1 - 4
|Mark Kennedy (42)||
Steve Sanderson (1)
Iain Brooks (50)
Iain Brooks (51)
Neal Sinclair (80)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
|Alan Hercher for Muir Morton (73)||
Gary Farquhar for Steve Sanderson (52)
Neal Sinclair for Johnny Seaton (72)
Steven Edwards for Iain Brooks (82)
County move up the eighth place in the Highland League table courtesy of a 4-1 victory over a Brora Rangers side featuring several former Station Park favourites but not ex-Nairn striker Robbie Duncanson, ruled out thanks to an agreement struck between the two clubs when the deal to take him to Dudgeon Park was concluded in August.
Manager Les Fridge kept faith with the same starting XI that gained victory over Lossiemouth last week at Station Park which mean't that the ex-Brora contingent of Peter Lynch, Gavin Chisholm, Mark Smith and Gary Farquhar missed out on starting berths. Steven Edwards returned after being unavailable for the past couple of weeks to take the unavailable Lynch's place on the bench.
The visitors, backed by a healthy travelling support that had made the 60-odd mile journey from Nairn, opened the scoring in almost exactly the same circumstances as they did last week in the first minute. A corner from the left was cleared but only as far as Scott Kellacher and he crashed a shot goalwards from 20-yards that smashed off of the underside of the crossbar before being headed over the line by the well-placed Steve Sanderson.
Brora looked for a response to get back in the game in order to earn their first points of the season and almost got level in the eighth minute when Gordon Connelly dragged a shot across goal and just past the post from the left of the box.
But Nairn kept piling on the pressure and should have made it two after 16 minutes. Gary Ewing's cross from the left was headed back across goal by Johnny Seaton at the back post for Steve Sanderson but he saw his shot blocked on the goal-line by ex-Nairn skipper David Macdonald.
A former County player was again the hero for the hosts when Michael Rae did well to tip a Willie Barron shot from 15-yards round the post after the Nairn wideman had shown his pace to get himself into a goal-scoring position.
County failed to take the chances that they were creating throughout the half and were punished for this three minutes short of the break when Mark Kennedy controlled the ball before turning and lashing a shot from 20-yards into Jim Calder's top left hand corner.
Nairn re-established their lead and effectively killed the match off as a contest with two quickfire goals. Five minutes into the second half, Iain Brooks collected the ball at the halfway line and drove down the left before cutting in and powering a low shot into Rae's bottom right hand corner leaving the ex-Nairn shotstopper helpless.
Barely 60 seconds later Brooks had another goal to his name as he collected a short throw-in before finding the space to fire home a well-struck low shot from the edge of the area again to the keeper's bottom right.
The Cattachs did have their chances to haul themselves back into proceedings and came close on the hour mark but Gareth Smith was alert enough to slide in and deny Connelly an almost certain goal at the front post.
Four minutes later and goalscorer Kennedy did well to get turned and fire in a shot from 15-yards that flashed into Calder's side netting.
Then, on 69 minutes, the home side carved open another chance when David Macdonald found the space to get a shot away from 15-yards at a corner and only Gary Farquhar on the post prevented the inevitable from happening as he headed away the centre-half's effort.
Justin Rogers had the next chance for the hosts when he tugged a low shot from the right across goal and wide of Calder's right-hand upright.
Calder then had to be at his best to preserve County's two-goal advantage when a free kick from the right was powerfully headed goalwards by Martin Macdonald but the County shotstopper not only made the save but held onto the ball to deny those following in the effort looking for the scraps.
Nairn added a fourth to put the gloss on the victory with 10 minutes left on the clock after a well-worked move was rounded off by Neal Sinclair. Willie Barron surged down the right wing before cutting the ball back to David MacRae at the edge of the box. The on-loan midfielder had the vision to pick out Sinclair at the back post with a pin-point delivery that the Nairn substitute headed into the net from a couple of yards.
Nairn now look to make it three League wins in a row as they play host to Rothes, another side without a point, at Station Park before looking towards the big North of Scotland Cup semi-final clash with rivals Clach at Grant Street Park the following Tuesday night.
|Jim Calder (GK)||44||5||-||5||-|
|Steven Edwards (sub)||23||3||-||44||2|
|Gary Farquhar (sub)||-||8||-||81||30|
|Neal Sinclair (sub)||-||5||1||72||4|
No league table has been added for this season.