0 - 1
0 - 1
|None.||John Coutts (40)|
Tony Low for Scott Nicholl (63)
Duncan Jones for Brian Macleod (76)
Martin MacDonald (59)
Tony Low (86)
|Michael Grant (80)|
A dubious goal five minutes before half time was enough to sink Nairn County at Station Park as Buckie Thistle came away from Station Park with all three points for the third season in a row.
County boss Les Fridge, fresh from signing an extension to his contract tying him to the club until 2009, kept faith with the outfield players who battled to a point at Keith last week but restored goalkeeper John Campbell in favour of Jim Calder.
After the visitors had creating several opportunities, they broke the deadlock in the 40th minute when Neil Davidson appeared to use a hand to control the ball before seeing his shot blocked. John Coutts wasn't hanging around though as he was on hand to fire the rebound first time into the net.
Buckie made the brighter start of the two sides and had the first pop at goal four minutes in. Davidson was given time and space to unleash a shot from 25-yards but his effort sailed over Campbell's crossbar.
Nairn could have opened the scoring in the 11th minute though when Scott Nicholl's deep cross to the back post from the right was headed goalwards by Brian Macleod but his effort landed on the roof of visiting goalkeeper Kevin Main's net.
Donnie Munro then went close for the Jags on the quarter hour mark but his stinging drive 22-yards was held by Campbell.
Four Minutes later, Buckie skipper Paul Lamberton unleashed a thunderous free-kick but a diving saved from Campbell kept the scoreline level.
Stephen Bruce was next to test Campbell but his looping header was well judged by the former Hibernian goalkeeper in the 32nd before the same Buckie keeper saw his fierce shot from the edge of the box held.
County's first shot on target arrived in the 38th minute when David MacRae tried his luck with a first time drive from 25-yards but his effort was comfrtably held by visiting goalkeeper Kevin Main.
The opening goal arrived in controversial circumstances two minutes later. Neil Davidson appeared to use a hand to charge down a John MacAskill clearance but the referee waved play on. The Buckie midfielder saw his low shot blocked by the legs of Campbell but the rebound fell at the feet of John Coutts who rifled home from 15-yards.
Nairn almost restored parity two minutes before the hour mark. After controlling a Buckie clearance, Brian Macleod lofted the ball over the Martin Sanderson on the right and he took one touch to compose himself before firing in an angled drive that rattled Main's crossbar before being hacked clear.
The visitors created their best chance of the half six minutes later as Davidson shrugged off the attentions of Sanderson to fire in a low shot that whistled past the right hand post.
County went agonisingly close to levelling things in the 66th minute though. Willie Barron broke free down to left and delivered a low cross that David MacRae was only a matter of inches away from diverting into the net at the back post.
The Jags felt they should have had a penalty towards the end of the game. Davidson played on despite Nairn's Johnny Seaton being grounded with injury and played in Shawn Scott - who had managed to get goalside of Brian Macleod - before the former Lossiemouth man crashed to the deck in the box but referee Ross Hammill waved play on.
Disappointing for Nairn to be defeated in a closing contested match. Les Fridge now has to look to next week's trip to title favourites Deveronvale and hope that the players he had missing today - Scott Kellacher, Steven Edwards and Andrew Allan will be avaiable for selection while also looking to Tony Low to be fully fit again.
|John Campbell (GK)||26||8||-||8||-|
|Duncan Jones (sub)||21||22||5||22||5|
|Tony Low (sub)||22||24||4||24||4|
No league table has been added for this season.