NAIRN County were left cursing the fact they let a 3-1 lead slip against a determined Locos side who never gave up, and in the end thoroughly merited the point they fought hard to earn at Station Park on Saturday.
The Inverurie side performed another of their dramatic fightbacks to recover from 3-1 down and grab a late equaliser to spoil the home celebrations.
Locos First Team coach Chris Ainslie said later they had dug in to earn the draw.
It was a fairly even first ten minutes, with the first two chances of the match falling to Connor Gethins who created two one on one chances. The first was saved by Andy Reid, before his second beat the goalkeeper before being cleared off the line by Neil McLean.
From that moment on however, Locos were on top for the rest of the first-half and got a superb goal on 41 minutes.
Neil Mclean picked the ball up on the halfway line, drove forward unchallenged and from 25 yards struck a great shot off that went in off the underside of the bar leaving Callum Donaldson with no chance.
However Nairn’s response was perfect, as they got a goal back straight away.
It came courtesy of Wayne Mackintosh who struck a 20 yard shot that found the bottom corner, curling against the inside of the net.
The hosts were on top for next two minutes, and remarkably managed to get their noses in front before the break through a goal of brilliant quality.
Gregg Main fired the ball to Robbue Duncanson from the centre of the park, and he played a neat one-two with Gethins before firing out a first touch volleyed pass to Andrew Neill. He hit the byline, before pulling back for Connor Gethins to touch in from 4 yards.
Locos came out for the second-half determined and on top.
However, Nairn were to make it 3-1 when David Watson won the ball off Clark Bain, played a ball that split the defence to find Connor Gethins and from just inside the box he slid the ball underneath the advancing Reid.
Locos were to grab a vital lifeline merely 40 seconds later however, as a throw in by McLean found Stuart McKay, whose cross-cum shot deflected off Andy Low to wrong-foot Donaldson.
From that point on it was all Locos as County were forced to pin their backs to the walls.
The equalising goal finally came on 88 minutes, as the lively McLean again ran down the left, this time past John Cameron, before driving into the centre of box. His cross deflected in air for Clark Bain to smash straight down the centre of goal, and send his side back to Garioch with a well-earned share of the spoils.
Chris Ainslie, Locos 1st Team coach, said after the game: “We were very disappointed to be at 3-1 down, we should have defended better for the two goals we lost just before half time. It was an open game, they’re very decent up front but we dug in to earn the draw. And I thought we might have gone on to win the game
“Neil McLean loves to get forward, it was a great one into the top corner off the bar. Clark Bain got the vital equaliser, he arrived late in the box and steered it in. “He is an important player as he always offers”
Nairn manager Les Fridge said: “We looked in a strong position at two ahead and should be able to deal with that.
“But Locos threw everything at us although it was all set pieces. I feel the poinbts were dropped.”
Locos entertain Clach this Saturday at Harlaw Park, weather permitting kick-off is 3pm.
The result leaves Locos in sixth place on 24 points, five behind leaders Cove Rangers but Locos have a game in hand.
Nairn are a point behind the Inverurie side, but have played three games fewer. They are awayt to Huntly on Saturday.
Scorers: Wayne Mackintosh(44), Connor Gethins(45, 65)
Donaldson, Trialist, Webb, MacDonald, Neill, Ellis, Glenn Main, Mackintosh, Gethins, Gregg Main, Duncanson
Subs: MacLeod,Naismith, MacMillan,Watson, Cameron
Inverurie Loco Works
Scorers: Neil McLean(41), Andy Low(67), Clark Bain(88)
Reid, Adams McLean, Bain, Park, Broadhurst, Ross, Gordon, McKay, Gauld, Low
Subs: Stewart, Strachan, Begg, Bagshaw, Bell