1 - 2
1 - 2
Scott Kellacher (78)
Keith Robertson (57)
Nicky Gordon (69)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Lewis Mackinnon for Gary Farquhar (62)
Gavin Chisholm for Lewis Mackinnon (84)
Nicky Gordon for Richie Livingstone (68)
Chris Steel for Keith Robertson (84)
Nairn County's four match unbeaten streak came to an end as they were narrowly edged out by Cove Rangers at Station Park by two goals to one.
Johnny Seaton and Steven Edwards' sending offs at Buckie last week forced manager Les Fridge into changes in personnel as Scott Nicholl returned to the starting line-up and trialist Andrew Allan was handed his first start for the club as he awaits clearance before becoming a signed player.
The visitors created the first chance of the match after 13 minutes after a dull opening period as Martin Johnston's flick on was controlled by Keith Robertson, who'd evaded Nairn's Andrew Allan, before his low shot was well held by Jim Calder.
On the quarter-hour mark Cove were again on the attack as John Brown drove down the right wing before seeing his low cross cause confusion in the Nairn defence before Colin Macleod cleared the ball out for a corner.
Nairn saw their first chance come in the 18th minute of play as Willie Barron's diving header from an Iain Brooks cross was blocked by a well placed Cove defender before Brian Macleod's follow up effort was parried by visiting goalkeeper Ian Thain.
County were again on the attack after 29 minutes as John MacAskill took a quick throw in and saw it intelligently flicked by Gary Farquhar to Iain Brooks. The County forward then bore down on goal before firing in a shot from 15-yards that sailed over the crossbar.
Two minutes after the half-hour Gary Farquhar fired in a low shot from the edge of the box that was blocked by Thain, only for a goalmouth scramble to ensue before the visiting custodian was eventually able to gather the loose ball.
Keith Robertson was then put thorugh on goal for Cove but his angled drive from the left was palmed away by Calder nine minutes before the interval.
Three minutes after the break, Nairn somehow managed to keep things level as Martin Johnston met a Clark cross from the right with a powerful headed that was blocked by Calder only for the Cove forward to hammer his follow up effort right at the grounded Nairn keeper and see it diverted over the crossbar.
Willie Barron then went closest for Nairn in the 50th minute as he unleashed a powerful low drive from 20-yards only for it to strike to foot of Thain's left hand post and roll out for a corner.
Scott Nicholl then tried his luck from range for the home side when he struck a loose ball first time from 25-yards only to see his shot sail a couple of feet past Thain's right hand post.
It was the visitors though that got their noses in front after 57 minutes as Gary Clark drove forward evading the challenges of Nairn's Kellacher and Allan before being thwarted by Calder. It appeared as if the ball had crossed the line for a corner but Clark retrieved it and squared the ball across the face of goal for Keith Robertson to tap home the opener as the Nairn defence remained static.
Cove then made it two in the 69th minute as a Brown cross in from the left was met by a left-footed volley from substitute Nicky Gordon as he beat Calder with his first touch of the ball.
Nairn's Scott Nicholl again tried his luck from range in the 73rd minute as the home side attempted to get back in the game but the full-back was again off target as he attempted to break his duck for the club.
Les Fridge then pushed sweeper Scott Kellacher into attack as Nairn attempted to salvage something from the match an this almost paid immediate dividends as Nairn's top scorer got on the end of a great long ball forward from Brian Macleod only to fire his shot from 18-yards straight into the welcoming arms of Thain.
But the home side did manage to half the deficit with 12 minutes to go as Kellacher curled a low shot from the right edge of the penalty area past Thain and into the net via the inside of the Cove keeper's right hand upright.
County did conjour up one last chance but Iain Brooks' header from a Brian Macleod cross in from the left was easily gathered by Thain.
A setback for County after recent results had raised hopes and Les Fridge's side now have the frustration of having a free week next week. After that comes an important match at Lossiemouth and a victory there would increase the side's chances of achieving the top half finish in the Legaue table that their play deserves.
|Jim Calder (GK)||44||18||-||18||-|
|Gavin Chisholm (sub)||19||4||-||4||-|
|Lewis Mackinnon (sub)||19||10||1||10||1|
No league table has been added for this season.