2 - 0
Garry Ross (32)
Alex Bone (65)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
McCuish for Ross (75)
McCraw for Alex Bone (83)
Scott Kellacher for Colin MacLeod (46)
Iain Brooks for Brian Macleod (55)
Gavin Chisholm for Scott Kellacher (75)
Steven Macdonald (75)
Iain Brooks (66)
Nairn County were defeated in Inverness by Clachnacuddin as Les Fridge's first League derby as manager went the way of the Lilywhites.
The County gaffer made two changes to the side that battled for a point at Keith last week as the returning Steven Edwards came in for Gareth Smith while leg break victim Steve Sanderson was replaced by Gary Farquhar.
In a match played on a park that remained covered by a light dusting of snow throughout the 90 minutes, Clach heaped the pressure on the Nairn defence from the off in a bid to repeat the three early goals they gained when the two sides met earlier in the season in a North Cup semi-final. Nairn held out though and responded when good work by Garry Ewing down the left set up a chance for Willie Barron but home shotstopper Ally Ridgers was equal to the Nairn winger's 25-yard drive.
Then in the 21st minute, County should have broken the deadlock when a neat through ball by Gary Farquhar put Barron thorugh one-on-one with Ridgers but the Nairn man pulled his low shot across goal and past the right hand post to the agony of the travelling support.
Colin Macleod then made two crucial blocks in a short space of time to keep Nairn level before the hosts made Nairn pay for their earlier glaring miss when the ball broke to Garry Ross at the edge of the box and the ex-Nairn striker picked his spot low to Jim Calder's left leaving the County custodian helpless.
The home side should have doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time when a Mike Sanderson cross left an unmarked Lewis Ross with a tap-in at the back post but somehow the ex-Brora man struck his effort off of the upright. (Half Time: 1-0).
Ross was going in search of his second of the day early in the second half when he powered a low shot goalwards from 20-yards but Calder did well to keep a hold of the ball to keep Nairn in the game.
David MacRae then tried his luck from range for the visitors but Ridgers did well to tip his shot away for a corner.
The defining moment of the game then arrived as Nairn firstly were inches away from drawing level before conceding a second at the other end only moments later. A Scott Kellacher corner from the left found MacRae unmarked 20-yards from goal and the on-loan midfielder sent a stinging drive goalwards only for it to be headed from the goal-line by Mike Sanderson. From the resulting clearance, Willie Barron collected the ball deep in his own half before playing a slack backpass to Jim Calder that was intercepted by Alex Bone. The ex-Elgin City and Ross County man then slotted home his side's second goal of the day at the second attempt.
The home side should really have been reduced to ten men when Nairn substitute Scott Kellacher was on the receiving end of a disgraceful tackle from Steven Macdonald that resulted in the Nairn forward being stretchered off, further adding to Nairn's injury woes. The Clach defender was shown a card, but it was wrongly of the yellow variety.
Calder then pulled off two solid saves in a short space of time to keep the score down before Nairn's lack of cutting edge up front, due to a lack of strikers because of injury, was perfectly demonstrated. A driving run by David MacRae saw him surge into the Clach box but, with no team-mates up in support, he was eventually snuffed out by the Clach defence seeing his good wprk go to waste.
Losing Kellacher to injury is a blow for County as the on-form striker would have been a handy player to have available for the up and coming derbies with Clach at Station Park and then Forres away. With Steve Sanderson set to be on the injury list until Christmas, gaffer Les Fridge will be hoping his top-scorer isnt out for too long but on the positive side of things, Nairn have proved so far this season that they are capable of getting goals from all over the park and this may have to be the case in the next few weeks.
|Jim Calder (GK)||44||12||-||12||-|
|Gavin Chisholm (sub)||19||2||-||2||-|
|Scott Kellacher (sub)||23||15||13||79||45|
|Iain Brooks (sub)||26||13||4||82||32|
No league table has been added for this season.