3 - 0
Richard MacAdie (80)
Gary Weir (86)
Steven Edwards (o.g.) (88)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Shaun Sinclair for Gary Farquhar (56)
Greg Shearer for Bryan McKiddie (88)
Glenn Main for Scott Graham (69)
Steven Edwards for Neil MacDonald (77)
A late Nairn County collapse at Harmsworth Park saw Wick Academy take all three points from off the visitors as Les Fridge's men failed to immediately bounce back from their heaviest defeat of the season last weekend. It is now seven goals conceded and zero scored for Nairn in their last two games, a statistic which will surely be starting to worry the manager.
Wick has never been the happiest of hunting grounds for County having won at Harmsworth Park only twice in the league during Fridge's time as manager, but this was their heaviest defeat in the far north since 2001.
A lack of available players restricted the manager's options in terms of freshening up his side and there were only two changes to the team soundly beaten by Cove Rangers seven days ago. Gary Black, sent off in the Cove match, served the first of his four-game suspension while Gregg Main was unavailable. That meant Neil MacDonald came straight into the starting eleven at right back while Shaun Kerr was promoted from the bench to replace Main and partnered Scott Graham in attack. Meanwhile, Steven Edwards found a place on the bench after recovering from a foot injury.
It took until the final ten minutes from the deadlock to be broken as both sides chased the all important opener. After County's luck had deserted them when they hit the post twice in succession, the home side capitalised to make the breakthrough thanks to Richard MacAdie's finish. Then Gary Weir made the points safe for The Scorries by doubling their lead only six minutes later before substitute Edwards put through his own net late on to add insult to injury for the visitors.
Wick made a lively start to the game as Nairn had Neil MacDonald to thank for keeping them level with only a minute played. Gary Weir won the ball on the halfway line and picked out Nigel Mackenzie who raced at the County backline. The Academy midfielder then picked out MacAdie with a square pass and the former Ross County youngster's shot had Callum Donaldson beaten but MacDonald was in the right place at the right time to deflect the ball away from goal at the expense of a corner.
County's first chance of the afternoon arrived on six minutes. A long ball into the box was flicked on by Willie Barron to the unmarked Shaun Kerr but his shot from 15 yards was tame, leaving home goalkeeper Don MacMillan with an easy save.
Nairn asked more questions of the home defence five minutes later when a free kick forward was licked on by Scott Graham, putting Brian Macleod in behind Wick's defensive line. The County wide man raced towards goal but he could only fire his effort wide of MacMillan's left hand post.
The visitors' luck was well and truly out as the woodwork prevented them from going in front twice within the space of a few seconds. Space opened up in front of Martin MacDonald who grabbed the opportunity to run at the home defence before playing in Graham. The ex-Fort William front man then clipped the ball back onto the head of MacDonald but the ex-Brora Rangers centre back was denied a first goal of the season by the crossbar as his header came back off the woodwork. The ball rebounded to Kerr who had little or no time to react as it bounced off his thigh and trickled agonisingly onto the post before being cleared.
The home side seemed buoyed by this escape as they sensed it could be there day and they almost opened the scoring on the stroke of half time. A Mackenzie pass split the Nairn defence and sent MacAdie haring in on goal but with time to pick his spot, the Wick forward could only send his shot into the welcoming arms of Donaldson.
The hosts were again first out of the traps after the restart as they pressed forward from the off. Two minutes into the half, the impressive Mackenzie played in Stewart Ross who picked out MacAdie in the box. Wick's number 10 turned his marker but his shot was deflected wide for a corner.
A County break in the 54th minute almost resulted in them finding a way to goal as Kerr was played in down the left and cut the ball back to Billy Horne, who had raced forward to join the attack. The former Inverness CT defender fired a powerful shot towards the bottom corner but MacMillan was equal to it as he dived to his right to palm the ball away.
Six minutes later, Horne was involved in another Nairn attack as he picked the ball up just inside the Wick half and raced towards goal but his stinging effort from 30 yards was tipped over by MacMillan.
The hosts almost made the vital breakthrough on 72 minutes when a through ball from Weir sprung the Nairn back line and sent MacAdie in on goal but again the Wick forward was foiled by Donaldson.
The side who could break the deadlock at this stage was always likely to go on and win the game and when the opening goal arrived on 80 minutes, it went the way of the hosts. Craig Shearer picked out Bryan McKiddie who kept the ball moving to Mackenzie out on the flank. The Wick midfielder then crossed for Richard MacAdie who finally found his shooting boots to slot home at the back post.
And any hopes Nairn had of salvaging a point were in tatters six minutes later as Wick wrapped up the win. Shearer's through ball saw the County back line breached yet again as MacAdie latched onto the pass and cut the ball back to Gary Weir who finished from seven yards.
County's miserable afternoon was complete two minutes from the end as Donaldson couldn't hold onto a MacAdie shot from the edge of the box before Steven Edwards sent his attempted clearance into his own net via the post to send County back to the drawing board.
|Callum Donaldson (GK)||23||4||-||9||-|
|Steven Edwards (sub)||27||13||-||133||3|
|Glenn Main (sub)||23||5||-||35||-|
No league table has been added for this season.