A LAST-GASP Conor Gethins goal gave Nairn County a dramatic 3-2 home win against Highland League table-toppers Wick Academy on Saturday.
This victory for Les Fridge’s side closes the gap between themselves and the leaders to 10 points, but with five games in hand.
Former Ross County and Peterhead striker Gethins took his tally to a whopping 29 goals for the season and is a key reason why some Nairn fans are dreaming of a late title rally.
Yet, it was Barry Wilson’s Wick who nudged ahead on six minutes when Lukasz Geruezel steered home a free-kick from Sam MacKay to direct the ball into the net.
Although Wick seemed comfortable, Nairn drew level on 25 minutes when Gethins cracked home an unstoppable shot from distance to make it 1-1.
Despite this, the far north team regained the advantage before the break as Stevie Cunningham’s low effort beat keeper Callum Donaldson.
Nairn were impressive though in the second half and, on 63 minutes, Martin MacDonald got on the end of a free-kick from Gethins to make it 2-2.
The teams were soon reduced to 10 men. Firstly, Wick’s Richard Macadie was shown a red card for lashing out at Glenn Main before the hosts’ Mike Morrison walked after picking up his second booking of the afternoon.
With the contest heading for a share of the spoils, Gethins popped up in the dying moments to net the win with a free-kick.
One of the stand-out fixtures in the league this weekend is Nairn’s derby against in-form Clach at Station Park.
Last Saturday, Clach’s home match against Fraserburgh was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.
With new Rothes player/manager Frani More watching from the stands, the Speysiders swept to a 5-0 Highland League victory against a young Fort William side at the weekend.
More, who takes over from Graham McBeath, who was sacked last week, will have been delighted to see his team turn on the style against the division’s basement side.
Scott Dunn and Sean McIntosh each bagged doubles, including a spot-kick from the latter, while Stuart Massie bagged the fifth in a comfortable win for the hosts.
Cove Rangers are now just two points behind leaders Wick Academy following their 2-0 victory at Deveronvale, while third-placed Formartine United are eight points off top spot after their 2-1 win at home to Brora Rangers.
Buckie Thistle crushed hosts Strathspey Thistle 7-1, 2012 champions Forres Mechanics were 5-2 victors at Turriff United and Inverurie Locos beat visitors Huntly 3-1.
Lossiemouth opened up a fourth-point gap over Fort William at the foot of the division thanks to their surprise 4-3 win at Keith.