4 - 1
4 - 1
John Douglas (o.g.) (43)
David MacRae (44)
Willie Barron (68)
Steve Sanderson (90)
|Bruce McCraw (61)|
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Steve Sanderson for Johnny Seaton (77)
Bruce McCraw for John Douglas (60)
Shaun Kerr for Lewis Ross (74)
David MacRae (56)
There was festive cheer all around for the Nairn County supporters as their side returned to winning ways in style thanks to a barnstorming victory over Clach. The team showed that last week's defeat at Forres - which ended County's six-game winning streak - had no lasting affects as they defeated the Lilywhites to take six points out of a possible six from the Inverness outfit this season.
Gaffer Les Fridge kept faith with the same starting eleven that was unlucky not to take something out of last week's trip to Mosset Park with the only change being among the substitutes as Andrew Allan came back in to replace youngster Lee Haines.
County stunned their visitors with two quick-fire goals before the break as Clach defender John Douglas put an Iain Brooks cross past his own keeper before David MacRae converted a Brooks flick on barely 60 seconds later. Clach got back into the game when substitute Bruce McCraw netted at the back post just after the hour-mark but Nairn were back in control seven minutes later as Willie Barron rounded the keeper and eventually forced the ball over the line. The icing was put on the cake in injury time as substitute Steven Sanderson controlled a Barron cut back and placed the ball home.
It was Clach who made the better start though and went close to opening the scoring six minutes in. A throw-in from the right was flicked on by lanky midfielder David Ross at the front post to the on-running Alex Bone but he could only direct his header straight at Jim Calder who was alert enough to hold the former Stirling Albion striker's effort.
The visitors counter attacked down the right in the 24th minute as Nairn pushed men forward for at a corner. It was Lewis Ross who made the breakaway down the right as he surged forward and hit the by-line. The Ex-Brora man then cut the ball back to Bone who saw his shot blocked by the legs of Calder while John MacAskill was in the right place to clear the follow up from young midfielder Gordon McNab.
But County broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute as Brooks raced clear down the left and cut the ball back into the box upon hitting the by-line. In his attempt to clear the danger, Clach centre back John Douglas sent the ball looping into the net at the front post wrong-footing his goalkeeper Ally Ridgers and giving Nairn a belated Christmas gift in the process.
Less than a minute later, the home side doubled their advantage and again Brooks played a crucial role in the build-up. He beat Ridgers to a long-ball out of defence from Scott Kellacher. The on-rushing David MacRae made sure that defender Oscar Mackay didn't make the clearance as he slid Brooks' net-bound header over the line from close range.
Nairn went straight on the offensive after the restart and went close to adding a third five minutes into the half. Duncan Jones' corner from the left was cleared but only as fair as the awaiting MacRae whose first time shot from 20-yards flashed just past the post.
Four minutes later, the hosts went close again from a Jones corner. This time the delivery was from the right and it was flicked on by Brooks at the front post to the unmarked Tony Low but he sliced his volley from 10-yards just past the left hand post.
Clach grabbed themselves a lifeline in the 61st minute as they halved the deficit. Gordon Morrison dispossessed Brooks on the left and drove forward before finding Bone. He helped the ball on to the back post where substitute Bruce McCraw was running in to smash the ball home with virtually his first touch of the game.
Jones almost netted against his former club for the second time this season three minutes later but his left-footed effort from 25-yards whistled past the upright.
Nairn were back in control of the game in the 68th minute though as they restored their two-goal advantage. Barron showed a brilliant first touch as he took a Kellacher long-ball down into his stride before going round Ridgers. Despite stumbling because of the efforts of the stranded goalkeeper, the Nairn wideman still managed to flick the ball into the net from a grounded position a couple of yards out.
Former Aberdeen midfielder Jones again went close for County four minutes later. This time his powerful drive from the edge of the box was tipped wide by Ridgers low to the keeper's right.
Clach had a great opportunity to again haul themselves back into the reckoning in the 79th minute as Morrison picked out the unmarked Shaun Kerr with a cutback from the left but the former Ross County striker blazed his first time shot over the bar from 15-yards.
Jones then displayed great vision to find MacRae with a cross-field pass in the 82nd minute. The former Inverness CT midfielder took the ball down well and cut in from the left but his 20-yard shot was held by Ridgers.
A minute from time, MacRae became the supplier as he squared the ball to Low 20-yards from goal but he County winger's first time shot was held by Ridgers.
Nairn rounded things off late on though as they added a fourth. MacAskill released Barron down the right. His cutback was controlled by substitute Steven Sanderson at the near post and the former Fort William striker's shot on the turn went underneath the despairing dive of Ridgers and into the net to conclude a good day at the off for County.
A great way for Les Fridge's side to bounce back from the disappointment of last week's outcome. Hopefully this win will be a signal of things to come from the team going into the New Year now that they are back to winning ways again.
|Jim Calder (GK)||45||16||-||45||-|
|Steve Sanderson (sub)||24||15||4||76||28|
No league table has been added for this season.