2 - 0
2 - 0
Iain Brooks (37)
David MacRae (85)
Steve Sanderson for John Mackay (78)
Wayne Mackintosh for Iain Brooks (83)
Jason Robertson for Martin MacDonald (88)
Barrie Stephen for Alan Fraser (60)
Sean McKinstry for Stuart Walker (78)
John MacAskill (68)
Brian Macleod (73)
A goal in each half was enough for County to secure victory in this League fixture with Keith at Station Park to move the side into the top six in the League table.
There were two changes made to the starting line up from Monday night's match as Steven Sanderson and goal hero Duncan Jones dropped down to the substitutes bench to make way for the returning John MacAskill and John Mackay.
The match got off to a slow start and the first goalscoring chance took 20 minutes to arrive and it fell the way of the visitors. A corner from the left was headed back across goal by Derek Nicol to Dean Donaldson but he saw his header excellently clawed away to safety by Nairn goalkeeper John Campbell.
After starting the match in the centre of defence, a role in which he excelled a week ago at Huntly, Martin MacDonald was pushed back into his more familiar striker position by Les Fridge and this move almost paid instant dividends as he nearly broke the deadlock with his first touch in attack. David MacRae chipped the ball into the box in the 28th minute and the former Brora Rangers striker connected with a glancing header that was well read by visiting keeper Andrew Shearer as he made the save.
Willie Barron was next to try his luck for the home side a minute later as County took control of the game but his 20-yard shot was well held by Shearer.
MacDonald again went close for Nairn in the 31st minute. His physical prescence was causing the Keith defence all sorts of problems and it was him who connected with a Barron corner from the left only to see his header cleared from goal-line by Derek Nicol.
County opened the scoring in the 37th minute and again the danger came from a corner on the left. Barron's delivery was fired goalwards by Steven Edwards but his shot was deflected up into the air. MacDonald then headed the ball to Iain Brooks who controlled into on his chest before volleying home on the turn from close range.
Campbell again kept the visitors at bay five minutes before the break as he raced from his line to thwart Donaldson after the Keith forward had broke away from the Nairn defence.
Nairn had the last chance of the half when a 25-yard MacRae drive deflected off of Derek Nicol taking the sting out of the shot and making the save a relatively comfortable one for Shearer.
Nairn made the brighter start to the second half and went close to doubling their advantage four minutes after the restart. Scott Kellacher launched a pinpoint free-kick onto the head of Iain Brooks but Shearer did well to anticipate his flick and make the save.
County again went close after 65 minutes as Martin MacDonald timed his run to perfection to control a Brian Macleod cross from the left and fire in a low drive that Shearer tipped onto his left hand post to the relief of the visitors.
Four minutes later, Shearer again foiled MacDonald after the Nairn forward was sent racing through on goal from the halfway line but saw his thundering, left-footed drive from 15-yards tipped over the bar by the former Ross County goalkeeper.
Keith almost made County pay for these missed chances in the 74th minute. A botched free-kick routine broke to Graham Lonie some 20-yards from goal and his low shot rattled Campbell's left hand post on its way past.
But Nairn weren't to be denied and they wrapped up the points with a wonderful goal five minutes from time. Substitute Wayne Mackintosh cut inside Derek Nicol on the right and squared the ball to David MacRae. The former Inverness CT midfielder took one touch to compose himself before curling home a delightful shot from 20-yards to the joy of the home support.
County almost rubbed salt into the Keith wounds at the death. Mackintosh played the ball to fellow substitute and youth team player Jason Robertson on the right and continue his run into the box. Robertson delivered an accurate cross to the front post but Mackintosh's effort was palmed away by Shearer.
A well deserved win for Nairn in the end and another clean sheet to boot which will be pleasing for manager Les Fridge. The team will now travel in confidence for next week's match at Buckie Thistle where they will be out for revenge after suffering an agonising Qualifying Cup defeat at the hands of the Jags last month.
|John Campbell (GK)||25||5||-||5||-|
|Steve Sanderson (sub)||24||9||2||70||26|
|Wayne Mackintosh (sub)||17||1||-||8||-|
|Jason Robertson (sub)||18||2||-||6||-|
No league table has been added for this season.