2 - 5
2 - 5
Scott Kellacher (35)
David MacRae (81)
Colin Mitchell (6)
David Ross (14)
Brian Macleod (o.g.) (30)
Colin Macleod (o.g. (45)
David Ross (61)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Iain Brooks for Gary Farquhar (57)
Bruce McCraw for Gary Ross (18)
Neil McCuish for Alex Bone (62)
John Douglas for Lewis Ross (74)
Injury stricken Nairn County fell to their second defeat at the hands of local rivals Clach in as many weeks. The hosts were without up to nine of their 24-man resulting in youth team defender Gordon Haines being drafted in as cover on the bench. Gaffer Les Fridge made two changes to his starting XI as new signing Scott Nicholl dropped to the bench and Steven Edwards missed out due to work commitments to be replaced by Gareth Smith and the returning Scott Kellacher.
The home side had the first chance of the match when Brian Macleod flighted in a ball from the right that was met by the head of David MacRae but he sent his effort wide of the post when he really should've tested visiting keeper Ridgers with his third-minute free header.
The visitors broke the deadlock with their first attack in the sixth minute as a short backpass by Nairn's Gary Farquhar was intercepted by Clach's Colin Mitchell before the ex-Reading midfielder fired low into Calder's bottom right hand corner.
But County really should have got back on level terms two minutes later as Scott Kellacher put MacRae through on goal but the on-loan midfielder's tame shot was easily smothered by Ridgers.
The Lilywhites doubled their lead after 14 minutes when goalscorer Mitchell's throughball was well controlled by David Ross before the ex-Elgin City man slammed past the helpless Calder.
A crucial block by Clach's Duncan Jones prevented Nairn from halving the deficit as the ex-Aberdeen man got in the way of a goalbound, rasping effort from County's Willie Barron in the 20th minute.
Four minutes later and the visitors' Lewis Ross, who grabbed a late brace at Station Park 18 months ago in his Brora days, was given time and space to drive goalwards but the alert Jim Calder was on hand to block his 20-yard shot.
County then created their best chance of the half so far when MacRae and Kellacher linked up well to slice open the visiting defence before the latter was presented with a one-on-one with Ridgers only to see his shot palmed over the bar by the ex-Caley Thistle shotstopper.
But the reigning champions went three goals to the good on the half-hour mark when the home side failed to clear their lines before the ball broke to Mike Sanderson on the left edge of the box and he saw his shot deflect off of Nairn's Brian Macleod and into Calder's top right hand corner.
But County gave themselves hope five minutes later when Brian Macleod's deep cross in from the right was well controlled by Kellacher at the back post before he poked the ball beyond Ridgers and into the net.
Nairn were now looking to further claw their visitors back as Garry Ewing found Kellacher from the left before the ex-Celtic forward spun his marker on the edge of the box and unleashed a shot that flashed across goal and wide of the post in the 37th minute.
A minute later and a short corner found its way to MacRae but the on-loan midfielder shot over the crossbar from 22-yards.
Duncan Jones, who scored a 25-yard effort against Nairn in a North Cup clash last month was looking for repeat as he strode forward and fired goalwards only to send his effort just over the bar four minutes short of the break.
Then, on the stroke of half-time, Clach re-established their three-goal lead as a Sanderson corner from the left was headed past Calder by the unfortunate Colin Macleod.
David MacRae then played Kellacher through on goal but the Nairn striker took too many touches and therefore narrowed the angle for the shot allowing Ridgers an easy save.
MacRae must have been wondering what he had to do to score as he slammed a shot goalwards from 10-yards that brought out an instinctive save from his former Caley Thistle team-mate Ally Ridgers.
Ex-Albion Rovers forward Alex Bone was then put through one-on-one with Calder on the hour-mark but the County shotstopper used all of his experience to make the crucial block.
But a minute later the visitors snatched their fifth goal of the day as a Sanderson corner in from the right was nodded past Calder at the back post by David Ross as the former Ross County man grabbed his second of the day.
But Nairn did manage to pull another goal back with nine minute remaining as Kellacher chased a lost cause down the right before just stopping the ball from going out of play. He then sent over a pinpoint cross that was headed past Ridgers by MacRae as the Caley Thistle midfielder finally got his name on the scoresheet.
Errors at the back again cost Nairn dearly while at the other end they are passing up numerous chances. If these two faults can be eradicated from the team's game then games against the likes of Clach are winnable with the talent that the Nairn squad possesses but right now any sort of rub of the green is going the way of the opposition.
|Jim Calder (GK)||44||13||-||13||-|
|Iain Brooks (sub)||26||14||4||83||32|
No league table has been added for this season.