3 - 0
Jamie Watt (31)
Jamie Watt (61)
Paul Urquhart (68)
Darren McAllister for Robert Brown (81)
Terry Kidd for Paul Urquhart (87)
Brian Macleod for Mo MacMillan (64)
Steve Sanderson for Mark Holmes (64)
Robbie Duncanson for Scott Kellacher (83)
Nairn made the trip to Princess Royal Park with an injury ravenged squad but still in hope of coming away with at least a point. After giving as good as they'd got and out playing the hosts in some points for an hour of the match, County finally fell away to a convincing defeat as the champions closed the gap at the top of the table. Ronnie Sharp made two enforced changes to the side that drew with Lossiemouth at home a fortnight ago by replacing the injured Gary Farquhar with Mark Holmes and Steven Edwards, unavailable due to work commitments, with Mo MacMillan. This, along with the unavailability of Michael A. Rae, left three places on the bench that were filled by Paul McDonald, Robbie Duncanson and youngster Glenn Main.
The hosts were quickest out of the traps, dominating the early stages of the game but despite having the lion's share of the possession they were limited to only a few half chances through front pairing Watt and McKenzie, both of whom were denied by Michael Rae.
Nairn weathered this early storm and started coming into the game after the 20 minute mark when WIllie Barron headed over the bar with 22 minutes on the clock.
Scott Kellacher then unleashed a low shot from an acute angle that was deflected high over the crossbar as things became more and more positive for the visitors.
Neal Sinclair was next to try his luck after 25 minutes for County when he shot just wide from 30 yards out.
Then, on the half hour mark, Scott Kellacher made a run down the left and fired in a pin point cross that Mark Holmes glanced just past Bremner's left hand post with his head.
But Deveronvale converted this defence into attack by opening the scoring only a minute later. Rae flapped a cross from the left out to Holmes whose slack pass was intercepted by Vale's Paul Urquhart. He played it square to the unmarked Jamie Watt who was bearing down on Rae and he made no mistake in drilling it home under the on-rushing Nairn goalkeeper.
Only a minute after going behind, Nairn almost gifted their hosts a second goal. Luckily for the visitors Garry Ewing was on the post to clear a Jamie Watt shot after the Nairn defence switched off as County threatened to crumble.
Three minutes before the interval and Nairn should've been level with their best chance of the match. A Mo MacMillan through ball released Willie Barron as he beat the home defence for pace but his shot was blocked by Vale shotstopper Ross Bremner.
Nairn remained positive early on in the second half and Mark Holmes should've done better than to shoot right at the keeper from the edge of the box three minutes after the restart.
Then the champions passed up a golden opportunity to double their advantage. Watt was through one-on-one with Michael Rae but shot wide of the goal when he really should have made it two.
Then McKenzie cut in from the left and fired over the bar as the Vale looked to turn the screw.
They got the killer second goal a minute after the hour mark. Barrie Stephen made a penitrating run through the County midfield before launching a powerful shot goalwards from 20 yards out only to see it come off the foot of Rae's right hand post leaving the unmarked Jamie Watt with the easiest of tasks of putting the ball into the empty net for his second goal on his return to Princess Royal Park.
Again it was that man Stephen at the heart of the action, firing in another long range effort, this time over the crossbar.
Deveronvale then added their third goal of the afternoon and again it was down to some poor Nairn marking. McKenzie powered a low free kick from 30 yards that Rae managed to save only for Paul Urquhart to poke home to gift wrap the three points for the homesters after 68 minutes.
Any hope of a Nairn comeback were well and truely extinguished with 20 minutes remaining when sub Steve Sanderson was sent off for foul and abusive language only six minutes after taking to the field.
But this never dampened Nairn's spirits and Willie Barron was unlucky with a headed effort from a Garry Ewing corner on the right.
A Ewing pass then sent Scott Kellacher through on goal but he fired wide from eight yards in the dying minutes.
The last chance of the match fell to the visitors. Robbie Duncanson attempted to chip Bremner from 20 yards with 5 minutes remaining but was denied by the Vale keeper.
|Michael Rae (GK)||-||13||-||41||-|
|Steve Sanderson (sub)||22||9||1||37||20|
|Brian Macleod (sub)||22||16||1||18||2|
|Robbie Duncanson (sub)||19||9||3||11||3|
No league table has been added for this season.