2 - 0
2 - 0
Duncan Jones (58)
Shaun Kerr (90)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Shaun Kerr for Chris Finnigan (52)
Darren Jarvie for Neil MacDonald (76)
Scott Graham for Willie Barron (87)
|John Mutch for Jordan Main (61)|
Steven Edwards (80)
Simon Allan (27)
John Mutch (80)
Two second half goals handed Nairn County their third win this season against local rivals Forres Mechanics when the two sides faced off against each other on league duty at Station Park.
The hosts went ahead 13 minutes into the second half through Duncan Jones and were then forced onto the back foot as the visitors pushed for an equaliser. But substitute Shaun Kerr made sure of the three points in injury time with his first goal since the North of Scotland Cup defeat to Ross County on August 15.
The match went ahead in direct competition with Scotland's vital Euro 2008 qualifier against Ukraine at Hampden, despite a request from Forres to change the date. Nairn cited commitments to sponsors for their refusal to switch, but the sponsors' lounge was suspiciously unoccupied before the match and at half time. Either way, it was a dark day for the supposed game of the working classes that matchday sponsors should dictate over the interests of fans who clock up several hundred miles supporting the team each season.
Manager Les Fridge was boosted by the return of Willie Barron to his side for the local derby. He started up front alongside Chris Finnigan meaning Glenn Main dropped into midfield at the expense of Darren Jarvie. Steven Edwards replaced the injured Gregg Main which meant that Wayne Mackintosh occupied the unfamiliar right midfield role.
The few hardy souls who bothered to attend saw County almost open the scoring after three minutes. A Duncan Jones free kick into the box missed the head of Martin MacDonald and landed at the feet of Mackintosh who saw the ball late and didn't have enough time to react as it bounced off him into the welcoming arms of visiting goalkeeper Stuart Knight.
Two minutes later, Main threaded the ball down the left touchline to Finnigan whose pace took him past Gary Black to the by-line. The former Elgin City forward's cut back found Mackintosh at the front post but his shot was parried by visiting keeper Stuart Knight who then saved Finnigan's follow up.
Forres should have done better in the 20th minute when Kevin Duguid mugged Neil MacDonald some 40 yards from goal. This left Nairn 2 v 2 at the back and the Forres man played in team-mate Ryan Green. But Martin MacDonald did just enough to hold up the former Nairn striker on the edge of the box and his shot was tame resulting in an easy save for John Campbell.
MacDonald almost made amends for his mistake at the other end in when Main knocked down a Barron cross from the right to the ex-Ross County man but his blistering left-footed shot from the left edge of the penalty area flashed across goal and inches past the far post.
Green's cross in the 36th minute almost brought about the opening goal for Forres but Duguid couldn't get over the ball enough to direct his back post header past Campbell. Then three minutes later, a free kick from wide on the right found Duguid in the Nairn box but a brave intervention by Mackintosh did enough to prevent the Forres striker from knocking the ball past Campbell and into the net.
County came close to breaking the deadlock on the stroke of half time when Barron raced away from Black down the left. His cross went all the way through to Jones on the right endge of the box and he thundered a first time shot goalwards that had Knight beaten but came crashing back off the post.
Forres made a bright start to the second half when Jordan Main latched on to a Stephen Skinner headed clearance but his first time shot flashed past the post.
Then County opened the scoring in the 58th minute. Jordan Main slid in under pressure from substitute Kerr on the edge of his own box and knocked the ball back to his goalkeeper Knight, who picked it up. Referee Scott MacDonald awarded Nairn an in-direct free kick on the right edge of the six-yard box for a pass back. After a delay caused by Forres protests, Nairn rubbed salt into the wounds as Steven Edwards rolled the ball to the left and into the path of Jones who smashed it past the entire Forres team who were lined up on the goal-line and into the net via the far post.
Forres almost drew level when Simon Allan beat Martin Sanderson on the edge of the Nairn penalty area but the alert Campbell raced from his goal line to close the angle and deflect the Forres wide man's shot past the post.
Green had two great chances to haul his side level when he took down a high Glenn Main clearance 15 yards from goal but saw his shot on the turn flash past the post after 70 minutes. Then two minutes later, he connected with a throw in from the right but his glancing header flew across goal and beyond the far post.
Nairn midfielder Mackintosh should have scored his fourth goal in as many games 15 minutes from time. He beat Knight in a race to the ball wide on the left after the Forres goalkeeper came sprinting off his line. But from a tight angle, the 20-year-old could only screw his shot into the side netting with the goalkeeper in no-mans-land.
A scramble in the County penalty box almost led to the home side drawing level only two minutes from time. The ball dropped to danger man Green but he snatched at his 15-yard shot sending it past Campbell's post.
The home side then put the icing on the cake in injury time. Sub Scott Graham played an inch-perfect through ball into the path of the returning Shaun Kerr, who had made a great run across the Forres back line. The Nairn striker then rolled the ball under the advancing Knight from the right edge of the box and into the net to wrap up the three points for his side.
|John Campbell (GK)||27||12||-||61||-|
|Darren Jarvie (sub)||20||12||-||12||-|
|Scott Graham (sub)||20||3||-||3||-|
|Shaun Kerr (sub)||21||10||7||10||7|
No league table has been added for this season.