1 - 3
|Alex Bone (36)||
Martin MacDonald (6)
Duncan Jones (60)
Steve Sanderson (77)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Bruce McCraw for Gary Ross (64)
Lewis Ross for Andrew Neill (72)
Kenny Lyall for Alex Bone (78)
Steve Sanderson for Johnny Seaton (67)
Scott Kellacher for Martin MacDonald (88)
Neal Sinclair for Tony Low (89)
Gary Ross (4)
Colin Mitchell (12)
Alex Bone (60)
John MacAskill (31)
Martin Sanderson (41)
David MacRae (62)
Johnny Seaton (65)
|Steven Macdonald (60)||None.|
A brilliant performance from Les Fridge's Nairn County side ensured that the gaffer recorded his first win over Clach as Nairn manager and gained a dramatic first win of the season in the process.
There was one change to the County starting line up as Willie Barron missed out due to work commitments and was replaced by John MacAskill, who returned after a holiday.
Nairn were quickest out of the blocks and broke the deadlock after six minutes of play as Iain Brooks drove into the box only to be felled by Clach left-back Andrew Lewis. The referee waved play on though and Andrew Allan whipped the loose ball into the box for Tony Low to head goalwards at the back post. His effort struck the woodwork and trickled along the goal-line hitting the other post before Martin MacDonald bundled it over the line for his third goal of the season.
County were then denied a penalty on two occasions as firstly the ball appeared to strike a Clach defender on the arm in the box and then Tony Low was taken down when sprinting in on goal.
Clach's first chance of the game came after 14 minutes as David Ross flicked the ball on at the near post from a throw-in on the left for Neil MacCuish to head goalwards but his effort flashed over the crossbar.
County had Jim Calder to thank for keeping them in front six minutes later as the veteran custodian made a great diving save to keep out a curling, 25-yard shot from Colin Mitchell.
Duncan Jones then intelligently picked out David MacRae with a corner from the left and the ex-Inverness CT's midfielder's header flashed just past the near post.
Clach shotstopper Ally Ridgers kept the deficit at one as he denied Johnny Seaton in 28 minutes. A head flick from Martin MacDonald sliced the home defence wide open as Nairn forward Seaton raced in on goal but the Clach keeper dived brilliantly to his right to palm the ball away.
The hosts drew themselves level nine minutes before the break as Alex Bone controlled a free-kick into the box from the right before hammering home a 15-yard shot past the diving Calder.
The home side again went close on the stroke of half-time as Mitchell teed up Ross but his powerful drive went just over Calder's crossbar.
Five minutes after the break, Ridgers again came to his side's rescue as the former Inverness CT shotstopper threw himself to his left to claw away a top-corner bound, 25-yard shot from Andrew Allan.
Tony Low then made a scintillating run down the left before delivering an inviting ball to the back post for Johnny Seaton but he headed his effort into the deck and saw it bounce up and over the crossbar to the dismay of the large travelling support.
Nairn re-established their lead on the hour mark. Seaton raced through on goal as the home defence's frailties were again exposed but his run was brought to an abrupt halt by last man defender Steven Macdonald. The former Elgin City centre-half was promptly shown the red card and Duncan Jones rubbed salt into the Clach wounds as he stepped up to lash the resulting free-kick from the edge of the box into the bottom right hand corner sending the Nairn fans into raptures.
The momentum was with County at this stage and five minutes later Tony Low curled a 15-yard shot just past the post as he went in search of a third Nairn goal.
Low was again at the heart of things for Nairn as he made another brilliant run down the only to see his ferocious shot clawed away by Ridgers. When the ball was crossed back into the box, Low was on hand to meet it on the volley but was denied by another diving save by Ridgers and must have been wondering what he had to do to score.
The third goal duly arrived for Nairn though 13 minutes from time. David MacRae drove through the heart of the Clach defence and slipped the ball into the stride of substitute Steve Sanderson who beat Ridgers at his near post with a low, left-footed drive before embracing the away support.
Low was the width of the post away from getting his elusive goal. He left Andrew Neill for dead down the left with yet another display of wing wizardry and hammered in a low shot that came off the near post as Clach were again let off the hook.
The home side went close to gaining a second goal as a Ross cross from the right was headed goalwards by sub Kenny Lyall but Calder blocked the youngsters effort with his legs.
A tremendous victory for Nairn with the side now set up nicely for next Saturday's League fixture with Brora followed by the huge Qualifying Cup clash with Buckie, both at Station Park. A great way for the side to gain their first three points of the season and a signal of how far the club has progressed under the stewardship of Les Fridge.
|Jim Calder (GK)||45||3||-||32||-|
|Steve Sanderson (sub)||24||2||1||63||25|
|Neal Sinclair (sub)||-||3||-||87||5|
|Scott Kellacher (sub)||24||1||-||94||49|
No league table has been added for this season.