3 - 0
Craig MacMillan (10)
Craig MacMillan (36)
Jamie Shewan (89)
Neil Davidson for David MacRae (64)
Stephen Bruce for Andy Low (70)
Jamie Shewan for Mike MacDonald (77)
Glenn Main for Wayne Mackintosh (56)
Shaun Kerr for Scott Graham (71)
Darren Jarvie for Brian Macleod (80)
David MacRae (3)
Graeme Stewart (33)
Steven Edwards (33)
Chris Finnigan (84)
Two first half Buckie Thistle goals put the hosts well on their way to a comfortable three points against Nairn County at Victoria Park. It left Les Fridge's side with an uphill challenge in the second half but they crucially failed to take their chances and half the deficit. This wastefulness proved costly as The Jags added a killer third in the last minute.
County had looked in the game early on but were undone by Craig MacMillan goals in the 10th and 36th minutes before Jamie Shewan struck after the break after the two sides had effectively cancelled each other out for the majority of the second half.
Fridge made a double change to his starting line up from the side that won at Fraserburgh last week. Duncan Jones was left out of the squad completely after picking up a knock in that match seven days ago while Glenn Main dropped down to the bench. Steven Edwards and Gregg Main came into the starting eleven and there was also a place among the substitutes for Malta international Jonathan Holland who replaced Marc MacDonald.
Incredibly, this was the second league meeting between these two sides in only three weeks despite Nairn having not played Deveronvale or Huntly at all this season - only in the Highland League.
The home side took a mere ten seconds to muster their first shot at goal when Mike MacDonald raced forward but his low drive was comfortably held by John Campbell. Then, Ex-Nairn midfielder David MacRae went round Campbell and threw himself to the deck but the referee saw right through the playacting and awarded the visitors a free kick for the dive and yellow carded diver MacRae.
The hosts were on the attack again after eight minutes when Andy Low's cut back from the left found MacMillan at the near post but he was thwarted by the alert Campbell who turned the Buckie striker's effort round the post.
MacMillan was not to be denied though and there was nothing Campbell could do to stop him finding the net two minutes later. MacDonald squared the ball across the edge of the box from the left to Low who helped it on MacMillan on the right edge of the area. The former Inverness CT youngster then picked his spot as he rifled a first time shot across Campbell and into the net with his right foot.
The closest Nairn came to making the breakthrough in the early stages was when Willie Barron raced down the left but found no takers for his inviting ball across the face of goal. Scott Graham then broke free from his marker and raced in on goal but he found himself caught in two minds when confronted by another Buckie defender and the chance was gone.
The home side were back on the attack in the 20th minute when a long free kick forward by goalkeeper Kevin Main was aimed at the head of Graeme Stewart. The Buckie midfielder used his superior height to win the aerial dual with Gregg Main and knock the ball down to the unmarked MacMillan who flashed a shot from 22 yards out on the right wide of the near post.
Nairn threatened two minutes later when Barron tried 25-yard volley but his effort sailed well over the crossbar.
Buckie scored the goal that probably killed the contest nine minutes before half time. Right back Brian Neill was afforded the space to drive forward and he cut in across the pitch before finding himself on the left edge of the Nairn box. The ex-Aberdeen man then played in MacDonald whose cross into the box found the unmarked MacMillan at the back post who only had to tap the ball into the net from a few yards to double his tally for the day.
The woodwork then denied Nairn the chance to claw their way back into the game in the 42nd minute. Main raced from his goal line to block a Steven Edwards run but the loose ball dropped to the feet of Wayne Mackintosh. With the Buckie goalkeeper stranded, the Nairn midfielder looped a shot goalwards from 30 yards that dipped and hit the crossbar before being cleared by the home defence.
Nairn were in desperate need of an early goal in the second half to fulfil their ambitions of making a comeback and they came close to getting in three minutes after the restart. A Graham head flick sent Barron racing towards goal but his shot was held by Main.
Chris Finnigan was next to come close for the visitors. Edwards headed the ball down to the ex-Elgin City man who had a shot at goal on the turn from 20 yards but his effort was also held by Main.
The match then became a low key affair as both teams could only cancel one another out as neither side could mount any serious pressure on their opponent's goal or create any meaningful chances.
But County sprung into life for the last 10 minutes or so and top scorer Shaun Kerr should have hauled Nairn back into the contest seven minutes after taking to the field as a substitute. A long pass from the right by Brian Macleod in the 78th minute caught out home defender Shewan and sent Kerr racing in on goal. The former Clach forward seemed to hesitate though and ended up at a tight angle meaning that he could only find the side netting with his effort.
County were back on the attack less than a minute later when Barron cut in from the right and flashed a low shot across Main that the home shotstopper diverted past the far post with the help of an outstretched boot.
As time ebbed away, Nairn hope went as well and it was fully extinguished in the 89th minute as the home side added a third goal. Neill hit the by-line on the right and clipped in a cross that was powerfully headed home by Shewan at the near post to ensure the three points were staying at Victoria Park.
|John Campbell (GK)||28||19||-||68||-|
|Darren Jarvie (sub)||20||14||-||14||-|
|Glenn Main (sub)||22||13||-||23||-|
|Shaun Kerr (sub)||21||17||10||17||10|
No league table has been added for this season.