3 - 2
Derek Milne (25)
Gavin Wemyss (68)
Graham Johnston (78)
Shaun Kerr (41)
Gregg Main (90)
|Gavin Wemyss for Alan Hale (58)||
Wayne Mackintosh for Willie Barron (71)
Callum Donaldson for John Campbell (90)
|Jamie Beagrie (90)||
Gregg Main (28)
Billy Horne (31)
Gary Black (60)
Duncan Jones (80)
Martin MacDonald (83)
Brian Macleod (90)
Shaun Kerr (90)
Roddy Cobb (Referee)
A serious injury to goalkeeper John Campbell overshadowed Nairn County's defeat at Fraserburgh as the Broch took all three points from this league encounter. The result means Nairn have now collected only 13 points from a possible 90 away from home against Aberdeenshire FA clubs since Les Fridge has been in charge.
County shot stopper Campbell went down in the box late on after landing on his head following a heavy aerial challenge from Fraserburgh's Jamie Beagrie.
The performance of referee Roddy Cobb left the visitors raging. The man in the middle booked a total of six Nairn players to Fraserburgh's one and also sent off returning striker Shaun Kerr after the full time whistle despite there being only a difference of four between the two teams' foul count. The lack of protection afforded to goalkeeper Campbell also eventually resulted in the former Hibs man having to be rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for treatment as the home side's physical approach ultimately succeeded.
Fridge was able to welcome back Gary Black and Kerr to his starting line up as Andrea Coletto dropped to the bench and Steven Edwards missed out through work commitments. Brian Macleod took up his more familiar position on the left of midfield while Barron dropped back into the middle of the park to accommodate Kerr.
The home side opened the scoring when Derek Milne fired home from close range. But Nairn were back on level terms before the break when top scorer Kerr netted four minutes short of the interval. County had more reason to be aggrieved with the officials when Duncan Jones had a goal disallowed for offside. That prompted the home side to lift their performance and Gavin Wemyss fired them back in front before Graham Johnston all but put the game beyond Nairn before Gregg Main cut the deficit to one in the lengthy amount of injury time.
Nairn almost opened the scoring with 11 minutes on the clock when Martin MacDonald robbed Fraserburgh's Neil Main in the middle of the park. The Nairn defender played a neat one-two with Kerr but could only fire his shot over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area.
It was a costly miss for the visitors as Fraserburgh opened the scoring after 25 minutes. A Steven Main cross seemed like meat and drink for Campbell but the goalkeeper took his eye off the ball and dropped it at the feet of Derek Milne. The Broch defender could not believe his luck as he fired his side in front from close range.
County were back on level terms before the interval though as the home side failed to build on their lead. Scott Graham's effort from just inside the box was blocked and the loose ball landed at the feet of his strike partner Kerr. It was the kind of chance Nairn's goal machine rarely misses as he slammed Nairn level four minutes before the break. (H-T 1-1).
Having clawed themselves level so close to half time, it was vital that County built on that goal if they wanted to repeat last season's 3-2 success at Bellslea Park. But it was the home side who threatened first as Campbell blocked Steven Main's shot 10 minutes after the restart. Then Graham Johnston's drilled effort was parried by the shot stopper before Main headed the loose ball home from close range but the hosts were denied a second goal by the linesman's flag.
It was then Nairn's turn to curse the officials as they too had a goal chalked off for offside. Graham capitalised on a poor Fraserburgh clearance before racing in on goal. The former Fort William forward played in Duncan Jones who squared it for Kerr to roll into the unguarded net. But linesman Michael Milne raised his flag to the dismay of the visitors.
Two goals in a 10-minute spell were decisive as the home side made sure of the win. After being let off the hook by the linesman's flag, Fraserburgh went up through the gears and re-established their lead with 68 minutes on the clock as they grabbed the all-important third goal of the match. Johnston raced onto a through ball but saw his shot blocked by Campbell. The Broch forward then squared the ball for substitute Wemyss who slammed the home side back into the lead.
With 12 minutes to go, the home side put daylight between the sides for the first time in the afternoon when Wemyss turned provider as he headed the ball across goal to the waiting Johnston who placed into beyond Campbell and into the roof of the net.
But the real talking point came late on when Campbell had to be stretchered off following a rash challenge from Beagrie. The Nairn shot stopper had been on the receiving end of some heavy treatment all afternoon that referee Cobb had failed to nip in the bud. The Broch man followed through on the Nairn goalkeeper - who was in the midst of gathering a high ball - resulting in the Nairn number one landing on his head. After a lengthy delay, Campbell was taken from the pitch on a stretcher and onwards to hospital for further treatment.
The delay for Campbell's injury contributed towards most of the 11 minutes of injury time added and after four of them, Gregg Main clawed a goal back for County to set up a grandstand finale. The County midfielder raced between the Broch defenders who had switched off before sliding the ball into the net for his first goal of the season.
And there was still time left for Fridge's fury to rise another few levels when his side were denied a stick-on penalty in the 11th minute of injury time. Kerr was sent racing through on goal before rounding the goalkeeper and being fouled in the box. Referee Cobb pointed to the penalty spot at which point the linesman raised his flag for offside despite keeping the flag down while Kerr collected the ball and raced through on goal. The referee went with his assistant's decision which incensed the Nairn bench as the home side held on for the win.
To rub salt into the Nairn wounds, Kerr was shown a straight red card by the referee going up the tunnel for venting his frustrations at the official.
|John Campbell (GK)||28||14||-||97||-|
|Callum Donaldson (sub) (GK)||23||1||-||6||-|
|Wayne Mackintosh (sub)||21||9||1||91||5|
No league table has been added for this season.