7 - 2
Mike Ewan (9)
Mark Smith (23)
Ross McWilliam (61)
Mark Smith (65)
Mike Ewan (71)
Mike Ewan (80)
Mark Smith (86)
David MacRae (42)
Willie Barron (50)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Robbie Brown for Paul Urquhart (52)
Grant Noble for Mike McKenzie (81)
Graham Watt for Ross McWilliam (82)
Mike Sanderson for Martin MacDonald (32)
Alistair Mather (Referee)
Punches thrown between team-mates, two sending offs and seven goals conceded contributed to a dark day for Nairn County and leaves them now sitting bottom of the Highland League after day one of the new season.
Gaffer Les Fridge was without the services of his captain John MacAskill and suspended duo Brian Macleod and Gordon Haines while John Campbell was left on the bench for this eagerly awaited season opener. In one of the only positives from the day, the manager was able to name former Lossiemouth and Huntly striker Darren Shallicker among his substitutes as he looks to bolster his forward line.
The home side rqced into an early when they broke the deadlock after 13 minutes. Full back Steve Dolan played the ball into the feet of Michael McKenzie who then laid it back for new signing Michael Ewen to curl past Nairn goalkeeper Callum Donaldson.
It was 2-0 to the Vale soon-after when Fraser Bremner, captured from Elgin City during the close season, skipped past three Nairn players down the right wing before delivering an inch perfect to the back post where Mark Smith was on hand to head home and double his side's advantage.
Nairn grabbed themselves a lifeline though on the stroke of half-time as Tony Low twisted and turned his way past the Vale defence before playing in a low ball that David MacRae hammered past James Blanchard in the home goal.
County came flying out of the traps in the second half and grabbed an deserved equaliser. Wayne Mackintosh attempted to thread a ball through for David MacRae but it was intercepted by the Vale's Kenny Gilbert. The loose ball then broke to Willie Barron who stroked it past Blanchard to haul his side back level four minutes after the restart.
But the home side regained their advantage in the 61st minute. Bremner saw his shot parried by Donaldson but Ross McWilliam collected the loose ball before going past Steven Edwards and blasting the ball high into the net.
Then five minutes later, the hosts went further ahead as Smith exchanged passes with Ewen before the former Cove midfielder stroked a low shot beyond Donaldson and into the corner of the net.
The home side then added a fifth as he linked up well with McKenzie before firing home from 12-yards to effectively put the game beyond Nairn.
This led to the visitors pushing the self destruct button as words exchanged between Scott Kellacher and David MacRae led to the pair squaring up before exchanging blows leaving the referee with no option but to send both players off for violent conduct.
Former Rothes striker Ewen then completed his hat-trick as he grbabed his side sixth goal of the day in the 69th minute. He received the ball from Bremner before firing a low shot into the corner of the net from 12-yards.
The reigning champions rounded off the scoring in the 86th minute as Dolan surged down the left wing before setting up Smith who lifted the ball over the head of Donaldson to complete his own hat-trick.
|Callum Donaldson (GK)||21||1||-||2||-|
|Mike Sanderson (sub)||28||1||-||1||-|
No league table has been added for this season.