1 - 1
|Jamie Baggly (27)||
Stephen Skinner (8)
Sean McIntosh for Michael Macgregor (61)
Graham Wilson for Kyle Stewart (82)
Stuart McGregor for Matthew Huckins (86)
Glenn Main for Billy Horne (73)
Harry Rae for Andrea Coletto (86)
Stephen George (Referee)
A controversial first half penalty was enough for Lossiemouth to claim a point when they hosted Nairn County on league duty.
It was a case of two points dropped for the visitors who took an early lead but failed to build on it. That gave the home side hope and they took full advantage when referee Stephen George awarded them a penalty. A scrappy second half followed and as County's desperation for a winner increased, the quality of their play deteriorated.
Les Fridge's men adopted a more direct approach and a late switch to three up front was not enough as the home side stood firm, restricting County to scrappy half chances and ambitious long range efforts.
The visitors were without a host of regulars and were only able to travel with the bare 16-man squad. Shaun Kerr missed out through holidays while Gary Black was at a wedding. Wayne Mackintosh and Chris Finnigan were also unavailable while Neil MacDonald was ruled out due to illness. That meant Brian Macleod switched to right back and Andrea Coletto came in for his first start of the season. The returning Gregg Main took Mackintosh's place in central midfield while Willie Barron came in up front to start a game for the first time since the opening day of the league season. Latest capture Harry Rae also made a late debut as a substitute.
Nairn took the lead when Stephen Skinner nipped in after a Jones shot had been blocked to settle any early County nerves. Nairn continued to dictate play but couldn't find a second goal and it came back to haunt them as Jamie Baggly netted from the penalty spot. The goal gave the hosts a lift but by the time the interval arrived, Nairn were back into their passing rhythm. In the second half though, County seemed to lose the panache which had graced their play throughout the first 45 minutes. Ultimately though, a lack of killer instinct up front cost Fridge's men as they were made to settle for a share of the points.
The first attack of the game resulted in the opening goal as Nairn took an early grasp of the proceedings. Duncan Jones collected the ball wide on the right in the 8th minute and drove forward. The space just seemed to open up in front of the former Aberdeen midfield and he fired a low shot goalwards from 20 yards. Lossie goalkeeper Darren McConnachie got down well to make the save but Skinner was first to react as he flicked the ball over the grounded shot stopper for his second goal of the season.
The former Ross County defender could have added another to his tally two minutes later when he went on a mazy run up the centre of the park and slipped in Scott Graham in the left channel. The County forward tried to return the pass to Skinner, who continued his run to the back post, but the ball across the face of goal was intercepted.
Nairn had a shout for a penalty in the 23rd minute when Graham laid the ball off to strike partner Willie Barron. His first time shot from 22 yards struck a defender's arm in the box but the referee judged it as ball-to-hand.
Four minutes later the hosts were level with one of their first forays into County territory. They were awarded a corner when a Martin MacDonald pass back bobbled in front of John Campbell and was sliced behind by the goalkeeper for a corner. The set piece delivery was poor though and went straight out for a goal kick, landing on the roof of Campbell's net. But referee George pointed to the penalty spot to the astonishment of all in the ground, signalling that the award was against Steven Edwards for a push on a Lossie forward. Baggly stepped up to roll the ball down the middle and bring the home side level.
County almost gained the lead again after 35 minutes when they countered from a Lossiemouth corner. Barron latched onto the cleared ball on the right and quickly shifted it to the unmarked Graham on the left. The former Fort William man took two touches as he raced towards goal but his angled drive from the left was parried past the post by McConnachie.
From the resulting corner, Edwards attempted to scramble home Nairn's second goal from close range but the ball was cleared from the goal line at the back post.
Two minutes later, Nairn were back on the attack when Graham left Darren Watson for dead along the by-line on the right. He then cut the ball back to Edwards at the front post but instead of shooting first time, the County midfielder took a touch. That allowed Kevin Stuart to get back and make a block before Barron fired the follow up well over the crossbar.
The home side tested Campbell in the 39th minute. Martin McMullan took down a cross from the left but his low shot from 15 yards lacked conviction allowing the Nairn goalkeeper make a simple save to his left.
When Nairn were awarded a free kick some 30 yards from goal five minutes before half time there was only going to be one man to take it. Jones stepped up but smashed his cleanly hit shot inches past the right post.
A goal at the start of the second half was exactly what County wanted and they almost got it two minutes after the restart. Jones cut in from the right but his low, left-footed shot from 20 yards was pushed wide by McConnachie.
Then in the 56th minute, it was Brian Macleod's turn to go close. But his shot across goal from 20 yards out on the right was deflected wide.
Ten minutes later, Graham controlled a Jones corner from the left at the front post and flicked it into the danger area. A goalmouth scramble ensued and despite the best efforts of Martin MacDonald to force the ball over the line, the Lossiemouth goal survived.
The hosts won a corner in the 73rd minute and McMullan rose well in the box to meet the delivery but his header from the penalty spot flashed over the bar.
Nairn then switched to three men up front as Glenn Main replaced defender Billy Horne but Lossie seemed content to see out the latter stages of the game and take a point. County continued to push on but were left frustrated by the Lossiemouth back line. The final chance of the game came in injury time when Macleod tried his luck with a shot from 20 yards but his left-footed effort flew well over the bar.
|John Campbell (GK)||28||13||-||96||-|
|Glenn Main (sub)||23||3||-||33||-|
|Harry Rae (sub)||23||1||-||1||-|
No league table has been added for this season.