1 - 2
1 - 2
David MacRae (31)
Craig MacMillan (65)
Steven Mackay (72)
Marco de Barros
Neal Sinclair for Duncan Jones (89)
Dave McGinlay for Lewis MacKinnon (46)
Charlie Brown for Dave McKinley (57)
Gary Black for Charlie Rowley (75)
|None.||Lewis MacKinnon (35)|
Another valiant performance from Les Fridge's side, who led at the interval, was not enough to herald the first win of the season as Forres came back and edged a derby thriller by two goals to one.
The gaffer made one change to the starting XI from last week as Willie Barron replaced the injured Steven Edwards. There was only a place on the bench for the returning Scott Kellacher.
The visitors were flying from the off as they won a succession of corners and when Nairn eventually cleared their lines, Forres won a free-kick on the edge of the box. Conor Gethins, Forres' newly signed striker and one time Nairn target, stepped up to curl the ball over the County wall only to see Jim Calder dive to his right and make the save.
Gethins' strike partner Craig MacMillan was next to come close as he met a Mike Sanderson cross from the left with a tame header that Calder easily held.
Nairn shocked their top of the table opponents as they broke the deadlock in the 31st minute with their first meaningful attacking play. Willie Barron combined with Tony Low to beat Charlie Rowley down the left and whip in a cross that David MacRae controlled on his chest before smashing a volley beyond visiting keeper Ally Mackenzie and into the net.
County then took control of the match and went close to doubling their lead five minutes later. Duncan Jones launched a free-kick into the box from the half-way line that Iain Brooks headed across goal to Martin MacDonald at the back post but last week's two-goal hero's effort was palmed away by Mackenzie.
A minute later, Forres almost countered as Steven Mackay's free-kick from the left was met by the head of Sanderson but Calder did well to hold his effort.
Andrew Allan then surged down the right for Nairn in the 38th minute and MacDonald was again on hand to meet his deep cross to the back post only to be denied by Mackenzie for the second time running.
Nairn should have doubled their lead in the 39th minute as Brian Macleod put MacDonald through on goal and the former Brora man beat the outrushing Mackenzie to the ball but could only divert into onto the outside of the left hand post to the agony of the hosts.
Calder then justified his selection for County as he used all of his experience to get down and save a Scott Matheson shot after the former Rangers youth had been put through on goal by Gethins.
County had the last chance of the half as Johnny Seaton's cross from the right was just too high for Low at the back post to make a proper connection with as the Nairn winger's header went over the bar.
Forres responded to Steve Paterson's half-time team talk as they went close to levelling things four minutes after the restart when Hamish Munro fired a low drive from 25-yards across goal and just past Calder's right hand post.
Sanderson then whipped in a cross from the left that was met by a header from the smallest man on the park in Gethins but Calder had little trouble holding the ex-Ross County striker's effort.
Substitute Charlie Brown went close for Forres in 64 minutes as he saw his 20-yard effort held by Calder but the equaliser wasn't far off and it duly arrived a minute later. Rowley launched a free-kick into the box from just inside the Nairn half that Craig MacMillan controlled and hammered home on the half volley to restore parity.
County went eagerly in search of another goal to restore their lead as Low galloped down the left and saw his cut back dummied by Macdonald for the awaiting Brian Macleod but the Nairn full-back's shot crashed into the outside of the side netting after 67 minutes.
A minute later, A low cross from Low picked out Barron but the County forward found the same side netting as Macleod with his shot.
The hosts were left to rue these missed chances as Forres went in front for the first time in the match in the 72nd minute. After Low was harshly judged to have handled the ball some 30-yards from his own goal, Steven Mackay stepped up to curl a left-footed free-kick over the home wall and into Calder's top right hand corner.
But the home side had a golden opportunity to get back level in the 84th minute when Gary Black scythed down Tony Low in the box. David MacRae stepped up to take the spot kick but Mackenzie dived to his right to push the midfielder's strike away to the despair of the home support.
Nairn threw bodies forward at the death in a bid to snatch a draw and when Barron picked out the unmarked MacDonald with a cross from the right, it looked as if they'd done it but somehow Mackenzie parried the ball around the post for a corner. From the resulting flag kick, Andrew Allan saw his headed effort cleared from the goal-line by Sanderson as Forres held on for all three points.
A bitter pill to swallow for the hosts who created numerous opportunities but ultimately failed to do enough to win the game. Another positive performance though from Les Fridge's side who will fancy their chances at Clach next week in another local derby.
|Jim Calder (GK)||45||2||-||31||-|
|Neal Sinclair (sub)||-||2||-||86||5|
No league table has been added for this season.