1 - 2
Iain Brooks (43)
Brian Macleod (pen.) (45)
Glenn Main for Shaun Kerr (55)
Gregg Main for Chris Finnigan (73)
Angus Lawrie for Brian Macleod (83)
The humble surroundings of Seafield Park in Grantown was the venue for Nairn County to get their first win of a pre-season campaign that has lacked a clinical touch in the final third.
Three matches against league opposition failed to yield any goals while the 32-shot battering of Bishopmill United on Tuesday night could only produce one. So County manager Les Fridge must have been relieved when Iain Brooks and Brian Macleod both found the net here within about 90 seconds of one another but the anticipated onslaught of Nairn's junior opponents failed to materialise, assisted partly by Neil MacDonald's foolish red card.
Fridge had John Campbell back in goals and started with his fourth different sweeper of pre-season, Duncan Jones. Martin Sanderson and Martin MacDonald completed the defence while Neil MacDonald, Wayne Mackintosh and Chris Finnigan played centrally in midfield.
Brian Macleod and former and Clach man Darren Jarvie occupied the wide berths and County hope to be able to conclude a deal for the ex-Inverness CT reserve team captain before Tuesday's North of Scotland cup clash with Forres. The returning Iain Brooks linked up with Shaun Kerr up front leaving Ross Mackenzie, Angus Lawrie, John Calder, Gregg Main and Glenn Main - who is also expected to sign this week - on the bench.
County were first to threaten when Neil MacDonald picked out Jarvie wide on the left with an intelligent square pass. His cross into the box was destined for Kerr's head but the former Golspie striker was just edged out by a home defender in the 10th minute.
Two minutes later a similar move almost paid dividends for the visitors. This time it was Jones with the long ball into the box and Brooks with the knock down to Finnigan. He stabbed the ball goalwards but the home goalkeeper managed to deny the ex-Elgin man as he blocked the shot with his legs.
Nairn continued to turn the screw as they went in search of the opening goal and it was Brooks who almost scored it after 14 minutes when he was picked out by Neil MacDonald. The Nairn forward surged away from the home defence down the left but saw his left footed shot flash across the face of goal and wide of the far post.
A deep cross from the left by Finnigan was the source of County's next attack as he found Brian Macleod in acres of space some 20-yards out but the former Clach full-back smashed his right-footed volley over the crossbar by a matter of inches.
Nairn cemented their grip on this friendly with a quick fire double minutes before the interval. In the 43rd minute, Brooks collected the ball wide on the right and surged towards goal. The home defence stood of the man who was returning to his old stomping ground allowing him to fire a low effort towards goal from 20-yards. The shot slipped under the diving goalkeeper's body and into the net putting Nairn one goal to the good as they looked for their first win of pre-season.
The visitors were well and truly in the driving seat a minute or so later when Brooks was fouled in the box. Despite the home side's complaints about the award, Macleod made no mistake as he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the resulting penalty kick.
There was still enough time left on the watch for the home side to almost pull a goal back when a blistering free-kick from all of 35-yards had to be tipped over the crossbar by Campbell. (H-T 2-0).
The home side almost grabbed one back two minutes after the restart when a long ball into the box was flicked on by Grant Fraser, on loan at Strathspey from Nairn, to a home striker but his header went across goal and wide.
A minute later, Macleod's corner from the right for County picked out Martin MacDonald but his volley flashed just over the crossbar.
The visitors were then reduced to ten men in the 66th minute when Neil MacDonald committed a foul wide on the right. Upon hearing the referee's whistle blow for the foul, the ex-Ross County man launched a tirade of abuse at the official who wasted no time in brandishing the red card.
The home side almost made Nairn pay three minutes later with a low show that flew across the face of Campbell's goal but found no takers at the back post.
Brooks was next to go close for County when he was picked out by Macleod's low cross from the right but the Nairn forward's effort was tame making the save an easy one for the home goalkeeper.
Strathspey halved the deficit in the 73rd minute when the Nairn defence failed to clear their lines from a free kick into the box leaving a home substitute the space to score with his first touch of the game.
Substitute Gregg Main had Nairn's final chance of the game when a Macleod corner from the left was cleared only as far as the lurking County midfield who unleashed a powerful drive that was held by the home goalkeeper in the 80th minute as Nairn held on for their first pre-season win. (F-T 2-1).
Match report written by Graeme Macleod
No league table has been added for this season.