1 - 4
Scottish Cup (1st Round)
|Ross Duncan (76)||
Willie Barron (11)
Wayne Mackintosh (56)
Chris Finnigan (61)
Gregg Main (79)
Kevin Shortreed for Mark Adam (5)
Richard Shanks for Steven Sim (60)
Chris Henderson for David Christie (65)
Glenn Main for Steven Edwards (67)
Angus Lawrie for Wayne Mackintosh (75)
Darren Jarvie for Brian Macleod (80)
|Richard Shanks (69)||
Wayne Mackintosh (31)
Willie Barron (48)
Steven Edwards (65)
Glenn Main (86)
Nairn County made a successful return to the Scottish Cup as they dumped fellow Highland League side Rothes in style at MacKessack Park in round one of this year's competition. It was County's first match in Scotland's premier cup competition since season 1985-86 and a distinguished second half performance helped ease Les Fridge's side into the hat for the second round draw.
The visitors came flying out of the traps and opened the scoring after only 11 minutes through Willie Barron but then seemed to take their foot off the gas throughout the remainder of the half. But they started the second half in the same manner as the first and managed to maintain the high tempo for the rest of the game as Wayne Mackintosh and Chris Finnigan added to the scoreline. The hosts did pull one back but Gregg Main rounded things off as he re-established Nairn's three-goal lead.
After last week's lacklustre performance against Clach, manager Fridge decided to freshen his side up as Main and Finnigan came into the starting line up. Top scorer Shaun Kerr was a surprise omission as he was left on the bench along with Darren Jarvie and goalkeeper Willie Ridgers, who has joined the club because of John Calder's Glandular Fever.
Rothes were dealt a blow only five minutes into the game when defender Mark Adam was stretchered off after an innocuous-looking collision with his goalkeeper Neil Nicol.
County came close to testing the goalkeeper less than a minute later when Duncan Jones sent Chris Finnigan racing after a precise long ball. The former Elgin City forward opted to take on the shot first time but his left footed strike from the edge of the box sailed past the left hand post.
Nairn were one up with 11 minutes on the clock though as Gregg Main chased what looked a lost cause and managed to prevent the ball from going out of play for a throw in wide on the right. His pass then found Willie Barron on the right edge of the penalty box and he smashed a shot across the goal of Nicol and into the top corner of the net. It was a goal the County faithful had waited 22 long, long years for and it put the visitors in control of proceedings.
The hosts began to ease their way into this cup tie and won a succession of corners that John Campbell claimed under heavy pressure from the home attackers before Iain McRae's header off a Kevin Collins cross from the left was held by the Nairn goalkeeper in the 27th minute.
Main's quick throw in from the right two minutes later found Wayne Mackintosh in acres of space in front of goal but his shot from 22 yards was held by Nicol.
Mackintosh tried his luck again with a shot from range in the 43rd minute but again he was thwarted by Nicol who held the County midfield man's low drive at the second attempt before Rothes went up the other end of the park and had their best chance of the half to level things. McRae whipped in an inviting cross from the right that Mark Taylor met with a header from only a couple of yards but he could only steer his effort over the crossbar.
There was still time for Nairn to come close to doubling their lead when a corner from the right was cleared back out to taker Jones. From a similar position to where Barron picked out the top corner earlier in the match, the County midfielder fired a rasping, first time effort goalwards but his shot flashed past the near post.
The next goal in this match was always going to be crucial as Nairn looked to kick on and dictate play and when it arrived after 56 minutes, it went the way of the visitors.
Mackintosh got the goal his play deserved as he rampaged about in midfield all afternoon covering every blade of grass. And his goal summed up his display as he showed great determination to chase down a long ball that home defender Nathan Sharp looked odds on to shepherd back to his goalkeeper as he had a significant head start on the Nairn midfielder. But Mackintosh wasn't going to give it up and once he'd caught Sharp, he nicked the ball away from the advancing Nicol. Goalkeeper and defender then comically collided on the edge of the box leaving Mackintosh with the easy job of rolling the ball into an unguarded net for his second goal in as many games.
Nairn effectively sealed the outcome five minutes later when they added a third goal. After a Rothes attack broke down, the ball fell at the feet of Barron who split the home defence with a great ball into the stride of strike partner Chris Finnigan. The former Inverness CT youth was never going to be caught once he had hit top gear as he raced in on goal and slotted the ball past Nicol to score his first goal in County colours.
The only blotch on the Nairn copybook arrived in the 76th minute as the home side gave themselves a glimmer of hope by pulling a goal back. A cross in from the left was headed against his own crossbar by Nairn defender Martin Sanderson and Ross Duncan was on hand to nod home as the ball came back out off the bar.
But County bounced back from this setback in the most emphatic fashion as they re-established their three-goal lead. Substitute Glenn Main sent brother Gregg racing down the right with a great throughball and the County midfielder made no mistake as he cut in and placed the ball past the outrushing Nicol to open his account for the season.
The home support thought their side had reduced the deficit in the 81st minute when substitute Richard Shanks beat Nairn debutant Angus Lawrie on the right and picked out Taylor at the back post but his header hit the side netting, thanks in part to pressure put on the Rothes midfielder by Gregg Main. Then Grant Milne saw his shot parried wide by Campbell seven minutes from the end as Nairn held out to go through as well as recording their biggest win of the season so far.
|John Campbell (GK)||27||10||-||59||-|
|Glenn Main (sub)||22||7||-||17||-|
|Darren Jarvie (sub)||20||10||-||10||-|
|Angus Lawrie (sub)||24||1||-||1||-|
No league table has been added for this season.