A share of the points was just about right as Buckie Thistle held Nairn County 2-2 in a thoroughly entertaining encounter at Station Park.
County were at full strength while Buckie boss Graeme Stewart rang the changes after Saturday’s 1-1 home draw against Huntly, handing a debut to 16-year-old new signing, former Aberdeen youngster, left back Mark McLauchlan.
Scott Adams had an early half-chance for the visitors but he couldn’t get enough power into his 15 yard effort and Dylan MacLean in the County goal gathered comfortably.
Nairn took the lead in the sixth minute when the Jags failed to clear their lines and Fraser Dingwall netted from six yards.
But Buckie were level within 60 seconds when an Adams cross was turned into the Nairn net by Steven Ross, again from six yards out.
Nairn’s Angus Dey then forced a fine diving save from Lee Herbert in the Buckie goal with a superb low grounder from a Max Ewan feed.
The County goal survived a spot of pin-ball in the 17th minute, Adams hit the post, Declan Milne saw his saved by McLean and finally Ross blazed high over from 12 yards.
The Buckie goal survived a similar onslaught, the danger only averted by a foul on new Jags’ signing, Joe McCabe.
Nairn County took the lead in the 38th minute when a deep Ewan cross deceived young Herbert in the Buckie goal and landed in the net.
Buckie started the second half brightly, forcing two corners in quick succession, and from the second one County keeper MacLean showed his class with a superb clutch under pressure.
Five minutes after the break Buckie’s early pressure paid off when Milne beat MacLean with a grounder from just inside the box for the equaliser.
Buckie boss Stewart then brought on experienced midfield pair, Kevin Fraser and Andy MacAskill, in place of Shaun Wood and Joe McCabe.
County almost took the lead with a 15 yard Shewan daisy-cutter which Herbert finger-tipped round the post for a corner.
Scotland schoolboy under-18 international Herbert again got down well to smother a Ewan grounder as the play flowed from end-to-end at great pace.Ross thought he’d grabbed a 71st minute goal but his glancing header sailed a yard wide of the County post.
Nairn’s reply was a Dey drive which 25-yard drive which flew high over the Buckie bar with 14 minutes left. Shortly after Callum MacLean again tested Herbert from15 yards.