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Nairn County 1-2 Deveronvale

Scorers: Watt 4, Kerr 33, Steven Fraser 76
Vale kept up their momentum at the start of the new season with a very hard earned three points at Station Park Nairn.
Graeme Watt had Steve Dolan's side ahead after just four minutes but Gary Kerr had the sides level at the interval. The second period was end to end stuff with Steven Fraser settling the issue with a debut strike for his new club following a Scott Begg corner kick.
Two changes to the Vale side which defeated Fort William last weekend, Scott Fraser returned to central defence at the expense of Chris Blackhall who dropped to the bench as did Ross Aitken who was replaced at left-back by Liam Forbes.
A good turnout saw County kicks things off at a furious pace but falling behind within four minutes when Gary Harris' cross from the right flank fell kindly for Graeme WATT and the number 11 found the bottom corner with a right footed finish from 16-yards.
Paul Sutherland went down in the home 18-yard box ten minutes after the Banffers' opener but laid-back referee Graham Fraser saw little wrong with the challenge from behind and to his credit the young Vale forward just got on with it, sending a first-time volley over the top from distance minutes later.
As the rainfall came on heavier an excellent set-piece from Ross Naismith was equally well dealt with by the visiting defence while at the opposite end Scott Fraser headed a deep corner narrowly past the post of home keeper Dylan Maclean.
As the wee County grew into the game Jordan Macrae scooped a half-chance wide before County equalised, strapping number nine Gary Kerr thumping a near-post header into the top corner off an inviting Naismith flag-kick from the left.
The match continued to be played at a frantic pace and newly installed County captain Wayne Mackintosh smashed an effort over the top from yet another dangerous set-piece. HT
A change for the visitors at the break saw Chris Blackhall replace the struggling Gary Harris and the substitute missed a glorious chance to restore his side's lead within minutes of the restart when he headed Graeme Watt's set-piece wide from close range.
Blackhall then played-in Kevin Souter moments later but the midfielder fresh-aired with just Dylan Maclean to beat and the missed chance almost came back to bite when the County trialist headed a corner a yard or so wide of Blanchy's left-hand post.
Home keeper Dylan Maclean got lucky when he seemed to just fall on the ball after Steven Fraser flicked a header goalwards before Craig Cowie's attempted lob was caught on his line by the busy but alert home keeper.
The game was opening up as the half progressed and Paul Sutherland came very close to scoring with a similar turn and strike to last week's counter against Fort William although on this occasion the young striker missed the target by a couple of yards.
A double change for the visitors, both enforced, saw Craig Cowie hobble off to be replaced by Lukas Krobot with Bradley Manson moving into the middle of the park, and this was shortly after Ross Aitken had came on for the injured midfielder Kevin Souter.
Vale grabbed the initiative with fourteen minutes remaining when Steven FRASER netted his debut goal for the Vale with a thumping strike from 10-yards after the ball fell kindly to the former Forres defender off Scott Begg's corner kick.
Nairn huffed and puffed but failed to work James Blanchard for the remainder of the match and in the final five minutes Graeme Watt put some venom behind a strike at goal which Dylan Maclean fisted clear in what turned out to be the only remaining change in the hard fought encounter.
Vale: Blanchard, Manson, Forbes, *84 Begg, Scott Fraser, Steven Fraser, Cowie (Krobot 68), Souter (Aitken 60), Sutherland, Harris, (*62  Blackhall 46), Watt
Subs: Keith, Archibald, Patterson Pennet (Gk)
Nairn: Maclean, Trialist, Main, Barron, Mackay, Mackintosh (cpt), Naismith (Trialist 66), Maclean, Kerr, Macrae (73 McKenzie)
Subs: Macleod, Barton, Munro, McLeod (gk)
Manager: Ronnie Sharp
Referee: Graham Fraser
Vale Stats:
Efforts On: 5
Efforts Off: 5
Woodwork: 0
Corners: 7
Offside: 3
Overhead Conditions: Dull & Drizzling
Playing Surface: Beautiful
Temp at KO: 18 Deg C
Last Season: 3-2
Reporter: Neil Montgomery
Reported LastEdited: 6-Aug-2016
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