1 - 1
Michael Grant (o.g.)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Michael A Rae
Johnny Seaton for Steve Sanderson (57)
Mark Holmes for Willie Barron (69)
Paul McDonald for Gareth Smith (72)
Nairn collect their first point since the turn of the year but really should have had three if they put in the performance the fans know the players are capable of. Only a string of fine stops from stand-in skipper Michael rae prevent the hosts from collecting the three points. Martin Bell re-called Gary Farquhar to the starting line-up for the injured Ian Brooks while Steve Sanderson was handed a rare start as youngster Robbie Duncanson dropped down to the bench. Paul McDonald made way at the back for the returning Steven Edwards in what was the final of Bell's three changes from the side that lost through in Fraserburgh a fortnight ago.
County came out determined to turn things around in order to have a fruitful final part of the season and were immediately on the attack as Willie Baron charged down a pass back showing the attitude that all at the Club want to see from the players.
The opening forty-five minutes continued with both sides launching long high ball's over the opposition defence but to no avail.
It was the visitors who broke the deadlock with the first clear-cut chance of the match. Steven Edwards sent a high free kick towards the box but it was blocked and fell to Gareth Smith. He had more success with the long ball he played into the box as it landed at the feet of Scott Kellacher. But the wee striker mis-controlled the ball and as Rothes keeper Darren Strong advanced from his goal to collect the loose ball, it cannoned off of Rothes defender Michael Grant, wrong-footing ex-Elgin shotstopper Strong before trickling over the line. Kellacher then wheeled away in celebration in a cheeky attempt to claim what was a clear own-goal.
The joy of the visiting supporters was short-lived though as the Speysiders struck back immediately. A low and powerful cross from the right was fired in via the crossbar by the Rothes forward at the back post.
Poor County marking allowed the Rothes forward a free header from a corner, eleven minutes before the interval but Michael Rae did well claw the ball from the goal-line at his bottom left.
Rothes then seemed to pass their way through the Nairn team, five minutes before the interval, but were denied again by Rae in the Nairn goal as he palmed Ord's shot from a tight angle past the post to prevent a well worked goal.
Willie Barron made some probing runs down the right for Nairn in the early minutes of the second half and it was from one of these runs that his side early grabbed their second goal of the game. Six minutes after half time, Scott Kellacher played a pass into the stride of Barron who then beat two men before returning the ball to the striker. Kellacher then attempted the curl the bar over the keeper from 15 yards but unfortunately his effort cannoned off of the cross bar and landed out of play.
Martin Bell then made a spate of substitutions in a bid to freshen his side up after they seemed to lose their momentum after dominating the early periods of the second half.
Sixteen minutes from time and the hosts nearly edged in front for the first time in the match as Paul McDonald was caught napping as his man got in behind him but his shot from the right went high, across goal and wide.
It was now looking-likely that whomever scored next would come away with the three points resulting in both sides pushing forward and it should've been Nairn who grabbed the elusive third goal of the match. Mark Holmes was sent through one-on-one with the keeper by a defence splitting pass from Gary Farquhar but his low shot lacked any apparent power and accuracy as it was straight into the hands of Darren Strong.
Rothes had a chance to snatch a victory at the death when they were awarded an indirect free kick, 10 yards from goal in one of many referring decisions of the day that baffled the Nairn faithful but fortunately County mnaged to clear their lines to preserve a point.
Rothes will be disappointed not to come away with all three points after the chances they created but Nairn will also be disappointed not to win at a team that sit lower than then in the League but hopefully we will see the side play to their capabilities in the up and coming cup matches, one of which, the Highland League Cup, of course is back at Rothes in three weeks time.
|Michael Rae (GK)||-||20||-||48||-|
|Mark Holmes (sub)||28||16||2||38||10|
|Paul McDonald (sub)||-||14||-||14||-|
|Johnny Seaton (sub)||-||20||-||32||-|
No league table has been added for this season.