1 - 0
|Michael Beattie (3)||None.|
Michael A Rae
Richie Fraser for Andrew McCraw (57)
David McKinley for Nicky Gordon (67)
Steve Sanderson for Robbie Duncanson (57)
Injury ravenged Nairn County travelled to Aberdeen to take on Cove Rangers, nine points behind them in the table at the start of play, and only an goal in the opening minutes prevented the visitors from taking something from this match.
The home side broke the deadlock three minutes into the match when a John Brown corner from the left was only partially cleared by the Nairn defence and broke kindly for Michael Beattie to fire through a ruck of bodies into Rae's bottom left hand corner from 15 yards.
Seven minutes later and a Gary Clark half volley from 10 yards flew over the top of Michael Rae's crossbar as the home side continued to dictate the match.
Nairn took 15 minutes to register their first chance on goal and it was not one to remember for too long as Robbie Duncanson weakly headed a Holmes cross from the right into the arms of home goalkeeper Kevin Martin.
Craig McHattie almost doubled his side's lead with a stinging effort from all of 35 yards but Rae did well to turn it over the bar.
It should have been one each 26 minutes in when unmarked Nairn forward Mark Holmes got his head on the end of a Willie Barron cross from the right five yards from goal but somehow the ex-Buckie Thistle man put his effort over the crossbar.
A minute after the half hour mark and Nicky Gordon broke free from the hold of the Nairn defence but he opted to shoot across goal and wide of the post instead of squaring the ball to the unmarked John Brown.
Brooks then went close for the visitors but his volley from 10 yards sailed over Martin's crossbar on the stroke of half time.
Four minutes into the second half and Cove threatened to double their advantage as Beattie unleashed a volley from 10 yards that thundered off of the Rae's crossbar.
Ian Brooks then let fly from 20 yards for Nairn, nine minutes after half time but keeper Martin had the shot covered as it went past his left hand upright.
Two minutes later and County should have levelled things. After a scramble that follwed a corner, Robbie Duncanson stabbed the ball towards goal only for it to be blocked on the line by his team mate Ian Brooks to the dismay and frustration of the visitors.
This was young striker Duncanson's last involvment before being replaced by Steve Sanderson and the ex-Fort William man had an immediate chance to restore parity. He had the ball played in behind the Cove defence and did well to stay onside as he ran onto the through ball only to swipe at his shot and completely miss the ball with only the keeper to beat.
Mark Holmes then suffered somewhat of the same embarrassment as he was put through one on one with the keeper but scuffed his shot making it an easy catch for Martin.
Nairn were then saved by Neal Sinclair twice in quick succession on the hour mark as John Brown rounded the outrushing Michael Rae only to see the Nairn midfielder clear the ball from the goal line. Sinclair then hacked away a Beattie header at the front post from the resultant corner kick.
With 18 minutes left to go Beattie had agreat chance to wrap up the points for the hosts when he rounded Rae after being foiled by the Nairn keeper on several occasions throughout the afternoon but this time out it was to be the woodwork that was Nairn's saving grace as the Cove striker could only hit the post with his shot.
A disappointing result for Nairn but they must re-group and prepare for the home derby with Clach in a fortnight and can take heart from the Lilywhites defeat at home to Lossiemouth today.
|Michael Rae (GK)||-||15||-||43||-|
|Steve Sanderson (sub)||22||10||1||38||20|
No league table has been added for this season.