Nairn County 1
Rothes 0
League (HFL)

Nairn County
1 - 0

League (HFL)
Saturday, August 18th, 2007
Station Park
3:00 PM Kick-off

Brian Macleod (pen.) (84)

Team Managers
Les Fridge

Starting Eleven
John Campbell
Stephen Skinner
Neil MacDonald
Steven Edwards
Darren Jarvie
Willie Barron
Wayne Mackintosh
Brian Macleod
Martin Sanderson
Shaun Kerr
Chris Finnigan
Jim Calder
Steven Sim
Kevin Shortreed
Graeme Bain
George Massie
Iain MacRae
Kevin Collins
Mark Taylor
Kris Duncan
Chris Grant
Ross Duncan

John Calder
Glenn Main
Angus Lawrie
Gregg Main
Marc MacDonald
David Christie
Richard Rizza
David Simpson
Grant Milne
Kenny Hendry

Glenn Main for Wayne Mackintosh (52)
Marc MacDonald for Willie Barron (65)
Gregg Main for Steven Edwards (89)

Neil MacDonald (27)
Chris Finnigan (42)
Mark Taylor (23)
Ross Duncan (72)
Kevin Shortreed (84)
Kevin Collins (89)

Red Cards
None. Jim Calder (84)
Match Officials

A Mather (Referee)

Match Report

Brian Macleod's late second half penalty earned Nairn County their second league win of the season after a lethargic display against Rothes at Station Park. It represented an immediate turnaround in the fortunes of the County full back who was given a costly red card against Ross County in midweek.

The home side clearly looked to still be suffering the after-effects of their colossal efforts at Victoria Park as their passing was weary and the performance was flat and tiresome at times. But they came more and more into the match as it wore on and took the chance when it presented itself six minutes from time.

Les Fridge was forced into two changes from Wednesday night. Martin MacDonald's suspension meant there was a first start for summer signing Chris Finnigan who played on the right hand side of midfield. Macleod switched over to the left and Darren Jarvie dropped into defence filling MacDonald's void. The other change saw Neil MacDonald return to the heart of the midfield for the injured Duncan Jones.

The visitors had the best of the early play at a sodden Station Park and almost took the lead after four minutes when Mark Taylor's hooked volley from 18 yards flew inches over John Campbell's crossbar.

Campbell kept his side level two minutes later when he got a vital touch to Kevin Collins' angled drive from the right edge of the box, taking the off the head of the waiting Kris Duncan who would have surely scored from a couple of yards.

Collins again tested Campbell in the 20th minute when his thunderous low free kick from 30 yards was parried by the former Hibernian shotstopper. The loose ball found its way to Duncan but he could only wildly lash his shot over the crossbar from 15 yards.

Nairn's first chance of the half took 35 minutes to arrive when Neil MacDonald went on a surging forward run from the middle of the park and tried his luck from the edge of the box but his low shot by parried by Rothes goalkeeper Jim Calder, making a return to Station Park.

Any notions that this would herald the home side dominating the proceedings were extinguished shortly after and it was the visitors who finished the half stronger with their best chance of the match two minutes before the break. Collins whipped in an inviting delivery from the left that Duncan met with a back post header but he was off target with his effort to the relief of the hosts who were the happier of the two sides to hear the half time whistle.

Rothes started the second half in the same way they had done the first and almost took the lead four minutes after the start. Danger man Collins cut in from the right and fired in a left-footed shot from 20 yards that fizzed over Campbell's crossbar.

Then two minutes later, Dave Simpson's side were on the attack again and only a fine reaction stop from Campbell kept the score level. Collins fired in a corner from the right that dropped to the feet of Steven Sim but the visiting defender was caught somewhat unaware and gave Campbell a vital half-second to get his footing right and make a superb close range block from Sim's shot.

Collins was next to go close for the Speysiders when he lined up a free kick from 22 yards. His low effort flashed along the deck and was parried by Campbell who was having a fine game.

Taylor was next to go close for the visitors on the hour mark when he managed to turn on the edge of the box and fire in a powerful volley that flew high and past the post and led to referee Mather awarding Rothes a corner kick even though the ball appeared not to take any sort of deflection.

The hosts finally began to come more and more into the match from here on in and it was no coincidence that the turnaround occurred shortly after the introduction of substitutes Glenn Main and Marc MacDonald. The added impetus provided by the fresh legs of the two midfielders was crucial as County went on to dominate the last half an hour.

They created their first chance of the half after 62 minutes when Finnigan picked out Main with a throw in on the right and the former Nairn St Ninian man unleashed a stinging low volley that was saved by Calder.

Main also went close seven minutes later when he was afforded the space to fire in a low shot from the edge of the box that was held by the 47-year-old Calder.

Finnigan was again the source of the next Nairn attack when he surged down the right and picked out Steven Edwards with a cut back but his first time shot from 18 yards was held.
County's two MacDonalds combined to create their next chance when Marc's throw in found Neil on the edge of the box. He managed to turn inside and almost scored his first goal for the club with a low drive from 15 yards but it was held by Calder at the second attempt.

Neil MacDonald's corner from the right then found Stephen Skinner at the back post in the 81st minute and his header was the closest thing to a goal so far as it was hacked clear from the goal-line by Sim.

It was clear one goal was going to win this game and with the visitors seemingly content to settle for a point, Nairn pounced with six minutes left. Darren Jarvie tossed a hopeful high ball into the box that Finnigan chased down. The former Inverness CT man went down after being nudged in the back by Kevin Shortreed as the ball bounced. Referee Mather pointed to the spot and the visitors were incensed and had goalkeeper Calder sent off for his protests while Shortreed was also booked. After a lengthy delay, Brian Macleod was the coolest man inside Station Park as he rammed the ball into the bottom corner to wrap up the three points for County.

Squad Statistics (as at August 18th, 2007)

2007-08 All Time
John Campbell (GK)27 5 - 54 -
Neil MacDonald21 2 - 28 -
Stephen Skinner19 5 - 5 -
Darren Jarvie19 5 - 5 -
Steven Edwards26 4 - 993
Martin Sanderson24 5 - 818
Willie Barron26 5115544
Wayne Mackintosh19 5 - 551
Brian Macleod26 511268
Chris Finnigan21 3 - 3 -
Shaun Kerr21 5656
Glenn Main (sub)22 4 - 14 -
Gregg Main (sub)20 4 - 171
Marc MacDonald (sub)20 2 - 16 -

League Table (as at August 18th, 2007)

No league table has been added for this season.