5 - 1
5 - 1
David MacRae (3)
Steve Sanderson (54)
Scott Kellacher (64)
Iain Brooks (70)
David MacRae (79)
|Chris Henderson (43)|
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Steve Sanderson for Martin MacDonald (26)
Duncan Jones for Johnny Seaton (57)
Wayne Mackintosh for Scott Kellacher (79)
Mark Adam for Chris Grant (52)
Jamie Miller for Kevin Collins (77)
A four-goal second half blitz by Nairn County over Rothes teed Les Fridge's troops up nicely for next weekend's massive North of Scotland Cup final clash with Forres Mechanics at Grant Street Park.
The gaffer made two changes to Tuesday's triumphant team as Brian Macleod missed out through injury while Steven Sanderson dropped down to the bench. Their places in the starting line-up were taken by Scott Nicholl and Martin MacDonald.
The home side made the perfect start to proceedings as they broke the deadlock after only three minutes. Willie Barron surged down the right and hit the by-line before cutting the ball back to the unmarked David MacRae. The former Inverness CT midfielder made no hesitation in lashing home a first time, right-footed effort from 15-yards for his sixth goal of the season.
County continued to dominate the match and almost made it two in the 22nd minute. Scott Kellacher sent a high free-kick into the box from the centre circle that Martin MacDonald headed goalwards only to see visiting keeper Darren Strong get down well to his right to make the save.
Rothes' first chance of the game came took 24 minutes to arrive and from it they nearly drew level. Kevin Collins' deep cross from the right was met by a looping header from Michael Ewen but his effort went back across goal and struck the inside of Jim Calder's post before being gathered by the Nairn goalkeeper.
The Speysiders were back on the attack after 40 minutes as Chris Grant tried his luck with a 25-yard shot that landed on the roof of the County net.
But the visitors conjured up an equaliser two minutes before the break as Chris Henderson lashed a loose ball from 25-yards straight into Calder's top right hand corner leaving the former Inverness CT goalkeeper with no chance.
Rothes almost got their noses in front five minutes after the restart. Collins sent a curling free-kick from 22-yards dipping over the Nairn wall and only a matter of inches past Calder's right hand post.
County got back in front in the 54th minute though. Scott Kellacher whipped in a free-kick from wide on the right that substitute Steven Sanderson met with a front post header that left Strong rooted to the spot for his third goal of the campaign.
Nairn doubled their advantage ten minutes later. Scott Kellacher opted to take a 20-yard free-kick quickly as Darren Strong was still lining up his wall. The ex-Celt curled the ball over the disorganised wall and past the pre-occupied goalkeeper to open his account for the season.
Sanderson almost doubled his tally for the day as he headed a Barron corner from the right goalwards in the 68th minute but his effort was hacked clear from the goal-line by the Rothes defender on the post. And a minute later MacRae, was denied by a low save by Strong. He connected with a Barron cut back from the right 12-yards from goal but the ex-Wick Academy shotstopper held the shot.
But the home side effectively sealed the points 20 minutes from time. Tony Low played a defence spliting pass to Iain Brooks who had timed his run to perfection to spring the offside trap. The County target man raced through on goal and proceeded to stab the ball under Strong and into the net for the home side's fourth goal of the day.
Low was again on hand to create a chance for the home side as good work on the left by the former Inverness CT and Albion Rovers winger led to a cross to the back post where Barron was on hand to send a half-volley back across goal but there were no takers.
The visitors went close to pulling one back on the 77th minute as subsitute Mark Adam saw his 20-yard drive deflected into the welcoming arms of Jim Calder.
The home side rounded off the scoring in the 79th minute as Low delivered a free-kick from the left to the back post where Iain Brooks was on hand to head it down to David MacRae. He capitalised on a misunderstanding between Rothes keeper Strong and defender Paul Winton to tap home his second goal of the day.
Rothes continued to probe for a second goal and went close as Henderson cut the ball back to Adam who saw his first time shot deflected behind by the legs of Calder.
Indeed, it could have been six for County in injury time when substitute Wayne Mackintosh played Brooks through with an intelligent flick but the scorer of County's fourth goal was thwarted by Strong in a 50/50 situation.
An impressive second half performance from Nairn as they recorded their biggest win of the season going into their biggest game for a good number of years. The displays of several of the players will give the manager food for thought as everyone battles it out for an all important place in next week's starting XI. The gaffer will be hoping that his injury victims recover sufficiently in order to go into this one with as strong a squad as possible.
|Jim Calder (GK)||45||10||-||39||-|
|Steve Sanderson (sub)||24||12||3||73||27|
|Duncan Jones (sub)||21||10||4||10||4|
|Wayne Mackintosh (sub)||18||3||-||10||-|
No league table has been added for this season.