3 - 1
3 - 1
North of Scotland Cup (Group Stage)
Duncan Jones (30)
Shaun Kerr (59)
Shaun Kerr (66)
|Simon Allan (77)|
Glenn Main for Steven Edwards (64)
Gregg Main for Duncan Jones (70)
Stephen McIntosh for Tony Ross (69)
Donald Horsburgh for Jordan Main (86)
Martin MacDonald (32)
Stephen Skinner (43)
Steven Edwards (63)
John Campbell (77)
Darren Jarvie (89)
Ricky Wardrop (70)
John Mutch (77)
A second half double salvo from summer signing Shaun Kerr sealed the three points for Nairn County in District Three of the North of Scotland Cup as they dumped Forres Mechanics at Station Park meaning that nothing less than a win for the Mosset Park men against Ross County next week will keep their hopes of progression alive. Nairn on the other hand, have to wait and see what happens in that match before they know what they have to do against the Second Division side at Victoria Park on August 15.
Les Fridge sprung a suprise on the home support as he included Ross County's Stephen Skinner in his defence alongside Martin Sanderson and Martin MacDonald in front of goalkeeper John Campbell. Wayne Mackintosh, Duncan Jones and Steven Edwards patrolled the middle of midfield while Brian Macleod and Darren Jarvie occupied the wide berths with Willie Barron and Kerr up front.
The visitors made a positive start to the match playing some nice one touch football without seriously threatening the County back line before Nairn started to click into gear in the sixth minute. A long ball forward from Edwards was excellently controlled by Barron down the left but he was denied by advancing goalkeeper Stuart Knight who raced from his line to save at the feet of the County forward.
Six minutes later, the hosts went even close to opening the scoring when Jones' 20-yard free-kick hit the ball and broke to Kerr but his quick-fire shot from 10-yards was well parried by the alert Knight.
Forres had their first shot at goal when Justin Rodgers got in behind Jarvie on the Forres right but his angled drive was held by Campbell at his near post.
County almost took the lead with 25 minutes on the clock when a slack backpass by Tony Ross was intercepted by Barron. He tried to go round Knight but the Forres keeper managed to get a touch on the ball forcing it behind for a corner. The resulting set piece was cleared as far as Barron on the right and his left-footed cross was headed goalwards by Skinner but he was denied a debut goal by of a great reflex save from Knight.
The opening goal arrived five minutes later as the hosts broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark. Macleod whipped in an in-swinging cross from the right to the front post that Knight could only flap against the body of Jones who forced the ball over the line from a couple of yards.
The home side almost doubled their advantage five minutes later when goalscorer Jones won a 50-50 tackle against Neil Whyte and the loose ball broke to Edwards. He smashed a first time effort goalwards that was parried behind by Knight at the expense of a corner.
Jones almost turned provider six minutes before the break when he whipped in a deep corner from the right that picked out MacDonald at the back post but his looping header sailed over the bar.
Forres came out after the restart looking to immediately level things and almost did two minutes into the second half. Simon Allan's free-kick from the left picked out Gary Black and he had a free header but could only send his effort crashing off the back post with Campbell rooted to the spot.
The woodwork again came to Nairn's rescue in the 51st minute. Whyte raced away from Nairn's Mackintosh in the middle of the park and, with the Nairn defence standing off him, fired a shot goalwards from 25-yards only to see his effort smack Campbell's crossbar.
Nairn looked to respond two minutes later when Barron hit the by-line down the left after racing away from John Mutch and Black. His delivery into the box was headed clear but only as far as Jones who touched the ball inside and let fly with a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that flashed over the crossbar.
The decisive second goal arrived for Nairn a minute before the hour mark. Mutch tried to control an Edwards hopeful high ball into the box but his touch let him down and allowed Kerr to nick the ball from the English centre back. The former Clach forward then stepped inside and smashed home from 10-yards to score his first goal in County colours.
The home side all but sealed the win with a third goal after 66 minutes. New signing Glenn Main, who had only come off the bench two minutes previous, surged forward from the centre of midfield and played a delightful through-ball into the path of Kerr. The former Ross County youth did the rest as he coolly clipped the ball over the advancing Knight to grab his second goal of the evening.
Forres proved their luck was well and truly out in the 68th minute when Charlie Brown curled a right-footed shot goalwards from the left edge of the box only to see it come back off the crossbar as the visitors hit the woodwork for the third time in the game.
The hosts should have added a fourth in the 73rd minute when Kerr weaved his way in from the right and cut the ball back to substitute Gregg Main but, leaning back, the Nairn midfielder scooped his 12-yard shot over the crossbar.
Gordon Winton's side managed to grab a goal back 13 minutes from time. Striker Ricky Wardrop was denied a debut goal when his 10-yard volley was blocked by Campbell's legs and from the resulting Rodgers corner, Mutch headed the ball down at the back post to Allan who swept it into the roof of the net from eight yards. Both Mutch and Nairn goalkeeper Campbell were booked in the aftermath of the goal.
Kerr almost restored Nairn's three-goal lead and completed a dream hat-trick in the process when he was put through on goal by a Jarvie header but the County goalscorer saw his attempted lob clawed away by Knight.
|John Campbell (GK)||27||1||-||50||-|
|Glenn Main (sub)||22||1||-||11||-|
|Gregg Main (sub)||20||1||-||14||1|
No league table has been added for this season.