1 - 0
1 - 0
Lewis Mackinnon (35)
Scott Nicholl for Shaun Kerr (83)
Sean McIntosh for Stuart McGregor (76)
Dan Smith for Michael Smith (82)
Stuart Lamberton for Scott Matheson (86)
Lewis Mackinnon (34)
Brian Macleod (78)
Wayne Mackintosh (82)
Andrea Coletto (87)
Andrea Coletto (89)
It may not have been the most impressive Nairn County performance ever, but three points and clean sheets are what it is all about at this stage of the season. And manager Les Fridge will have been happy to hear the final whistle as his side chalked a 1-0 win over Lossiemouth.
It was a workmanlike performance from the hosts in front of a decent crowd at Station Park, considering the football fare being served up on television. And even though Lossiemouth went home with nothing, they must have been pleased with their efforts over a game in which were constantly in the home side's faces, not letting them settle. In fact, only once did the visitors switch off and they paid the highest price as County netted the only goal of the game.
The weather was a great leveller but Nairn must look for more from their midfield, which has failed to add to the goal threat of strikers Lewis MacKinnon and Shaun Kerr.
Fridge had Martin MacDonald available again after he missed last week's trip to Cove. The former Brora man returned to the centre of the defence as Stephen Skinner reverted to right back and Scott Nicholl dropped to the bench. Gregg Main's suspension meant that captain Willie Barron returned to the side while Callum Donaldson was back in goals.
County's goal arrived 10 minutes before half time as MacKinnon swept home a Brian Macleod pass to grab his sixth goal of the season.
Skinner was the source of Nairn's first attacking foray of the match when he showed good skill to beat two Lossie defenders and hit the by-line. From there, the former Ross County man sent a sizzling delivery across the six-yard box that goalkeeper Darren McConnachie prevented from arriving at MacKinnon's feet. But he couldn't hold onto it and the ball dropped to Kerr. County's top marksman saw his goal-bound shot deflected though and cleared off the line by John Urquhart.
Lossie showed they weren't just going to be cannon fodder for the home side when they put the Nairn defence under pressure on seven minutes. But defender Calum Read saw his rasping shot fly past Donaldson's right hand post.
The home side went straight up the park and Brian Macleod's shot had McConnachie scrambling across his area, only to see the Nairn man's effort go wide of the target.
The best move of the match followed on 13 minutes when a Jamie Baggly corner was headed on by Craig Donaldson for the onrushing Tony Ross. But the former Forres Mechanics midfielder sent his volley inches over Donaldson's crossbar.
By this time, Lossie were in the ascendancy with Nairn pinned back to within 30 yards of their own goal for long periods and the next threat on their goal came through a Scott Matheson free kick. The former Rangers youth's effort was more of a threat to a passing train though as he sent his effort well over the bar and out of the ground.
County finally started to take a grip of the game and a good Main free kick was met full-on by MacDonald. But the big defender-come-striker's header was off target.
And just when it looked as if the first half was about to go into a bit of a lull, Nairn found the opener in the easiest of fashions. Macleod looked like he was going nowhere when he picked out Lewis MacKinnon at the edge of the Lossie box. And with the visiting defence happy to stand off the big man, he had time to control, turn and sweep a low shot past the diving McConnachie to the despair of the large travelling support.
Lossiemouth must have been raging with themselves as the move which led to the goal looked to be the least dangerous attack of the half. And just minutes before the break, Nairn had the chance to double their lead. A poor McConnachie clearance fell at the feet of Kerr. Quick thinking from the County striker saw him volley the ball back towards the open net but unfortunately it slipped past the far post.
Lossie had a great chance to go in level at the break. The ever-willing Baggly sped down the left and sent a telling, low cross into the home area but some good defending by Wayne Mackintosh saw him get his foot to the ball and send it to safety before it reached Shaun Scott, who would have had a simple finish.
The teams came out for the second half to be met by a downpour of rain and high wind which was to greatly affect passing.
Again it was Baggly who was at the centre of the Lossie attacks as he sent a slide-rule ball for Scott to chase. It looked odds-on that the visitors would get the reward for their hard work but Donaldson was having none of it as he raced off his line like Usain Bolt to gather the ball before Scott.
Again it was Lossie who were forcing the issue and Michael Smith shot past when Ross looked to be in a more promising position to score.
Nairn didn't threaten the Lossie goal again until the hour-mark. Mackintosh saw his well hit shot from 25 yards go straight into the mid-drift of the thankful McConnachie.
It was clear that the atrocious conditions were taking their toll on the game with several passes not making their targets and the wind taking the ball out of play on numerous occasions.
On 72 minutes, Lossiemouth should really have drawn level. A great cross from the right was met by Scott but his header was well off target when it looked easier to score.
Then a swift Nairn attack involving Barron and Mackintosh saw the latter shoot straight at the 'keeper from 18 yards.
And after 87 minutes, the County fans must have got a sense of deja vu when defender Andrea Coletto picked up his second yellow card of the evening for a late challenge and was sent for an early bath. As this was happening, midfielder Mackintosh was receiving treatment for cramp so Nairn were suddenly down to nine men and defending a free kick 30 yards from their goal.
Thoughts of the Deveronvale game came flooding back to the home support but the free kick delivery from Ross was poor and Nairn survived.
|Callum Donaldson (GK)||23||12||-||17||-|
|Scott Nicholl (sub)||25||4||-||46||1|
No league table has been added for this season.