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Nairn County leave it late against Forres; Buckie prove too strong for Fort William

Ronnie Sharp on the touchline during a Nairn County game.
Nairn County manager Ronnie Sharp.

Nairn County substitute Ciaran Young struck a late winner to leave Forres Mechanics still searching for their first win under the management of Gordon Connelly but they did end their wait for a first goal since he took charge.

The visitors would have won by a larger margin had it not been for on-loan goalkeeper Lee Herbert who denied Andy Greig from close range with an incredible stop and then also thwarted Young shortly afterwards with another superb stop.

The home side went ahead after five minutes when Lee Fraser fired a fine effort into the bottom corner from 18 yards.

Fraser Dingwall found space in the Mechanics box four minutes later to level matters with a header from a Greig cross.

Forres went ahead again six minutes after the restart when Paul Brindle netted from close range as substitute Allan MacPhee made an immediate impact with a fine ball across the face of goal.

Fraser Dingwall scored on his return for Nairn County after a five-month absence.

Nairn levelled again after 58 minutes when Glenn Main looped a header over Herbert after Conor Gethins created the chance.

It looked as though Herbert’s miraculous stops would see both teams leave with a point before Young collected an Adam Porritt into the box in the 90th minute to swivel and score from 10 yards.

Nairn manager Ronnie Sharp paid tribute to Herbert for his heroics but said the better team won.

He said “You have to say they were two tremendous saves, especially the first one but the good thing from our point of view was the fact we came from behind twice and it has been a long time since we have won at Mosset Park.

“We played some good football at times and Conor Gethins’ link-up play was excellent while Sam Gordon and Andy Greig gave us good width.

“Fraser Dingwall gave us a bit of physicality which we needed against Lee Fraser and he also got a goal in his first game in five months.”

Forres assistant manager Brian MacLeod said: “To be in front twice and not to get anything out of the game, especially at home, is disappointing.

“In the end, we maybe didn’t deserve anything as our keeper had two great saves and that makes you think they maybe had enough chances to win it.

“From where we have been over the past six or seven weeks there were a lot of positives to take but when you are at home you should be seeing the game out.

“We have to look forward though and can’t feel sorry for ourselves as we need to start winning games and put points on the board.”

Meanwhile, Nairn have announced that defender John Treasurer has signed a new deal to remain at the club until the summer of 2023.

Treasurer, 24, has made 14 appearances since joining Nairn from Fort William in the summer.

Nairn’s director of football Graeme Macleod said: “He could have moved elsewhere in the Highland League as there were other clubs interested in John so we are delighted he has decided to commit to us until 2023.”

Buckie Thistle 4-1 Fort William

Buckie Thistle earned a hard-fought three points against a dogged Fort William at Victoria Park, with Sam Urquhart netting a double to add to strikes from Max Barry and Jack Murray.

Manager Graeme Stewart said: “I’m happy to get the win. I was impressed by their coach when I spoke to him before the game and thought their shape was decent.

“They caused us problems and they will definitely win games this season playing like that.”

On next week’s big clash with Brora Rangers: “We’ll need to play better than we did today to beat Brora. I wasn’t happy with the first half, but we got a hold of them at half time and the second half was better.

“Sam Urquhart guarantees you effort, work rate and quality, he’s been really good for us for about six seasons now.”

Buckie Thistle boss Graeme Stewart.

Fort boss Shadab Iftikhar was pleased with his players’ efforts.

He said: “We are improving and I’ve just said to the players in there, with that mentality and attitude we will pick up points.

“Things went against us today and I thought the penalty changed the game. I have no comment to make if it was inside or outside the box.

“We’re happy with the squad and we move on to the next game.”

Buckie took the lead in the 13th minute when Andrew MacAskill’s corner from the right was met by the unmarked Urquhart and he headed powerfully past Mateusz Kulbacki.

Fort looked dangerous on the break and equalised when Adam Morris threaded a great ball through for Abdullah Ahmed to fire a low shot into the net off the inside of the near post.

The home side responded well and went back in front five minutes later, MacAskill doing well to force his way into the six-yard box and cutting the ball back for Barry to slam home from close range.

It took a disputed penalty 20 minutes from time to put the game beyond Fort, MacAskill going down under a challenge and the referee adjudging the foul took place just inside the penalty area. Urquhart slammed the spot kick high past Kulbacki for his second and Buckie’s third.

Three minutes later Urquhart cut the ball back from the byline and Murray crashed a superb strike into the top right-hand corner from 16 yards to seal all three points for the Jags.

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