1 - 0
1 - 0
North of Scotland Cup (Mini League)
Duncan Jones (43)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Iain Brooks for Tony Low (35)
Jason Robertson for Steve Sanderson (75)
County topped their three team North of Scotland Cup group for the second year running resulting in progression to the semi-final stage of the competition after a Duncan Jones goal was enough to overcome Inverness CT at Station Park.
Les Fridge made two changes to the side that battled to a point at Huntly on Saturday as John Mackay missed out through injury and John MacAskill through work commitments. Their places in the starting XI were taken by Steven Sanderson and Duncan Jones. Martin MacDonald was also restored to his position of striker after surprisingly being deployed at the back on Saturday.
It was the visitors who threatened first as Stuart Soane managed to get a shot in from the edge of the box that rattled John Campbell's crossbar after 10 minutes as the full-time younsters signalled their intent.
However a deluge of Caley pressure failed to materialise and it was Nairn who went close next. Duncan Jones unleashed a wicked drive in the 15th minute than visiting keeper Mike Fraser did well to get down to and smother.
County made the woodwork count one each with their next attack as Martin MacDonald met a Willie Barron cross from the right with his head after 25 minutes but his effort clipped the top of the crossbar on the way over for a goal kick.
Inverness went on to dominate in terms of possession, bu they couldn't find the cutting edge in front of goal, the closest chance being a Martin Charlesworth shot that failed to find the target after 32 minutes.
The home side were dealt a blow as winger Tony Low had to be withdrawn with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Iain Brooks.
Nairn came into the proceedings again and again struck the woodwork. David MacRae smashed and effort off of the crossbar against his former club in the 38th minute and MacDonald could only fire the rebound into the side netting as the visitors clung on.
The opening goal arrived two minutes short of the break as the hosts got their noses in front. With Fraser lining up his wall to defend a County free-kick on the edge of the box, the quick-thinking Duncan Jones proceeded to place it past the wall and into the corner of the net to score his third goal for his new club and putting Nairn in the driving seat to progress.
Chris Finnegan warmed the palms of County shotstopper John Campbell when he tried his luck with a curling free-kick not long after the restart but the former Fort William man made a comfortable save.
The Inverness side took complete control of the tie, knowing that a draw would be enough to see them progress at Nairn's expense, but the home defence remained solid despite numerous Caley substitutes made in an attempt to freshen things up, including the introduction of former Barcelona man Juanjo.
However, it was County who finished the game the stronger of the two sides as they went in search of a killer second goal and came close in the 77th minute, Iain Brooks surged down the right and his delivery was met by a shot from Willie Barron but he put his effort past the post.
Young sub Jason Robertson also tried his luck for the home side with a shot on the turn ten minutes from time that flashed just post.
A hard fought win for Nairn as they progress to the semi finals to face Wick Academy at Harmsworth Park in what is sure to be an intriguing and entertaining encounter.
|John Campbell (GK)||25||4||-||4||-|
|Iain Brooks (sub)||26||9||1||107||36|
|Jason Robertson (sub)||18||1||-||5||-|
No league table has been added for this season.