1 - 4
1 - 4
Duncan Jones (pen.) (70)
Derek Nicol (6)
Craig Morrison (35)
Mark Perry (47)
Martin Wood (74)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Chris Finnigan for Willie Barron (62)
Scott Graham for Shaun Kerr (71)
Jonathan Holland for Duncan Jones (71)
Derek Smith for Craig Morrison (64)
Danny Tritton for Richard Craig (79)
Michael Fyfe for Graham Lonie (79)
Duncan Jones (44)
||Graham Lonie (53)|
Graham Fraser (Referee)
Two early goals put reigning champions Keith in full control of their visit to Station Park on league duty - another soon after the break all but wrapped up the three points.
Nairn did manage haul one back when Duncan Jones netted from the penalty spot but the visitors re-established their three-goal to ease their way to the three points.
It was only Nairn's second match of 2008 after last week's injury time defeat to Wick Academy, which followed six weeks in the wilderness due to the winter weather. And any signs of rustiness were more than apparent as the visitors broke the deadlock after only six minutes.
Manager Les Fridge opted to make only one change to the team that was beaten last week and it was an enforced one. Brian Macleod missed out due to suspension after being sent off at Wick which meant a starting berth for Darren Jarvie. Neil MacDonald returned from the cold to take Jarvie's place on the bench.
The visitors were in front with only six minutes on the clock when Martin Wood's pinpoint corner found Derek Nicol in the penalty box and he rose highest to power a header past John Campbell.
It was the worst possible start for Nairn and they were almost two down after ten minutes when Graham Lonie got on the end of another Wood cross but his header came back off the post and was hacked behind by the Nairn defence for a corner kick. From the resulting delivery, Nicol again got his head on the end of the flag kick as the County defence failed to learn from their mistakes but his effort was hacked clear from the goal line by the well-positioned Martin MacDonald.
The visitors continued to turn the screw as Nairn struggled to cope with the aerial presence of the champions. This time it was Kris Niddrie who got his head on the end of a cross into the box but his effort glance across goal and beyond the far post minutes before Lonie was denied a spot kick after being brushed off the ball in the penalty area.
Nairn eventually began to find their feet in the match and Steven Edwards' delivery into the box was just too far in front of Shaun Kerr for the Nairn striker to make a connection.
Edwards was again at the heart of things for County in the 33rd minute when he picked out MacDonald but the former Brora man's reverse shot was parried by visiting goalkeeper Andrew Shearer.
But just as the hosts starting to pose a real threat, the visitors added a killer second goal. MacDonald was caught in possession by Wood who fed Craig Morrison and the former Lossiemouth forward drilled the ball inside Campbell's left hand post.
The home side were the width of the post away from halving the deficit as half time approached. Again it was Edwards who fashioned the chance, teeing the ball up for Main. His drive left Shearer flat-footed but rattled the post before the Maroons cleared the danger.
County were desperate for a way back into the game as the second half began - but it was the visitors who put the game all but beyond doubt as they added a third goal. A fine long ball by Wood picked out Morrison perfectly and he chested the ball down into the path of Mark Perry. The former Don did the rest as he rifled past Campbell leaving the Nairn goalkeeper helpless.
Campbell's alertness kept the scoreline down when he raced from his goal-line to intercept a Darren Still pass as the Keith captain tried to pick out Morrison.
Stephen Skinner then went close to grabbing his first goal for the club as he met a ball into the box with a fine header but his effort flashed past the post by a matter of inches.
If it wasn't for Morrison's selfishness, the Maroons may well have been four goals up just after the hour mark. The Keith striker opted to shot straight at Campbell from a tight angle despite several of his team mates waiting in front of goal for a cut back.
Wayne Mackintosh was denied by the in-form Shearer who denied the Nairn midfielder with a fine one-handed save in the 69th minute. But 60 seconds later the home side finally managed to claw one back. Steven Edwards was tugged back by Keith substitute Derek Smith in the penalty area and referee Graeme Fraser pointed to the spot. With regular penalty taker Brian Macleod suspended, Duncan Jones took on the responsibility and made no mistake from 12 yards.
Any hopes of a Nairn comeback though were extinguished four minutes later as Martin Allan's men re-established their three-goal advantage. A poor back pass by Edwards put Campbell under pressure and when the goalkeeper collided with Maroon Stuart Walker, referee Fraser again pointed to the spot and Wood stroked home the penalty.
Nairn had one final chance to claw another goal back when Main again went close to getting his name on the scoresheet but his effort was blocked by the well placed Shearer.
|John Campbell (GK)||28||21||-||70||-|
|Jonathan Holland (sub)||29||2||-||2||-|
|Chris Finnigan (sub)||21||14||2||14||2|
|Scott Graham (sub)||20||10||1||10||1|
No league table has been added for this season.