1 - 0
|Gary Manson (71)||None.|
John Beaton & Brian Wright
David Cowie for Kevin Swanson (46)
Gordon Robertson for Gary Weir (69)
Wayne Mackintosh for Lewis Mackinnon (75)
Marc MacDonald for Scott Nicholl (75)
Gordon Haines for Neal Sinclair (89)
Nairn County's season ended in defeat on Saturday as Les Fridge's side were edged out by a single goal by Wick Academy, the team who had been comprehensively beaten at Station Park in August in Les Fridge's first win at the helm of the club.
The gaffer made two enforced changes to last week's team as Andrew Allan missed out through suspension while Jason Robertson was unavailable. Their berths in the team were taken by the returning Neal Sinclair and Scott Kellacher.
County really should have gone in front after only two minutes of play when Iain Brooks timed his run well to latch on to a long ball out of defence by Scott Kellacher. The County hitman drove towards goal but lost his composure at the last moment as he squandered a brilliant chance to add to his seven goals this season by blasting his shot over the crossbar.
Nairn then survived a scare in the 28th minute as Gary Weir's cross from the left was met on the volley by the unmarked Nigel Mackenzie but he sliced his effort sending it well wide of Jim Calder's goal.
David MacRae then tried his luck for the visitors after 37 minutes with a 25-yard effort that dipped just over the crossbar of home goalkeeper Don MacMillan.
Two minutes later, the visitors had a strong shout for a penalty waved away as MacRae appeared to be shoved in the back when attempting to control a Scott Nicholl cross from the right but the referee dismissed the Nairn appeals. (Half Time: 0-0).
The home side upped the tempo after the restart and went close to breaking the deadlock when Gary Manson teed up Graeme Reid but his 20-yard shot flew over the crossbar in the 52nd minute.
Andrew Macleod then beat the outrushing Calder to a through ball five minutes later and lifted it over the head of the Nairn goalkeeper but also over the top of the crossbar as well as the ball landed on the roof of the net to the relief of the visitors.
The crucial goal then arrived in the 71st minute. Nigel Mackenzie found space on the right to send over a pinpoint cross that Manson sent into the top right hand corner with a looping header leaving Calder flat footed.
County were now looking to haul themselves back into the proceedings and came close after 79 minutes as Scott Kellacher's free-kick in from the right was met by a back post header from Iain Brooks but he could only send his effort crashing into the side netting.
A minute later Nairn were only a matter of an outstretched hand away from drawing level. MacRae teed up Gary Farquhar 20-yards from goal and the ex-Wick midfielder unleashed a thunderous first time effort that seemed destined for the top corner but MacMillan was equal to the shot as he scrambled across his goal line to claw the ball to safety.
County were again left to rue their luck in front of goal six minutes from time as MacRae threw himself at a low ball in from the left by Brooks to get their ahead of Don MacMillan but he could only watch as the ball trickled agonisingly past the wrong side of the post.
Ultimately a disappointing end to the season for Nairn in what was a turgid end of season encounter at Harmsworth Park. The manager will now be on the look out for the fresh faces he feels will be appropriate to add to his squad in order to mount a more serious challenge next season.
|Jim Calder (GK)||44||29||-||29||-|
|Gordon Haines (sub)||17||2||-||3||-|
|Wayne Mackintosh (sub)||17||4||-||7||-|
|Marc MacDonald (sub)||18||2||-||5||-|
No league table has been added for this season.