3 - 0
3 - 0
Gregg Main (23)
David MacRae (39)
David MacRae (72)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Duncan Jones for Brian Macleod (58)
Darren Shallicker for Wayne Mackintosh (81)
They say there is no such thing as an easy game in football. If that is true, then this was the closest thing to such a victory that you are likely to see. Nairn simply had far too much in their locker for a Lossiemouth side devoid of any real inspiration and ideas and playing as if they could not wait for the season to come to an end. County, on the other hand, were in vibrant mood and still have everything to play for this season despite the fact that they may only have four more fixtures left. Quite how they never ran up a cricket score in this one is anyone's guess, with the home side rarely, if at all, needing to get out of second gear.
Les Fridge was boosted by the return of no fewer than four first team regulars going into this game, but Neil MacDonald's booking last week at Rothes added his name to the suspension list. Mo MacMillan stepped forward from defence to replace the ex-Ross County man in the centre of midfield while Martin MacDonald returned to the back three. Brian Macleod started wide on the right and Willie Barron's place up front was taken by David MacRae.
From the off the home side looked the hungrier of the two and they almost went in front after four minutes. Wayne Mackintosh's through pass picked out Brian Macleod in space on the right. He surged to the byeline and pull the ball back to MacRae who could only send his header whizzing over the crossbar.
The former Inverness CT midfielder went even close eight minutes later when he was set up by MacMillan but saw his curling shot from 18-yards tipped over the crossbar by visiting goalkeeper Chris Stuart.
The opening goal arrived with 23 minutes on the clock and there were no surprises that it was the hosts who edged in front. MacMillan found the feet of Mackintosh on the edge of the box and he teed the ball up perfectly for his midfield partner Gregg Main. The ex-County youth then rifled a left foot volley from 18-yards into the top right hand corner to score his first Highland League goal.
Main should have doubled his tally for the club only 11 minutes later though. After Lossie conjured up their best chance of the half - a speculative 30-yard effort from Graeme Wilson that sailed over the bar - Nairn broke up the park and the tireless Iain Brooks broke free down the left. He squared the ball perfectly across goal to Main at the backpost who someone managed to stab the ball wide of the post instead of the gaping net.
Macleod was next to close for the home side but the ball wouldn't drop for him in the area and, under pressure from Darren Watson, he snatched at his 15-yard volley sending it over the crossbar.
County doubled their lead though six minutes before the break. Mackintosh evaded the attentions of the Lossie defence down the right and cut the ball back perfectly to the onrushing MacRae who had the easy task of rolling it into the net from a couple of yards.
The visitors knew that despite being camped in their own half for the majority of the opening 45 minutes, they only needed one goal to get back in the game and came close when Steven Rattray's 15-yard snap shot was deflected wide after 56 minutes.
But Nairn were back on the attack two minutes later and should have added a killer third. Brooks again was the orchestrator with a run down the right before picking out Mackintosh in space in front of goal witha cut back. Instead of putting the ball into the net himself, the Nairn youngster backheeled the ball to Michael Sanderson in even more space at the back post but somehow he steered his shot wide of the far.
It was a major left off for the visitors but they were to have no such luck in the 72nd minute. After MacDonald's header from a Main cross was held at the second attempt by Stuart, Nairn finally made the points safe. Brooks picked out substitute Jones on the right and he whipped in an inviting cross which was met on the volley by the on-running MacRae, who sent a sumptious volley sailing past the helpless Stuart.
County had the chances to add further gloss to the scoreline in the remaining minutes. On one such occasion, MacRae and substitute Darren Shallicker couldn't make up their minds who was actually going to score the goal. Brooks rolled the ball into the path of Shallicker only for him to pass it onto MacRae. He then beat two men and played it back to SHallicker who then tired to play in Brooks but by this stage the chance was gone.
|John Campbell (GK)||27||30||-||45||-|
|Duncan Jones (sub)||22||26||3||53||8|
|Darren Shallicker (sub)||32||23||9||23||9|
No league table has been added for this season.