Following on from positive performances in the 2-1 loss to Cove Rangers and a 3-0 win over Rothes, Nairn took a share of the spoils in a thrilling derby with Forres on Wednesday night.
Gary Kerr bagged a hat-trick for the Wee County in the 4-4 draw, with Forres’ Lee Fraser snatching a point for the Can Cans at the depth.
While Main, who took the armband with Wayne Mackintosh on the bench, was disappointed to concede cheap goals, there is positivity in the camp ahead of the trip to Turriff United today.
“We fought back well after going two down early. We lost a couple of sloppy goals from corners from their big lads. It’s not an area we’re good at, dealing with high balls, but we dug in and got a point against a good team,” he said.
“There’s a great spirit about the club and everyone’s fighting for each other. We’re all in it together – there’s no big egos. We’re equals and we’re wanting to win together.”
A life-long Nairn player, Main has spent his entire 13-year career at Station Park.
With the turmoil that surrounded the club in the summer, when main sponsors Narden withdrew, the defender was in a unique position to assess the team’s prospects.
“There’s fans that haven’t come for years that are coming back and there’s more of a buzz around the place. We were winning when Narden were here but it feels more of a community club,” said Main.
“I’m a local boy and leaving never really crossed my mind. There’s a brilliant feel about the club and it’s just 11 boys on the field that do everything for the club. Guys on the bench do their bit and there’s fans raising money all over the place. It’s a good place to be just now.”
Fraser opened the scoring for Forres 11 minutes in, heading in a cross from Gordon Finlayson.
The lead was doubled just two minutes later as Forres’ physicality told once again. Simon Allan’s corner found the head of Stuart Soane, who beat Dylan MacLean from close range.
Nairn blew a glorious chance to get themselves back in the game on 18 minutes when Chris Moir sprung the offside trap and faced down Stuart Knight. However, with just the goalkeeper to beat, Moir blazed high over the top.
It took just minutes to pull themselves back in the game, as a wonderful passing move, involving the majority of those in yellow, found Kenny McKenzie on the left of the area. He teed up Ross Naismith and when Knight parried his shot, Kerr reacted quickest to finish.
The Wee County were soon in the ascendancy and after Jamie MacKay’s cross flashed across the face of goal, McKenzie slotted under Knight after a superb through ball by the lively Naismith.
Charlie Rowley’s side continued to play the offside trap and looked to have ignored the warnings given to them by Moir and McKenzie.
Soane glanced a header wide with the last action of the first half in a pulsating local derby.
In much the same way Moir missed a gilt-edged chance in the first half, Kerr produced a carbon-copy at the start of the second.
Naismith picked him out on the diagonal and the club’s leading scorer only had Knight to beat, but he clipped his finish wide.
Goal number nine of the season soon came though on 53 minutes. Naismith and MacKay exchanged passes and when the former’s effort was blocked, it ricocheted to Kerr and he shot on the turn into the bottom corner.
The game continued to fluctuate and Forres were level in fortuitous circumstances before the hour. Ex-Nairn man John Cameron swung the ball in from the left and Liam Baxter took it on the volley, only for MacLean to spill it over the line.
Kerr, who had made a couple of poor choices in the final third, showed little indecisiveness when he completed his hat-trick with 22 minutes to go.
Substitute Gregg Main lifted the ball over the advancing Forres defence for Kerr to chase and he kept his composure, firing across Knight to complete his treble.
McKenzie, however, was the stand-out for the home side. His slight build allows him to evade tackles and he treats every challenge with a great degree of composure.
His delicate ball to the back post almost produced a fifth for Nairn with 15 minutes to go, with only an intervention from Allan preventing MacKay heading in.
But with five minutes left Nairn were pegged back again, as MacLean came for a free-kick and spilled it, allowing Fraser to stoop and head in.
Mackintosh could have won it for the hosts after the ball broke to him following a penalty-box scramble, but his effort sailed over.
NAIRN COUNTY: D MacLean; Barron, Glenn Main, C MacLean, Riddell (Gregg Main, 60), MacKay (J MacLean, 81), Moir, McKenzie, Morganti, Naismith (Mackintosh, 72), Kerr. Subs unused: MacLeod, Macrae, MacKenzie. Booked: Gregg Main.
FORRES MECHANICS: Knight; Finlayson, G Fraser, Soane, Allan, Moore (Graham, 69), Cameron, Scott (Grant, 67), MacPherson, L Fraser, Baxter (Hutcheson, 79). Subs unused: Storrier, Grant, Forbes, McLean. Booked: Moore, MacPherson, Allan, Cameron.