Brora Rangers 1
Nairn County 2
League (HFL)

Brora Rangers 

1 - 2

Nairn County

League (HFL)
Saturday, January 2nd, 2016
Dudgeon Park
3:00 PM Kick-off

Paul Brindle (7) Tony Wallace (64)
Robbie Duncanson (87)

Team Managers
Richard Brittain Les Fridge

Starting Eleven
Joe Malin
John Pickles
Ally MacDonald
Grant Munro
Scott Houston
Dale Gillespie
Scott Graham
Gavin Morrison
Zander Sutherland
Paul Brindle
Andrew Greig
Calum Antell
Paul Macleod
Seán Webb
Andrew Skinner
Callum Maclean
Alan Pollock
Gregg Main
Robbie Duncanson
Conor Gethins
Sam Urquhart
Tony Wallace

Steven Martin
Martin Maclean
Lewis Grant
Colin Maclean
Richard Brittain
John Macleod
Dylan Maclean
Michael Morrison
Kenny McKenzie
Ross Naismith
Jack Maclean
Jordan MacRae

Martin Maclean for Grant Munro (46)
John Macleod for Andrew Greig (69)
Richard Brittain for Zander Sutherland (82)
Ross Naismith for Robbie Duncanson (90)

Joe Malin (90) Michael Morrison (90)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

David Watt (Referee)

Match Report

MAGNIFICENT Nairn County have beaten reigning Highland League champions and title favourites Brora Rangers 2-1 on their own patch with a disciplined and workmanlike showing, writes Graeme Macleod.

Les Fridge implemented a game plan and his players executed it to precision with an unfamiliar backline dealing with Brora’s attacking line while the tireless full backs and midfielders cut off the ammunition, limiting the number of clear cut chances the previously free-scoring Cattachs were able to create.

Gregg Main and Sam Urquhart returned to the starting line up with captain Michael Morrison and Kenny McKenzie dropped to the bench from Monday’s game against Keith. Robbie Duncanson took over the armband.

After an encouraging start to the game, Nairn fell behind seven minutes in. A corner kick from the right was not dealt with by the County defence and Paul Brindle was able to turn it home high into the net at the near post at the second time of asking.

The Nairn goal led a charmed life 20 minutes later when Scott Graham got in behind the Nairn defence down the right and cut the ball back beyond goalkeeper Calum Antell but a combination of Callum Maclean and Sean Webb blocked both of goalscorer Brindle’s efforts on the line.

On the half hour, Andrew Greig cut inside from the left but his low and hard ball towards the far post was mopped up by Maclean.

Brindle ran at the heart of the Nairn defence on 37 minutes but under pressure from Sean Webb, his poked effort struck Antell’s chest and was diverted behind for a corner. From the following set piece, a Grant Munro header at the back post was cleared off the line by Sam Urquhart.

Brindle was played through by Graham on 41 one minutes but going away from goal and under pressure from Paul Macleod, the striker’s low, angled effort was clutched by Antell.

County were nearly level two minutes before the break. Pollock’s through ball put Tony Wallace scampering in on goal but Brora goalkeeper Joe Malin was alert enough to race off his line early and thwart the Nairn man at the edge of the box.

At the other end, Dale Gillespie worked the ball through an Greig at the left edge of the box a minute later but his low shot was palmed around the post by Antell.

County passed up a glorious chance to equalise four minutes after the turnaround. Gethins deft touch sent Urquhart racing on Malin but with the goal at his mercy, the Nairn wide man went for power instead of accuracy and blasted the ball across goal and beyond the far post from eight yards out.

Graham poked the ball just past the post on 53 minutes after latching on to Gavin Morrison’s deep free kick into the box from the right.

The visitors had a strong claim for a penalty waved away on 61 minutes. Duncanson and Wallace linked up well down the left but the ball across could not find a finish. When it came back in from the right, Wallace was bundled to the deck from behind as he was about to head home at the far post but referee David Watt refused to acknowledge the Nairn claims.

The equaliser arrived three minutes later though. A Gethins cross from the right dropped perfectly 15 yards out at the far post for Tony Wallace to smash a low half volley across goal and into the corner of the net.

Zander Sutherland cut inside from the right on 72 minutes and flashed a powerful drive past the far post which Antell had covered as Brora pushed to re-establish their lead.

The game developed a cup tie feel and no sooner had Nairn survived a goalmouth scramble, they were breaking forward and would have had two players in on goal had it not been for a dubious offside call.

Duncanson then weaved in on goal on 77 minutes but after beating two men, he delayed his close range shot and was crowded out.

County passed up a glorious chance to take the lead on 82 minutes. Robbie Duncanson’s lofted ball from the left edge of the box to the far post found Pollock but the midfielder took the ball on the volley as it dropped under pressure from the advancing Malin and fired over the crossbar.

But the visitors found themselves in front with just three minutes. Duncanson’s ball out to the right put Pollock racing in on goal. His effort was blocked with the loose ball spinning across goal to Gethins. His shot was saved by Malin but Robbie Duncanson was on hand to ram home the rebound.

County missed a glorious chance to kill it on 90 minutes. Duncanson had the entire Brora half to run into with the ball and he slipped in Pollock coming in from the right but the wide man blazed over the bar with just Malin to beat.

Match report written by Graeme Macleod

Squad Statistics (as at January 2nd, 2016)

2015-16 All Time
Calum Antell (GK)23 27 - 56 -
Callum Maclean24 172172
Andrew Skinner21 23 - 23 -
Paul Macleod26 16 - 1323
Seán Webb32 20314512
Gregg Main29 23 - 26821
Alan Pollock25 2777712
Conor Gethins32 2925177167
Tony Wallace24 178178
Sam Urquhart24 27126531
Robbie Duncanson31 291026586
Ross Naismith (sub)22 171799

League Table (as at January 2nd, 2016)

No league table has been added for this season.