2 - 0
2 - 0
Gregg Main (1)
Glenn Main (22)
Scott Nicholl for Willie Barron (33)
Graeme Stewart for Gregg Main (73)
Mark Dougal for Kyle Mackay (50)
Chris Grant for Mike Smith (77)
Lewis Mackinnon (38)
Wayne Mackintosh (90)
Mark Taylor (38)
Donald Horsburgh (70)
|None.||Donald Horsburgh (71)|
Brian Braidwood (Referee)
It took first half goals from brothers Gregg and Glenn Main for Nairn County to see off Rothes at Station Park as Les Fridge's side racked up their second win and clean sheet of the week.
The match was originally due to be played at Rothes's MacKessack Park as a Highland League Cup tie. But with the Speyside pitch still waterlogged and the league match between the sides at Nairn postponed earlier this season, the decision was made to reverse the fixture. The cup tie will now be played at Rothes on Wednesday, kick off 8 pm.
In this match, the wind severely affected both team's fluency as the conditions took a hold of any high ball. Both sets of players were probably relieved to hear the final whistle and despite the sponsor's man of the match being awarded to Glenn Main, it was probably the Station Park ball boys who were the hardest working people inside the ground.
Nairn made one change to the team that defeated Lossiemouth on Wednesday night. Andrea Coletto - red carded in that 1-0 win - was suspended so Gregg Main came back into the starting eleven. That meant Brian Macleod filled in a left back, Willie Barron moved out to the wing while Main resumed his midfield partnership with Wayne Mackintosh.
County took the lead with only 30 seconds played as Gregg Main curled home his third goal of the season from a free kick.
And brother Glenn grabbed his first goal for the club when he rose highest to meet Stephen Skinner's cross with a header on minutes.
The visitors' hopes of a comeback were severely dented on 74 minutes when Donald Horsburgh was red carded. But they had a great chance to half the deficit when they were awarded a penalty. Callum Donaldson though was equal to Steven Sim's effort as the County goalkeeper saved the spot kick.
Nairn came flying out of the traps and were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal in the first minute. Gregg Main stepped up to curl the set piece up and over the two-man Rothes wall and into the net. Maybe it was wind-assisted but it was a perfect start for the home side.
The players were struggling to handle the wind and it was until the 14th minute that the next opportunity arose. Shaun Kerr did well to hold up a Gregg Main pass before playing the ball into the path of Lewis MacKinnon. The big striker managed to get a shot away but he saw Steven Dunn in the Rothes goal push it past the near post for a corner.
But it wasn't long before Nairn had doubled their advantage. On 22 minutes, defender Stephen Skinner did well to latch onto Willie Barron's pass wide on the right. The ex-Ross County man beat two Rothes defenders as he made his way to the by-line before delivering a pinpoint cross. Glenn Main was then on hand at the back post where he rose highest to head Skinner's delivery beyond the stranded Dunn to put the home side on easy street.
Rothes never threatened the Nairn goal until the 25th minute. A sweeping move saw the ball switch from one side of the park to the other. It was then laid back to Mark Taylor who smashed a piledriver just wide of Donaldson's goal.
Kerr then had hard luck as he saw his goal-bound shot deflect off Dunn's legs and then cleared as Nairn started to lay siege on the visitors' goal.
A cross by Barron found Glenn Main in acres of space in the box. But his first-time shot was cleared off the line and another chance had gone.
The resultant corner by Barron was knocked down by MacKinnon to Kerr. But with only Dunn to beat, Nairn's top scorer screwed his shot wide of target from only four yards.
By now, Nairn were creating so many chances that it looked like a training exercise. Their killer touch in front of goal seemed to have deserted them though.
Again on 34 minutes it was Kerr who was the sinner. A one-two between the former Ross County man and Wayne Mackintosh saw the striker through one-on-one with Rothes shot stopper Dunn only for Kerr to lob the ball high and wide of the gaping goal.
There was almost a sting in the tail for Nairn on 42 minutes. A hopeful clearance from the Rothes box found its way to within 30 yards of the County goal, with Kris Duncan out-running David Hind and baring down on Donaldson. But the Rothes forward was out-thought by the big County 'keeper who spread himself to block Duncan's shot with an outstretched leg before Hind cleared the danger.
The last action of the half saw a corner by Gregg Main fall nicely for Scott Nicholl - who had come on for injured skipper Willie Barron. But the utility player saw his right-footed shot dip just over Dunn's crossbar.
The second half saw the wind increase and the ball seemed to be out of play more than it was in.
MacKinnon had hard luck of 51 minutes when his header off a Main corner came back off the crossbar and was thumped to safety.
Kerr was sent through on goal again. But with only Dunn to beat, the County marksman hesitated and the goalkeeper was able to clear.
By now, Nairn should really have netted a bagful but the Rothes fans knew that if they could sneak a goal it would be all to play for.
Rothes were now coping well with the conditions and starting to cause the home side one or two problems. Not least when Mark Dougal found time and space to send a vicious shot just off target.
The visitors' hopes were to receive a further blow though on 74 minutes when the referee had to separate Nairn's Gregg Main and Donald Horsburgh of Rothes. After consulting with his linesman, a yellow card was flashed to the former Fort William and Forres player. But more was to come for the defender when the linesman on the opposite side had his flag up. And after a prolonged discussion with referee Braidwood, the man in the middle showed a second yellow and subseuent red card to Horsburgh and his game was over.
Nairn then gave Graeme Stewart a rare outing when he replaced the tiring Gregg Main. And the former Inverness City and Fort William midfielder made a memorable start as he handled a high ball in his own box. Sim stepped up to take the resulting penalty and struck it well to the goalkeeper's right. But Donaldson proved again that he is a great penalty stopped as he dived full-length to preserve his clean sheet as County picked up another three points.
|Callum Donaldson (GK)||23||13||-||18||-|
|Scott Nicholl (sub)||25||5||-||47||1|
|Graeme Stewart (sub)||22||1||-||1||-|
No league table has been added for this season.