1 - 0
|Ricky Wardrop (74)||None.|
Charlie Brown for Kevin Duguid (84)
Mark Dougall for Ricky Wardrop (84)
Anthony Ross for Fraser Bremner (89)
Jonathan Holland for Martin Sanderson (70)
A goal 16 minutes from the end handed Forres Mechanics their first victory over Nairn County since December 2005. It was a poor derby encounter at Mosset Park with both sides devoid of creativity going forward on a bobbly and rutted surface. Nairn's inability to keep possession was a decisive factor throughout the 90 minutes and Forres emerged in the second to take advantage of some sloppy County defending to sneak the narrow win.
County boss Les Fridge was forced into two changes to the team that drew with Huntly at Station Park seven days ago. Forward Scott Graham was ruled out because of an ankle injury while Darren Jarvie is unlikely to be available again this season because of university commitments. In came Steven Edwards and Shaun Kerr while Glenn Main, Johnathon Holland and Neil MacDonald found places on the bench. Stephen Skinner was unavailable due to a holiday.
County looked to make an immediate attacking impression and had a chance to break the deadlock within the first 60 seconds. Steven Edwards stepped up to take a free kick some 22 yards from goal but his low effort was easily held by Forres goalkeeper Stuart Knight.
John Campbell was called into action at the other end seven minutes in when Ryan Green's chipped cross from the by-line on the right picked out Kevin Duguid in the middle but the young striker's point blank header was excellently parried by the Nairn goalkeeper before he gathered the ball at the second attempt.
It took until the 31st minute for either side to threaten again in front of goal as Forres left back John Mutch sent Duguid haring down the left but he hit his angled shot straight at Campbell who parried at the near post.
County had a great chance to open the scoring five minutes before the interval when a poor defensive clearance was charged down by Wayne Mackintosh. He played in Chris Finnigan who cut inside onto his right foot from the left and fired a shot goalwards. His shot was deflected past goalkeeper Knight but the ricochet had taken the power out of his effort which allowed Mutch the time to race back and clear from the goal line.
A poor second half took until the 68th minute to burst into life when Neil Whyte's low cross from the right found Duguid at the near post but somehow the former Elgin City man diverted his effort past the near post from only a couple of yards.
County resorted to playing the long ball game and it nearly paid off in the 73rd minute when a high ball forward from John Campbell sent Finnigan in on goal who got to the ball before the advancing Knight but he could only shoot straight at the former Deveronvale shotstopper.
Forres grabbed the only goal of the game a minute later and it was a poor and simple goal to lose from a Nairn perspective. Towering forward Green beat Martin MacDonald on the air to flick on a long throw. Wardrop read the situation well and latched onto the flick, just getting to the ball before goalkeeper Campbell. The former Brora striker then knocked the ball past the ex-Hibee and rushed in to tap the ball home from a couple of yards.
The set back failed to spark County into life and they never looked like pegging back their hosts. Indeed, it was Forres who had the next chance of the match in the 78th minute when Wardrop controlled the ball in the box and fired it goalwards on the turn from 10 yards out but Campbell was equal to the Forres man's effort as he parried the ball to safety.
Steven Edwards came closest to grabbing a Nairn equaliser with his effort after 83 minutes. He controlled a Duncan Jones free kick forward on his chest with his back to goal. The former Elgin man was afforded the space to spin and volley goalwards from 18 yards but his shot flew past the right hand post.
The hosts came close to doubling their lead in the final minute when Whyte's low cross was met by a cheeky flick from Green but the former County striker could only watch as his effort trickled past the far post. It was not to matter though as the home side had already done enough to end Nairn's seven game winning streak against the Mosset men.
|John Campbell (GK)||28||24||-||73||-|
|Jonathan Holland (sub)||29||3||-||3||-|
No league table has been added for this season.