4 - 1
Highland League Cup (1st Round)
Gary McGowan (15)
Mark Gray (28)
Marco de Barros (76)
Martin Stewart (79)
Lewis Mackinnon (84)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Jason Robertson for Scott Nicholl (58)
Wayne Mackintosh for Gary Farquhar (83)
Marc MacDonald for Willie Barron (83)
Gary Cheyne (Referee)
Nairn County failed to overcome the unenviable task of toppling Highland League champions elect Huntly in the Highland League Cup at Christie Park on Saturday.
Les Fridge's cause was not helped in any way by the lengthy list of injuries and suspensions that struck his squad forcing him to re-call Marc Macdonald and Jason Robertson from loan spells at Nairn St. Ninian to fill the substitutes bench. The gaffer made two changes from the side that toppled Keith at Station Park last week as suspended duo Scott Kellacher and John MacAskill were replaced by Gary Farquhar and Brian Macleod.
It was the visitors who created the first chance of note as Farquhar swung in a corner from the left that Steven Edwards headed goalwards only for his powerful effort to glance over the crossbar.
Then on the quarter hour, Jim Calder came to the rescue of Nairn as he reached to tip a powerful 25-yard strike from Simon Scott over the crossbar.
But from the resulting corner the Nairn shotstopper was caught out as Gary McGowan's flag-kick was mis-judged by Calder and sailed straight into the net to put the home side ahead.
Then in the 28th minute, the home side doubled their lead as Mark Gray collected a loose ball before curling it home from the edge of the box into Calder's top left hand corner.
Gordon Farmer tried his luck for the home side in the 32nd with a dipping effort from the right edge of the box that landed on the roof of the net.
County had the chance to half the deficit sixty seconds later when the home side failed to clear their lines and allowed the ball to break to Iain Brooks but he rushed his effort somewhat and sent his volleyed straight into the welcoming arms of the relatively untroubled Richard Bowman.
Brooks again found his way o goal blocked by the home keeper as he cut in from the left and fired a low right-footed shot that Bowman got down well to palm round lis left hand post.
Then in the final minute of the half, Nairn went close again as Brian Macleod fired in a deep cross from the left that Willie Barron met with a header at the back post but his effort could only find the side netting.
The home side could have made it three early on in the second half when Jerry O'Driscoll rounded Jim Calder but the Nairn keeper forced the ex-Dundee hitman wide so that Lewis MacKinnon could made a suitable recovery in order to block the shot.
But Nairn had a good shout for a penalty turned away in the 48th minute when a low Brian Macleod shot flicked up off the boot of Willie Barron and appeared the be blocked by Huntly defender Ross Campbell's arm but referee Gary Cheyne waved away the County protests.
Gary Farquhar then delivered a pinpoint delivery from a free-kick wide on the left that Neal Sinclair headed goalwards only to find Bowman alert enough to make the save.
When the all important third goal arrived it went the way of the hosts and effectively killed off Nairn's chances in this match. Jerry O'Driscoll played a low ball across the face of goal upon hitting the by-line on the left in the 76th minute that the unmarked Marco De Barros tapped into the empty net.
The home side added a fourth three minutes later as Martin Sanderson gave possession away on the edge of the box to O'Driscoll and his neat through ball was latched onto by Martin Stewart before he coolly slotted the ball across Calder and into the bottom corner.
County did manage to grab a consolation goal back six minutes from time as Lewis MacKinnon rose highest in the box to connect with a Neal Sinclair corner from the right leaving the keeper rooted to the spot.
|Jim Calder (GK)||44||25||-||25||-|
|Wayne Mackintosh (sub)||17||2||-||5||-|
|Jason Robertson (sub)||17||2||-||2||-|
|Marc MacDonald (sub)||18||1||-||4||-|
No league table has been added for this season.