1 - 4
1 - 4
North of Scotland Cup (Mini League)
Gary Farquhar (pen.)
Charlie Christie (49)
Craig Macmillan (57)
Darren Thomson (84)
Michael A Rae
Iain Brooks for Garry Ewing (46)
Neal Sinclair for Wayne Mackintosh (46)
Gregg Main for Robbie Duncanson (73)
Donald Begg for Chris Finnigan (78)
Arron Christie for Charlie Christie (80)
Nairn's North Cup hopes come to an end as they are defeated by Caley Thistle at Station Park. It is now not possible for County to qualify from this group and they will turn their attentions back to the League for Saturday's trip to Keith before travelling to Rothes the week after for a League Cup match that they should be confident of coming out victorious in. Martin Bell again took the opportunity to check out some of the Club's fringe players and youngsters, with whom he has worked with at Under 18 level, in this competition.
In came youth players Marc Macdonald, who came off the bench for half an hour on Saturday, to make his first start for the first team and debutant Wayne Mackintosh. David Macdonald also made his long awaited return from injury at the back in favour of Steven Edwards while Robbie Duncanson was given a run out up front as Steve Sanderson dropped to the bench. Also dropping out from Saturday's starting XI were Neal SInclair and Willie Barron whilie Ian Brooks found himself a place on the bench along with another youth player, Gregg Main.
County almost got off to a dream start when Garry Ewing floated a free kick goalwards from the left that the visiting keeper misjudged and bounced off of the crossbar before going out of play.
This was a wake up call for Caley though as they immediately went up the other end and broke the deadlock. A cross from Macrae was perfect for Chris Finnigan to swoop down and diving header into the net.
Charlie Christie then tried his luck from the edge of the box but his shot was well held by County shotstopper Michael Rae.
Nairn then got back on level terms with their second penalty in this competition. Brian Macleod played a great pass into the stride of Marc Macdonald who sprung the visitors offside trap before showing the Caley defence a clean pair of heels and being bundled over illegally by keeper Michael Fraser. The referee pointed to the spot before giving Fraser his marching orders. Upstepped Gary Farquhar who slotted home past the substitute keeper.
Caley then got their noses in front again four minutes after the restart. Charlie Christie, who has ironically been strongly linked with the vacant Nairn management post recently, turned well on the edge of the box after the hosts failed to clear their lines before firing home past Michael Rae.
The visitors put daylight between the two sides by adding a third three minutes short of the hour mark. Craig Macmillan was sent through on goal by a Richie Hart through ball and he kept his composure to calmly side-foot past Rae.
Nairn then had a great chance to haul themselves back into the reckoning. Scott Kellacher was released through on goal courtesy of a well weighted Gary Farquhar pass before clipping the ball goalwards only to see the visiting keeper get the faintest of touches diverting it onto the crossbar.
Caley rounded off the scoring with six minutes left for play. A corner from the left was poorly cleared by Nairn as it dropped perfectly for Darren Thomson to slam home into Rae's bottom right hand corner from 18 yards.
Nairn's main priority now must be the League Cup in which they face Rothes away in ten days time but before that they travel to Keith's Kynoch Park, a venue where they won last season.
|Michael Rae (GK)||-||22||-||50||-|
|Gregg Main (sub)||17||1||-||1||-|
|Neal Sinclair (sub)||-||25||1||63||3|
|Iain Brooks (sub)||25||19||6||63||23|
No league table has been added for this season.