0 - 1
0 - 1
North of Scotland Cup (Semi Final)
Steve Sanderson for Andrea Coletto (46)
A shocking performance from a County side lacking in passion and commitment cost the club a place in the North of Scotland Cup final as Rothes advanced with a a 1-0 at Station Park. Ronnie Sharp gambled on the fitness of several key players as he re-introduced Dave Macdonald to a defence that conceed five goals without him on Wednesday night.
Garry Ewing was added to the side, his first game since picking up a knee injury. Andrea Coletto also started as Sanderson dropped down to the bench. This left Nairn with Munro between the sticks, Macleod, Smith and Macdonald at the back while Farquhar and Sinclair took up the middle of the park positions. Coletto played wide left with Holmes wide right and Ewing, Kellacher and Brooks up front.
In only the opening minutes Nairn should of opened the scoring with one of their best chances of the game. Kellacher was put through by a Farquhar pass that sprung the Rothes offside trap but somehow he put his shot wide of the post. Nairn were to live to regret this miss and from now on Rothes came into the game. Ryan Smith left Colin Macleod for dead with a great Michael Mols style turn just inside the Nairn half and if it wasn't for the speed of Gareth Smith followed by his tackle then he would have been one on one with Munro.
But from the clearence Smith had the ball back again and again he beat Macleod but Donnie Munro had don enough to close the angle and force him to hit his shot over. From their next attack Rothes opened the scoring.
Hamilton skinned Macleod and Coletto down the right before hitting the goalline and sending in a great cross. Gareth Smith tried his best to get it cleared at the front post but unfortunately all he could do was re-direct it into the roof of the net. County were now looking to get back into the game and had some great chances to do so. The best of these fell to Farquhar and Ewing but both of these two put their shots wide.
Ronnie Sharp replaced Andrea Coletto with Steve Sanderson for the second 45 in a tactical re-shuffle that saw Sinclair move to the left of midfield, Ewing move into the middle of the park and Sanderson up front.
Brooks had the first good chance for Nairn in the second half when he sprung the offside trap that had frustrated Nairn so much earlier in the game. He cut in from the right but instead of Squaring the ball to Kellacher for him to tap home Brooks went for glory himself but all he could do was fire his shot straight at Strong who had closed the angle. Colin Macleod was next to miss a great chance to equlaize for Nairn.
Kellacher swung in a corner from the right and the ball sat up perfectly for the defender and it seemed all he had to do was fire it goalward. But it came off of his thigh and somehow completely missed the goal and didn't even go out for a goal kick.
Holmes should have scored for County but he joined the ever increasing list of players to have missed gilt edged chances for Nairn in this tie. Substitute Seaton swung in a great cross from the right but instead of striking it first time at the back post, Holmes took a touch and before he knew it he had been crowded out by Rothes defenders.
Rothes had a brilliant chance to kill off the game late on when Ryan Smith yet again beat Colin Macleod before careering down the right wing. He cut into the box but Munro made a brilliant double save to deny him before Ewing was in the right place at the right time to clear from the line, but it was all in vain for County as they crash out of the North Cup.
With this being the fourth semi final defeat on top of the Qualifying Cup defeat to Wick last season under Ronnie Sharp many County fans believe the current manager can take the side no further. Some fans went as far as saying that a full clearout of the squad is also required come the summer. If next weeks League Cup tie at home to Forres, Nairn would have nothing to play for when only three weeks ago it looked as if we would be in the North Cup final, challenging for a top six spot in the League and progressing in the League Cup.
|Donnie Munro (GK)||-||3||-||3||-|
|Steve Sanderson (sub)||21||14||8||24||16|
No league table has been added for this season.