4 - 0
4 - 0
North of Scotland Cup (1st Round)
Willie Barron (21)
Jonathan Holland (52)
Shaun Kerr (63)
Shaun Kerr (85)
John Beaton & Brian Wright
Jonathan Holland for Willie Barron (49)
Steven Edwards for Duncan Jones (63)
Scott Graham for Martin MacDonald (83)
Jamie Bagley for Mark Cody (49)
David Blackhall for Gary McNicol (60)
Shaun Kerr (31)
Martin MacDonald (40)
|Craig Donaldson (73)|
A convincing and commanding display from Nairn County saw them ease to a comfortable victory over Lossiemouth to set up at North of Scotland Cup showdown with local rivals Forres Mechanics.
It was County's first competitive match of the season at a hot and sunny Station Park and after taking a first-half lead, Les Fridge's men netted another three goals after the break to send The Coasters tumbling out of the competition at the first hurdle.
Fridge stuck with his 4-4-2 tactics as John Campbell retained the gloves and played behind a defensive consisting of Gary Black, Neil MacDonald, Stephen Skinner and new boy Billy Horne. Wayne Mackintosh, Gregg Main, Duncan Jones and Willie Barron patrolled the midfield while Martin MacDonald - who bagged a hat trick in last week's friendly win over Strathspey Thistle - led the line with Shaun Kerr playing just off him.
Home captain Barron settled the nerves with the opening goal in the first half but it was after the restart that the floodgates really opened. Sub Jonathan Holland but the game all but beyond the visitors before a double from the deadly Kerr put County on easy street.
It was Lossie who took the game to Nairn in the early stages as they looked the more composed team while County's passing was wayward.
But the visitors failed the cause John Campbell any problems and it was in fact the home side who created the first clear cut chance of the game. Martin MacDonald should have opened the scoring after 20 minutes when he found space at the edge of the box but he screwed his left-footed shot wide of the target.
The hosts didn't have long to wait for the opening goal though as captain Barron led by example to put his side one up. Duncan Jones fed the Nairn wide man who latched onto the pass at the near post and managed to steer the ball home at the second attempt to put County one up.
It could have been two for home side when Martin MacDonald again had the chance to get his name on the score sheet but he curled one just over the bar from the right side of the box.
The visitors almost grabbed an equaliser after 34 minutes when Kyle Stewart raced through but he was denied by a last ditch Neil MacDonald tackle.
Then Jones really should have put the home side two up a minute before half time when he was clear on the right. With only goalkeeper Darren McConnachie to beat, he opted to try and lob the advancing shot stopper only for his attempt to go straight into the keeper's welcoming arms.
The second half started with Nairn in more determined mood and their passing looked crisper and movement faster as they tried to build on their half time lead.
Goal scorer Barron took a knock on his ankle and was replaced by Jonathan Holland after 49 minutes and it wasn't long before the Maltese international scored his maiden goal for the home side. A long Jones free kick was allowed to bounce over the Lossie defence and Holland was all alone to nod County into a two-goal lead in the 52nd minute.
By now Lossiemouth were well out of it as Nairn turned the screw and the home side were looking very dangerous as the mounted attack after attack with Martin MacDonald at the heart of all of their play.
And supplier of both goals Jones almost got in on the act himself a minute before the hour mark but he saw his rasping shot turned away by McConnachie.
Then Main fed Martin MacDonald wide on the right in the 63rd minute and the big man did well to beat the Lossie defender and sent over a pinpoint cross. Shaun Kerr was on hand to meet the delivery with a bullet header from six yards to give the home side an unassailable three-goal lead.
By now Nairn were cruising but a lapse in concentration saw Lossie presented with their first chance of the second half but the ever-reliable John Campbell blocked with his legs and Neil MacDonald was on hand to clear the danger.
With 75 minutes on the clock, Martin MacDonald again did well to cross from the left but this time Wayne Mackintosh's overhead kick dipped just over the crossbar.
It was to be MacDonald's last involvement in the match before being replaced by Scott Graham after 83 minutes and two minutes later the former Fort William forward played a neat one-two with Kerr although County's number nine's effort was well saved by McConnachie.
The duo were to have the last laugh though as Graham robbed the Lossiemouth midfield of the ball and played in Kerr to net his brace and put Nairn into the next round where they will face Forres on a date yet to be decided.
|John Campbell (GK)||28||1||-||84||-|
|Jonathan Holland (sub)||30||1||1||7||1|
|Steven Edwards (sub)||27||1||-||121||3|
|Scott Graham (sub)||21||1||-||22||2|
No league table has been added for this season.