1 - 3
|Danny Mackintosh (55)||
David MacRae (24)
Tony Low (58)
Iain Brooks (68)
Johnny Seaton for Martin MacDonald (58)
Duncan Jones for Wayne Mackintosh (83)
On a wet day in Lochaber, Nairn County battled their way to three points against strugglers Fort William at Claggan Park thanks to goals from David MacRae, Tony Low and Iain Brooks.
Nairn supremo Les Fridge made three changes to his starting line up. Brian Macleod's one-game suspension ruled him out and he was replaced by the returning Andrew Allan, making his first appearance in three months. Martin MacDonald also came into the starting XI in favour of Johnny Seaton while Duncan Jones was only deemed fit enough to make the bench. His place in the team was taken by young gun Wayne Mackintosh, making his first start under Les Fridge.
Top scorer MacRae fired Nairn ahead in the first half only for the home side to draw level ten minutes after the restart. But parity was short lived as Low continued his goalscoring form of late to put County back in front before Brooks rounded things off.
The visitors were quickest out of the traps and created their first chance eight minutes into the game. Iain Brooks delivered a left-footed cross from the right onto the head of Tony Low but the ex-Clach winger could only send his header back across goal and past the post.
It was a cross from the right that again proved to be the route to goal for County in the 19th minute as Andrew Allan's delivery was controlled by David MacRae but his dipping 20-yard shot flashed just over the crossbar.
The deadlock was broken five minutes later as Nairn broke the home side's resistance. Scott Kellacher sent in a free-kick from the right that was met by a header from MacRae. His effort was parried by Fort goalkeeper Mark MacRitchie but the former Inverness CT midfielder was alert enough to follow up and ram the ball home from close range.
MacRae thought he'd added a second only a few minutes later when he diverted a Low cross from the left into the net but he had drifted just offside.
The home side were a matter of inches away from levelling the game in the 36th minute as Mark Dougall saw his low shot from 20-yards tipped onto the post by the evergreen Jim Calder.
Dougall really should have equalised though two minutes before the break. County failed to clear their lines in the box and the ball broke to the unmarked Fort striker some 15-yards from goal. But he lost his composure at the vital second as he blazed his shot past the post.
The home side made it one all ten minutes into the second half as the ball broke to Danny Mackintosh and he curled a right footed shot from the left edge of the box into the top right hand corner of the net giving Calder no chance.
But County regained their lead after 58 minutes and again it was a Kellacher free kick that created the opening. This time the Nairn sweeper whipped in the delivery from left and winger Tony Low was on hand to bundle the ball over the line for his third goal in as many games.
Substitute Johnny Seaton almost made an immediate impact after his introduction as he cut in from the left and fired a low shot goalwards from 18-yards that was held by MacRitchie on the hour mark.
Nairn rounded off the victory though as they added a third in the 68th minute. Low sent Iain Brooks through on goal and the County forward made no mistake as he rounded MacRitchie and slotted the ball into the net.
Low almost doubled his tally for the day two minutes later but his 20-yard shot ruffled the outside of the side netting on it's way post the left hand post.
Four minutes from time, Low teed up MacRae for a shot 20-yards out but his effort was comfortably held by MacRitchie.
The visitors almost added a fourth right at the death as Duncan Jones' cross from the right evaded everyone as County failed to finish with a flourish for the second week running.
A hard fought victory for Nairn as they continue to post points on the board. Les Fridge will be happy to have taken the spoils from a potentially tricky tie as he now prepares his players for next week's derby at Forres' Mosset Park.
|Jim Calder (GK)||45||14||-||43||-|
|Duncan Jones (sub)||21||14||4||14||4|
|Johnny Seaton (sub)||-||17||-||81||4|
No league table has been added for this season.