Formartine United recorded their fourth consecutive league victory and hit four goals in the process to claim the points against a determined Nairn County.
Nairn were architects of their own demise with a poor first half showing as the home side raced into a three goal interval lead.
Ronnie Sharp’s side gave themselves a glimmer of home pulling a goal back but a lack of concentration saw them concede a fourth from which there was no return.
Scott Lisle set up Jordan Lynch to score United’s opener after 16 minutes before provider turned scorer two minutes later to net from 20 yards.
The Nairn defence didn’t deal with a corner on the half hour mark and Lisle took advantage to net his second and Formartine’s third as the hosts eased into the break.
Nairn showed far more in the second half with Max Ewen scoring from 25 yards after 64 minutes to reduce the deficit but Jonny Smith made it four two minutes later to complete the scoring.
There was still time for Liam Strachan to see red for two yellow cards and leave the hosts with ten men for the final 16 minutes.
Formartine manager Paul Lawson said: “We can’t go with that energy for 90 minutes so we did take our foot of the gas a little bit in the second half but that was expected.
“It was disappointing to lose the goal but we showed good character to go back up the park and score again.
“Scott Lisle got two good goals and put some tremendous balls into the box which we should have capitalised on. His fitness levels are unbelievable so we are delighted with him.”
Nairn manager Sharp said “ Losing the goals so quickly puts you under pressure but once we changed the formation we did well in the second half.
“We created a number of chances but within minutes of getting back into the game we lost another soft one.
“We just need to get everyone fit as we have injuries and a couple of boys isolating and coming to places like this you need your strongest side. Even when they went down to ten men we didn’t manage the game well.”
Keith strike late to earn a point at Huntly
Huntly and Keith had to settle for a settle for a share of the points after the visitors netted late on in a 1-1 draw.
Huntly have started the season on a five match unbeaten run and manager Allan Hale admitted the draw was a fair result.
He said: “We’re still unbeaten and I’ve got a great group of players here. We’re disappointed with a point as we want to win every game.
“I thought we had the better of the half and had the better of the chances. If we were more clinical then the game is put to bed by half-time.
“We knew that Keith would come at us in the second half and I take responsibility for the point as I recognise we should have changed the system earlier.”
New Keith manager Craig Ewen was pleased with the second half performance from his side.
He said: “I’m delighted in my first game to get a positive result.
“Myself and Derek Anderson (coach) only came in on Thursday so we just had one session to look at the players and I thought we showed a lot of character in the second half.
“The first half felt like one-way traffic. We pushed hard and I thought we were worth the draw in the end. We pressed higher up the pitch and we didn’t let Huntly play.”
With three minutes gone, Greg Buchan floated a free kick into the box for Michael Clark to net with a diving header for his first of the season.
Buchan would turn provider again with a through ball to Grant who chipped the advancing Craig Reid only to see his shot come back off the woodwork.
It took the visitors 38 minutes to register a goal attempt with former Huntly player Tom Andrew firing over from long range.
— Huntly Football Club (@huntlyfc) August 21, 2021
The visitors started the second half brightly and Huntly keeper Euan Storrier was called into action with a block against Michael Ironside who was through on goal.
Craig Reid impressed on his return to Christie Park and he pulled off a fine save to keep out a powerful Greg Buchan shot on the hour mark.
With ten minutes remaining, Keith netted their first league goal of the season when substitute Przemyslaw Nawrocki rolled in a low shot from the edge of the box for a share of the points.