A DOMINANT Nairn County display saw them post their first win of the season as they put three unanswered goals past Deveronvale at Station Park.
The hosts looked to play on the break for much of the first half with pacey front pairing Jordan MacRae and Dylan Mackenzie using their speed to good effect. But after the break, County kicked on and put the Banffers to the sword.
The Vale settled well but Nairn caught them out with a lightning break to open the scoring on seven minutes. Ewen Urquhart’s delicate ball into the left channel sent Dylan Mackenzie scampering forward and when a Deveronvale defender unfortunately slipped, he advanced inwards before delivering low for Jordan MacRae at the near post, with the forward bundling the ball beyond grounded goalkeeper, Grant Pennet.
Deveronvale looked for an instant response a minute later but Shaun Carrol fired straight into the welcoming arms of Stephen Foster from 20 yards.
Urquhart was involved for Nairn again on 14 minutes when he got his head on the end of a Cohen Ramsay cross but from 12 yards out, he directed his header straight at the goalkeeper.
An enterprising run by Deveronvale right back Lewis Dunbar took him away from Cohen Ramsay and Ewen Urquhart and along the by-line but he was thwarted by the feet of Foster at the expense of a corner kick, which was headed over by Graeme Watt at the far post.
A minute later, Dylan Mackenzie got in behind the ‘Vale defence latching on to an Adam Naismith pass but his drive was superbly diverted over the crossbar by the legs of Pennet. And the Banffers’ goalkeeper excelled again off the resulting corner after the ball dropped to Adam Porritt just inside the box but his curling shot was tipped over the bar.
Nairn looked to break again on 36 minutes, this time off a Deveronvale corner with Kenny McKenzie racing forward before slipping in Dylan Mackenzie but his shot was blocked by goalkeeper Grant Pennet with Kenny McKenzie muscled out of the follow up.
County looked lively again two minutes after the turnaround with Dylan Mackenzie flashing a low ball across goal but MacRae could not quite direct it goalwards before Cohen Ramsay spooned the follow up back across goal and wide.
The visitors went down to 10 men on 49 minutes. Dylan Mackenzie’s pace took him between centre half and goalkeeper with Pennet leaving the shoulder in to wipe out the Nairn striker as he went around the shot stopper. It left referee Dan MacFarlane with no choice but to show 'Vale's number one the red card and his night was over.
Replacement Craig Sutherland’s first task was to pick the ball out of the net as County made it two on 52 minutes. MacRae was involved again as he nodded down to Dylan Mackenzie for him to lay the ball back to Cohen Ramsay. And the full back stepped on to stroke the ball into the bottom right-hand corner with his weaker right foot to score his first goal in County colours.
The numbers were levelled up on 57 minutes though. Adam Naismith was booked in the first half after a tangling of legs and then saw his second yellow for his second foul of the game when his boot collided with Shaun Carrol’s in the middle of the park when even a foul against the Nairn man looked a harsh decision.
Deveronvale nearly took full advantage with the free kick that followed with the ball pumped to the far post and turned on to the upright by Dane Ballard.
But Nairn increased their advantage to three on 72 minutes. MacRae’s curling shot from just inside the box was parried by substitute goalkeeper Sutherland but Kenny McKenzie was on hand to tuck home the rebound for his first goal of the season.
Nairn County – Foster, J. Maclean, C. Maclean, A. Naismith (yellow 44, 57), Glenn Main, Porritt, Urquhart (MacDonald 76), K. McKenzie, D. Mackenzie (Ewan 85), MacRae (M. Macleod 87), Ramsay. Subs unused: Munro, Ednie, R. Macleod (gk).
Deveronvale – Pennet (red 49), Dunbar, Willox, Carrol, Dunn (yellow 24), Elder (Aitken 62), P. Sutherland (Forbes 62 (y 73)), Wallace (y 89), Ballard, Noble (C. Sutherland 50), Watt. Subs unused: Scott, Davidson, Gauld, Cheyne.
Referee – Dan MacFarlane.
Pictures: Donald Matheson