0 - 0
0 - 0
Scott Nicholl for David Hind (46)
Paul Macleod for Jason Robertson (65)
Andrea Coletto for Brian Macleod (80)
Paul Napier for Mark Hamilton (75)
Stephen Bruce for Craig MacMillan (82)
|None.||David MacRae (72)|
Michael McNab (Referee)
The curtain came down on Nairn County's season for another year at Station Park. And it was a typical, end-of-season encounter as Les Fridge's men played out an uninspiring 0-0 draw with Buckie Thistle. All the same, it was a credible point for County to collect and one that could see them finish above local rivals Forres Mechanics in a final position of ninth if the Jags can beat Gordon Winton's men at Victoria Park next week.
A suspension picked up by Stephen Skinner forced Fridge to alter his formation and play with a back three which consisted of David Hind, Billy Horne and Martin MacDonald. Willie Barron dropped into a five-man midfield while Jason Robertson filled the vacant slot up front as he made his first start of the season. Meanwhile, defensive midfielder Paul Macleod came off the bench for his debut in the second half but Lewis MacKinnon - widely believed to be joining Buckie this summer - was omitted from the squad.
In a match of few chances, both sides struggled to find a cutting edge to their attacking play and ultimately cancelled one another out. And with little to play for, there was a lack of an extra bit of spark or needle as the game struggled to come to life.
The hosts were first to threaten five minutes in when Shaun Kerr went for goal with a right-footed effort. But County's top scorer failed to add to his tally as his effort flew past Buckie goalkeeper Kevin Main's goal at his near post.
The visitors had their first chances three minutes later when a Mark Hamilton cross from the right found David MacRae. The former Nairn midfielder shot widely over the crossbar though.
Nairn probed forward again on 22 minutes when Brian Macleod surged down the left. He delivered an inviting cross into the box but the ball was headed behind by a Buckie defender at the expense of a corner before striker Kerr and Robertson could get on the end of it.
Buckie created the best chance of the half nine minutes before the break. MacRae picked out Lewis Duguid on the left and his cross into the box found Martin Charlesworth. The former Elgin City striker then fired a half-volley goalwards but it was kept out by Callum Donaldson who made an impressive save to his left hand side.
County made a half time substitution with David Hind being replaced by Scott Nicholl. The Nairn fans will be hoping it is not the last they have seen of the former Elgin City captain in a yellow jersey with his contract due to expire in the summer.
Nicholl took over in the right of midfield with Glenn Main moving inside and Willie Barron, somewhat surprisingly, taking over from Hind in the sweeper role.
And Nicholl was immediately involved in controversy minutes after taking to the field. A Hamilton cross from the right was headed straight at the former Ross County and Clach full back by Martin MacDonald. But despite the visitors' claims for a penalty, referee Michael McNab waved play on.
The Jags continued to press and on 51 minutes, Hamilton's cross picked out Duguid. The young full back could only send his header wide of the target from six yards.
The visitors were back on the attack in the 65th minute. This time it was MacRae with the delivery from the right and Craig MacMillan who was picked out. The former Inverness CT youth controlled the ball but sent his shot over the bar to the relief of the home side.
Donaldson then came to his side's rescue when MacMillan skipped past Barron and was clean through on goal. But the big goalkeeper was quick off his line as he narrowed the angle and made himself big to block the Buckie striker's shot.
Then on 75 minutes, Buckie passed up a great chance when Charlesworth found himself one-on-one with Donaldson. The Nairn stopper came out on top again though as he managed to block the Jags' forward's tame effort.
Nairn came close in the second half when Nicholl saw a low drive crash into the side netting and they nearly nicked it at the end. Gregg Main's cross found Kerr in the box but County's number nine was denied by Kevin Main as County finished the season with a draw to end on 41 league points.
|Callum Donaldson (GK)||24||23||-||28||-|
|Scott Nicholl (sub)||25||7||-||49||1|
|Paul Macleod (sub)||20||1||-||1||-|
|Andrea Coletto (sub)||25||16||-||30||-|
No league table has been added for this season.