly put the hosts two up early in the second half, few would have predicted anything other than Locos first away defeat of the season. The Railwaymen rallied though, levelling through strikes from Calum Dingwall and Jamie Michie.
Richie Hastings changed formation in attempt to improve the form of recent weeks. With Greg Mitchell and Logan Johnstone employed as wing backs, Locos got plenty of balls into the box in the early stages as they attacked at pace. They couldn’t create an opening though, and with the hosts also getting forward in numbers in new boss Steven MacKay’s first game in charge, it was an open game.
Shortly before the 15 minute mark, the woodwork was struck at both ends within a minute. First. Jay Halliday’s first time strike cannoned back off the base of the post before Andy Reid was relieved to see Liam Shewan’s curling shot clip his left hand upright.
Locos threatened again as Halliday found Mitchell on the right. His dangerous cross was met by the first defender who could only divert it towards his own goal but keeper Dylan MacLean did well to get back and save. The game was being played at a frantic pace and it was the Wee County who got the breakthrough in the 20th minute. Connor Gethins latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the box before firing past Reid.
The game settled down a bit as Loco’s looked for a way back into the game. Gethins again tried his luck, this time volleying narrowly over the bar, and Garry Wood drew a save from MacLean before Locos applied some pressure in the final minutes of the half. They had a number of corners as they penned Nairn in but despite a couple of scrambles in the box, just couldn’t get a decisive touch.
Five minutes into the second half, Davidson doubled the lead, heating a left foot volley past the despairing Reid from 30 yards. That goal appeared to have secured the points for the home team as Locos began to look a bit ragged. Mark Souter was perhaps fortunate to get away with just a yellow card as he clipped Davidson as the attacker raced forward. Reid saved well from Gethins resultant free kick and had to be alert to save again from the experienced striker a few minutes later.
Gradually Locos hauled themselves back into the game and Dingwall’s strike with 18 minutes remaining gave hope that they could take something from the match. The midfielder did will to win the ball before sending a curling right footed shot beyond MacLean.
The men in fire and coal went looking for a leveller, putting the home defence under real pressure. In the 84th minute, Wood did well to break into the box but his low shot was saved by MacLean. After the ball went back into the box, it came out as far as Michie who struck low and hard into the bottom corner. Both teams went looking for a winner but a draw was probably a fair reflection on an entertaining, if frustrating game.
Locos will again lament the lack of a killer instinct in front of goal and perhaps wonder why they were at their most dangerous when the game seemed lost. Next up is the long trip to Wick Academy, who have only been defeated once at Harmsworth Park this season.
Nairn County: D MacLean, Lisle, C MacLean, MacLeod, Dingwall (Howarth) MacKintosh, Greig, Porritt, Gethins, Davidson (Gordon), Shewan (Dey) Unused Subs: Main, McConaghy, Rennie, Counsell
Locos: A Reid, T Reid, Mitchell (Meres), Dingwall, Souter, Johnstone, Ward, Wood, Halliday (Alberts), Michie, Gill Unused Subs: Thain, Petermann, Farquhar