1 - 5
|Iain MacRae (28)||
Brian Macleod (pen.) (6)
Brian Macleod (pen.) (14)
Scott Graham (54)
Stephen Skinner (78)
Duncan Jones (90)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Matt Kennedy for Mark Taylor (13)
Kevin Collins for Michael Sanderson (70)
Chris Henderson for Kevin Shortreed (78)
Duncan Jones for Willie Barron (59)
Andrea Coletto for Darren Jarvie (79)
Marc MacDonald for Shaun Kerr (87)
Michael Dunn (60)
Stevie Dunn (60)
Steven Edwards (60)
Martin MacDonald (60)
Stephen Skinner (60)
Brian Braidwood (Referee)
An authoritative second half display helped Nairn County on their way to their highest scoring win of the season as Rothes were hit for five at MacKessack Park.
It was another impressive performance from Les Fridge's men who have rediscovered their form in front of goal and have now netted 12 goals in their last three outings.
That is in stark contrast to their performances earlier in the season where scoring goals was becoming a major problem. Now the team are back on familiar territory for the next two weeks as they take on Fraserburgh and then Inverurie Locos, both at Station Park.
On a playing surface which was once again extremely soft underfoot and barely playable, Nairn were able to knock the ball about and play some decent football on the deck which the home side simply had no answer for.
Fridge, who was serving a touchline ban, had his hand boosted by the return of captain Willie Barron and midfield powerhouse Steven Edwards who both came back into the starting eleven replacing holidaymakers Wayne Mackintosh and Glenn Main. John Campbell returned from suspension and took over from Willie Ridgers in goals and Duncan Jones was also deemed fit enough to make the bench where he replaced Scott Nicholl.
County got off to the perfect start as Brian Macleod slammed home two penalties in the opening 14 minutes to put the visitors firmly on control before Iain MacRae halved the deficit for the home side. But Scott Graham grabbed a decisive third for Nairn in the second half before late strikes from Stephen Skinner and Jones wrapped up the comprehensive win.
The home side forayed forward after five minutes when former Nairn wideman Michael Sanderson tried to catch John Campbell off his line with a dipping effort from 25 yards but the County goalkeeper managed to backpedal and make a simple save.
The visitors were in front a minute later when Darren Jarvie's long ball up the left touchline was controlled by Scott Graham. He cut inside and into the box but was sent to the ground by Michael Grant's sliding tackle. Referee Brian Braidwood pointed to the penalty spot and Brian Macleod stepped up to send Dunn the wrong way and give County an early lead.
This lead was doubled in the 14th minute as Nairn won their second penalty of the match. Again it was the lively Graham giving Grant no end of problems as his quick feet took him away from the Rothes defender on the left side of the box. The former Buckie man stuck out a leg and sent the Nairn forward tumbling. Macleod again fired home the resulting penalty to score his fifth goal in three games but this time Dunn was unlucky not to keep it out as he got a hand to the ex-Clach man's effort.
Matt Kennedy came close to getting his side back into the game after 24 minutes when he managed to turn 22 yards out and fire in a left-footed shot that flew across Campbell's bows and past the far post.
The home side did manage to half Nairn's advantage four minutes later though as Michael Sanderson threaded a low ball from the left edge of the penalty area to the far post where the unmarked Iain MacRae was on hand to stab home from 10 yards.
Rab Mulheron's men almost grabbed an equaliser in the 31st minute when Ross Duncan opted to shoot with a free kick out on the right some 25 yards from goal but his effort drifted over Campbell's crossbar by only a matter of inches.
Macleod was denied a first-half hat-trick by the linesman's flag in the 39th minute when he burst down the left and cut the ball back to Graham. The former Fort William former then knocked it back into the Nairn goalscorer's path and he rifled it into the roof of the net just as the farside assistant raised the offside flag.
In the last action of the half, Shaun Kerr almost added to his tally for the season when he managed to fire a low shot goalwards from 20 yards but his effort was tame and Dunn gathered easily.
Nairn were back on the attack four minutes after the restart as they looked to net a decisive third goal. Graham surged down the right and cut in along the by-line but instead of cutting the ball back, he opted to go for goal and his effort from a tight angle was held by Dunn at his front post.
Rothes posed their first threat of the half after 51 minutes when Chris Grant cut inside Brian Macleod from the left and hit a low effort from the edge of the box that was held by John Campbell.
Then Martin MacDonald almost added another Nairn goal as both sides probed forward for the all-important next goal. Willie Barron's cross into the box from the right was headed clear to the lurking MacDonald at the edge of the box but his thunderous volley was parried into the air by Dunn and gathered by the goalkeeper at the second attempt.
But County did find a third goal to kill the game as a contest in the 54th minute. Shaun Kerr whipped in a cross from the left that found strike partner Scott Graham. He chested the ball past the static Grant before showing great technique to rifle a 12-yard volley into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Substitute Duncan Jones almost made an instant impact when he drove towards the Rothes goal and slipped the ball to Kerr on his left but Nairn's top scorer sliced his shot sending it skewing past the near post.
All hell broke loose on the hour mark and Rothes defender Michael Dunn was lucky not to be sent off for stamping on Nairn's Stephen Skinner after the County defender challenged home goalkeeper Stevie Dunn for a high ball. Players from both sides waded in and referee Braidwood obviously never had a clear view of what went on as he took the easy way out and issued a flurry of yellow cards - five in total - and resisted the temptation to brandish a red.
Jones almost increased his side's lead eight minutes later when Kerr laid the ball off to the former Aberdeen man but his powerful shot from 20 yards out on the right flashed over the crossbar.
Rothes had a great chance to grab themselves a lifeline 20 minutes from time when a corner from the right was cleared to the unmarked Chris Grant. But with time on his hands, the Rothes striker opted to shoot early from 20 yards and spooned his left-footed shot well over the crossbar.
Two minutes later, Kevin Shortreed burst forward for the home side and evaded Martin MacDonald's sliding tackle but when he was through on goal, he panicked under pressure from Martin Sanderson and sent a weak shot into the welcoming arms of Campbell.
And the hosts were back on the attack in the 75th minute when Ross Duncan cut inside from the left and went past centre halves MacDonald and Sanderson but his low shot from 15 yards trundled across goal and inches beyond on the far post.
Nairn were back on the attack though three minutes later when Jones free kick from the left was met by MacDonald at the far post but the former Brora man sent his header into the side netting.
Then Steven Edwards smashed a 30-yard shot goalwards that was tipped over the bar by Dunn and from the corner which followed, Nairn put the game well and truly to bed. Gregg Main's delivery from the left was met by Stephen Skinner's bullet header at the front post and the ex-Ross County defender left Dunn with no chance to score his first goal in Nairn colours.
Les Fridge's side completed their nap hand in injury time when Jones robbed Rothes' Kevin Collins of possession and streaked towards goal before avoiding tackles from Dunn and Grant and smashing home a 15-yard shot that left Stevie Dunn helpless.
|John Campbell (GK)||28||31||-||80||-|
|Duncan Jones (sub)||23||26||6||83||15|
|Andrea Coletto (sub)||24||7||-||13||-|
|Marc MacDonald (sub)||21||8||-||22||-|
No league table has been added for this season.