Nairn County 1
Keith 2
Highland League Cup (2nd Round)

Nairn County
1 - 2

Highland League Cup (2nd Round)
Saturday, April 12th, 2003
Station Park
3:00 PM Kick-off

Iain Brooks (27)

Team Managers
Ronnie Sharp

Starting Eleven
Donnie Munro
Mark Holmes
Alan Cormie
Steven Edwards
Gareth Smith
Willie Barron
Colin MacLeod
Neal Sinclair
Garry Ewing
Gary Farquhar
Iain Brooks

Callum Donaldson
Mo MacMillan
Andrea Coletto
Steve Sanderson
Johnny Seaton

Johnny Seaton for Mark Holmes
Steve Sanderson for Steven Edwards

None. None.

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Match Report

There was controversy at Station Park today as a clearly offside last minute Keith goal was allowed to stand and send the Maroons into the semi final. Ronnie Sharp kept faith with the same starting eleven that won against Forres last week but the injured Scott Kellacher was replaced on the bench by the returning Johnny Seaton.

Nairn started the better of the two sides and were unlucky not to be in front in only four minutes when Willie Barron was through on goal. The Station Park faithful thought that last weeks menace of the Mechanics would become the conquorer of Keith but he blazed his shot over the bar.

It was the visitors who broke the deadlock after 21 minutes. A cross from the right by ex Nairn man Davie Calder was met by the head of Highland League Select man Darren Still six yards out and all he had to do was re-direct the ball past the helpless Donnie Munro. County were back on level terms only six minutes later when Brooks made it one each. After an industrious move in the middle of the park, Farquhar was released down the right and his pinpoint delivery was met at the back post by the head of Brooks. The big man headed the ball back across Keith keeper Andy Shearer leaving him with no chance whatsoever for his 14th goal of the season.

County re-appeared for the second half with renewed fire in their bellys as they were dominating proceedings in the opening stages. Barron, Brooks and Holmes all missed chances early on forcing Ronnie Sharp to freshen things up up front by replacing Holmes and Steven Edwards with Seaton and Sanderson. This move almost paid instant dividends as Sanderson was oh so close to putting County in front. Barron hit the byline after a great run down the right before cutting the ball back perfectly to Sanderson. The wee striker hit his shot that little bit too well as he fired it straight at the keeper who knew little or nothing about it. If it had been the slightest touch to the left or right, or up or down then this was sure to be goal.

Keith had several chances to score but some good, strong saves by Donnie Munro kept the visitors at bay. Just as it looked as if the tie was heading for extra time Keith hit a controversial winner that was clearly offside. Still made a surging run into the Nairn half before playing the ball to Nicol who was about three yards offside. The referee blew his whistle to stop proceedings and seemingly let Nairn take their free kick, so therefore the Nairn defence stopped, but Nicol put the ball past Munro into the net and somehow the goal was allowed to stand. The Nairn supporters all gathered at the tunnel to comiserate their players on an injustice and the match officials were met by a loud chorus off boo's and jeers.

Despite the controversy, this was a good performance from Nairn and one they can build on and take into the League. The League is now the sides only interest and Ronnie and his team will be doing all within their power to secure a stable, top half finish.

Squad Statistics (as at April 12th, 2003)

2002-03 All Time
Donnie Munro (GK) - 5 - 5 -
Gareth Smith24 20 - 30 -
Alan Cormie - 16 - 31 -
Mark Holmes27 218218
Steven Edwards22 181191
Willie Barron22 24103313
Colin MacLeod28 20 - 30 -
Garry Ewing - 26 - 412
Gary Farquhar - 31164121
Neal Sinclair - 28 - 342
Iain Brooks24 28144115
Steve Sanderson (sub)21 1582516
Johnny Seaton (sub) - 8 - 8 -

League Table (as at April 12th, 2003)

No league table has been added for this season.