HL Roundup - 5th Nov 2011

Highland League round-up
Saturday November 5th
Scorries turn on the style in five-star show

Academy produced a memorable display of pace, power and clinical finishing as they thumped high-flying Nairn County 5-3 in a hugely entertaining encounter at Harmsworth Park.

The visitors are among the Highland League title contenders this season and they came into this match in second place, looking to close the gap on leaders Forres Mechanics. 

But after a flurry of goals saw the first half end 2-2, Nairn had no answer to Academy's relentless attacking style in the second period.

Nairn went ahead after 23 minutes when an attempt by Martin Macdonald landed at the feet of Steven Mackay, who turned on the spot and fired a low shot past Alan Bokas. 

The home side were back on level terms less than a minute later as they attacked down the right and Stevie Cunningham directed a well-placed shot beyond Callum Donaldson.

Academy took the lead on 28 minutes with a stunning strike from Sam Mackay. As the ball came to him on the left side of the penalty area, the angle looked too tight but he flashed a brilliant volley past Donaldson and into the opposite corner of the net. 

Steven Mackay levelled things up on the half-hour mark with a scrambled effort that Bokas was unable to prevent crossing the line.

After a couple of let-offs early in the second period, Academy edged ahead again after 56 minutes when Wayne Mackintosh tripped Ross Allan in the box and Sam Mackay tucked the spot-kick past Donaldson. 

It got worse for Nairn on the hour mark when Dale Gillespie turned the ball into his own net. Richard Macadie then slotted in Academy's fifth in the 87th minute after being set up by Davie Allan, who had been a constant threat all afternoon.

The big-spending Wee County had brought their summer signing Conor Gethins off the bench and the Irish striker found the net with a superb free kick in stoppage time. 

But that couldn't take the gloss off an outstanding display by Davie Kirkwood's men.

Nairn's defeat allowed Forres to open up a six-point gap at the top of the table with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Clachnacuddin at Grant Street Park. 

Graham Fraser headed home the opener after 12 minutes and Gary Tweedie doubled the Can-Cans' lead 10 minutes before half-time. Lee Fraser struck in the 71st minute to wrap up the points.

Cammy Keith proved too hot to handle for Brora Rangers as the Keith striker hit four goals, including one from the penalty spot, in his team's 5-3 victory at Dudgeon Park. 

Andy Macaskill was the Maroons' other scorer, with Steven Ross, James Murray and Kyle Maclean on target for Brora. The home side finished the game with 10 men after Gary Kerr was red-carded.

Kevin Webster hit a treble in Cove Rangers' 6-3 victory over Formartine United at Allan Park. Jordan Leyden, Danny Milne and Daniel Park got the others for Cove, with Formartine's goals coming from Michael McGinlay (penalty), Calum Bagshaw and Barrie Stephen. 

Formartine's Bobby Mann was sent off for conceding the penalty from which Webster completed his hat-trick.

Deveronvale moved up to fourth after a 3-0 win against Rothes at Princess Royal Park. Kris Duncan netted against his former club, with Grant Noble and Scott Fraser adding the others. 

Buckie Thistle's chances of retaining the title are looking increasingly slim after they were beaten 1-0 at home by Huntly. Barry Somers got the goal midway through the first half.

Fraserburgh maintained their 100 per cent home record in the league with a 3-2 win against Lossiemouth. 

Graham Johnston's double separated the sides at the break but Lossie hit back with a penalty from Nikki Smith and the striker then added another to level the scores. However, Fraserburgh were awarded a spot-kick of their own and Allan Hale stepped up to seal the victory.

Inverurie Locos came from behind to beat near-neighbours Turriff United 2-1 at The Haughs, with all the goals coming in the first half. Gary Harris gave Turriff an early lead but Neil Gauld equalised and the Inverurie frontman then struck the decisive goal from the penalty spot. 

The basement battle at Claggan Park ended all square as Fort William twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Strathspey Thistle. Craig Rothney and Mattuesz Bobrowski were on the mark for the Grantown Jags, with Danny Mackintosh and Logan Barker replying for Fort.