Nairn County 0
Huntly 1
League (HFL)

Nairn County
0 - 1

League (HFL)
Saturday, September 27th, 2003
Station Park
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Jerry O'Driscoll (59)

Team Managers
Ronnie Sharp

Starting Eleven
Michael Rae
Steven Edwards
Mark Holmes
Dave Macdonald
Gareth Smith
Paul McDonald
Neal Sinclair
Colin MacLeod
Willie Barron
Iain Brooks
Johnny Seaton
Barry Thompson
Alan Reidford
Simon Scott
Alan Stephen
David Henderson
Mark Gray
Andy Mathieson
Russell Guild
Jerry O'Driscoll
Richard Craig
Gary McGowan

Michael A Rae
Mo MacMillan
Brian Macleod
Steve Sanderson
Gary Farquhar
Richard Stainer
Chris Henderson
Gordon Farmer
Derek Craigie
Graham Green

Gary Farquhar for Steven Edwards (58)
Steve Sanderson for Willie Barron (64)
Brian Macleod for Paul McDonald (72)
Gordon Farmer for Andy Mathieson (64)
Graham Green for Gary McGowan (72)
Derek Craigie for Jerry O'Driscoll

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Match Report

Despite looking like they were beginning to turn the corner last week, County crash to their third straight home defeat with a 1-0 reverse against Huntly. This was the Black and Gold's first win at Station Park since September 1998 and one that puts them top of the Highland League. Ronnie Sharp made one change to the side that drew at Forres, demoting playmaker Gary Farquhar to the bench in favour of returning skipper Dave Macdonald, who played in a holding midfield role as opposed to his usual position of sweeper. Willie Barron retained his place in the starting XI up front as did Gareth Smith at the back. This meant it was Michael Rae in goals, Gareth Smith, Paul McDonald and Colin Macleod at the back, Neal Sinclair, Dave Macdonald, Steven Edwards and Johnny Seaton in midfield while Ian Brooks, Willie Barron and Mark Holmes played up front.

County carved open the first opportunity of the match on 12 minutes when Mark Holmes unleashed an effort from all of 35 yards and was unlucky to see it sail just over the crossbar.

Richard Craig had the visitors first chance on 18 minutes but he saw his 10 yard effort beaten around the post by Michael Rae.

From the resulting corner kick Jerry O'Driscoll rose well in the box but Rae managed to palm his header away from danger.

Then just before the half hour mark it looked like the on form Russell Guild would open the scoring when he found space at the front post from a corner but Rae managed to equal his header and parry it away.

Dave Macdonald had the next Nairn chance but he was frustrated as he watched his effort from 25 yards fly over the bar.

Then, a minute later and it was Huntly's Richard Craig attempting to score from long range but his shot from two yards outside the box went wide of Rae's right hand post.
Six minutes from the interval and again it was Craig at the heart of a Huntly attack but he could only direct his free header past the post to the relief of the home side.

Richard Craig nearly rounded off an impressive counter attacking move for the visitors five minutes after the restart but his shot from the edge of the box went over the bar.
Ronnie Sharp then introduced Gary Farquhar from the bench in place of Steven Edwards in a bid to give his side the creative spark they needed to achieve the killer pass that would split the resolute Huntly defence.

Michael Rae then did well to tip an O'Driscoll header over the bar from a corner but from the resulting flag kick he could do nothing as again it was former Dundee man O'Driscoll who rose unmarked in the box to head his side into the lead from seven yards just before the hour mark.

The visitors were then content with just keeping possession and shutting up shop and frustrating Nairn and they did this succesfully as it took County until the 70th minute to have another effort at goal.

A tame Ian Brooks header caused visiting keeper Barry Thompson little or no bother as he was placed well to gather.

With 12 minutes left for play Richard Craig had another chance for his side but his shot from 5 yards went past the post.

It looked it substitute Derek Craigie had made things safe for the visitors with four minutes remaining when he unleashed a piledriver of a shot from 30 yards that Rae amazingly palmed over the bar.

This result ensures that next weeks away trip to Wick is a must win game for County if they are to have a sucessful season as dropping points there would probably dent the faith of the supporters in their team reaching new levels.

Squad Statistics (as at September 27th, 2003)

2003-04 All Time
Michael Rae (GK) - 5 - 33 -
Gareth Smith24 3 - 37 -
Dave Macdonald - 3 - 43 -
Steven Edwards22 4 - 271
Mark Holmes28 71299
Colin MacLeod29 8 - 38 -
Neal Sinclair - 81463
Paul McDonald - 8 - 8 -
Willie Barron22 3 - 3814
Iain Brooks24 855222
Johnny Seaton - 7 - 19 -
Steve Sanderson (sub)22 613420
Gary Farquhar (sub) - 835426
Brian Macleod (sub)22 8 - 101

League Table (as at September 27th, 2003)

No league table has been added for this season.