2 - 5
2 - 5
David MacRae (pen.) (20)
Duncan Jones (74)
Mark Chisholm (5)
Mark Smith (24)
Mark Chisholm (36)
Kenny Gilbert (47)
Ian Murray (55)
Johnny Seaton for Martin MacDonald (33)
Jim Calder for John Campbell (46)
Steven Edwards (36)
Steven Edwards (36)
Steven Edwards (36)
Martin Sanderson (39)
Paul Cheyne (Referee)
Nairn County made the worst possible prepartation for Tuesday evening's massive North Cup semi-final at Wick as they were defeated by Deveronvale at Station Park.
The home side had both Steven Edwards and Martin Sanderson dismissed in the first half as well as losing Martin MacDonald and John Campbell to injury and all four are now likely to miss the trip North.
Gaffer Les Fridge made two changes to the side that was defeated by a single goal at Buckie last week as Duncan Jones and Willie Barron came in for the demoted John Mackay and Steven Sanderson. Tony Low also returned but could only make the bench.
The visitors made the far brighter start to the match as they went close to opening the scoring after only three minutes. Mark Smith played a great through ball into the stride of Mark Chisholm but Scott Kellacher managed to get across and deflect the Vale midfielder's effort wide for a corner.
This delayed the opening goal only two minutes though as Chisholm wasn't to be denied. County failed to clear their lines and Michael Mackenzie delivered a deep cross from the left that the Vale number four headed into the net at the back post.
Nairn were handed a lifeline in the 20th minute as they were awarded a penalty. Willie Barron was scythed down in the penalty area for a blatant foul and David MacRae stepped up to ram home the resulting spot-kick.
Parity only lasted four minutes though as the visitors re-established their advantage after 24 minutes. Mark Smith was unmarked in the box to volley home an Ian Murray cross from the right to put the Banff side back in front.
John Campbell in the Nairn goal had to be alert to prevent Murray from furthering the visitors' lead but the ex-Fort William man excelled as he raced from his line to make the block.
The home side were dealt a blow in the 33rd minute as Martin MacDonald had to come off and was replaced by Johnny Seaton.
Campbell made another fine save to prevent Deveronvale from furthering their lead in the 34th minute as he tipped a powerful hit by Mackenzie over the crossbar.
But the visitors further their lead in controversial circumstances two minutes later.
Mark Chisholm controlled a high ball into the box in an offside position and proceded to drill it home into the corner of the net. The referee indicated that Scott Kellacher, who was off the pitch at the side of the goals, had played Chisholm onside and therefore the goal would stand. This didn't stop Steven Edwards from carrying on the discussion with the man in the middle and he was promptly ordered off for foul and abusive language.
Things went from bad to worse for the home side as they were reduced to nine men in the 39th minute. Martin Sanderson brought down Ian Murray some 30-yards from goal and was ordered off for a last man challenge by referee Paul Cheyne who ignored the fact that both Scott Kellacher and John MacAskill were goalside of the Vale striker.
County came out with a whole range of mountains to climb in the second half and made some tactical re-adjustments to suit the nine men left on the park as well as a substitute, with injured keeper John Campbell being replaced by Jim Calder.
The hosts got off to the worst possible start to the half as the Vale made it four only two minutes after the restart. Kenny Gilbert's left-footed shot from 22-yards took a wicked deflection wrong-footing Calder in what basically summed up Nairn's afternoon.
It was five only eight minutes later as Ian Murray was left unmarked in the box to control a cross in from the right and slam the ball past Calder as County's floodgates threatened to open.
It could have been worse for the home team in the 57th minute as Mark Chisholm was denied a hat-trick after thundering a 15-yard effort goalwards that crashed off of the underside of the crossbar.
The nine men of Nairn battled manfully and looked a decent threat on the odd occasion they ventured forward and managed to tighten things up at the back.
The Vale went close to adding a sixth in the 71st minute though as Robert Brown's curling shot from 20-yards was well gathered by a diving save from Jim Calder.
The home side salvaged some pride three minutes later as they pulled a goal back. David MacRae sent Duncan Jones racing through on goal and the ex-Aberdeen and Montrose man made no mistake as he hammered home a left-footed shot from 15-yards that flew past Deveronvale keeper Jamie Blanchard at his near post.
A decent enough display with nine men from Nairn but they will now be without several players for Tuesday night's big game at Wick. Poor discipline has again let the team down and ruined any chance the side had of taking anything from the game in addition to some poor refereeing decisions. Les Fridge will now have to lift his troops to produce a big performance for the match on Tuesday.
|John Campbell (GK)||25||7||-||7||-|
|Jim Calder (sub) (GK)||45||7||-||36||-|
|Johnny Seaton (sub)||-||10||-||74||4|
No league table has been added for this season.