3 - 1
Friendly (Closed Doors)
Gary Farquhar (66)
The Wee County travelled to Dingwall today for a closed doors bounce match against Ross County that was only arranged on Friday afternoon. The home side fielded a full strength side ahead of the derby with Caley Thistle in midweek but it wasn't the walk over they expected as Nairn made them work all the way for their victory.
The hosts started the brightest and had several chances in the first few minutes but they were caught on the break by the visitors on 5 minutes but unfortunately Scott Kellacher hit his shot over the bar. Ross County then went forward and Colin Macleod kept the score 0-0 when he cleared off of the line after Mike Rae spilled the ball. On 10 minutes Nairn had they're best chance of the half and really should of been in front when Brooks collected the ball just inside the Ross half and ran all of the way with it but he took it just too far and made the angle just too tight and therefore the keeper palmed the shot round the inside post for a corner. Nairn were ruing this missed chance even more 5 minutes later when veteran defender Brian Irvine was left unmarked to head home with ease from a corner to put the home side 1-0 up.
10 minutes later Rae made a great double save, one of them a sliding clearence off of the line, to keep Nairn in it. Nairn next threatened through Willie Barron but he headed the ball over the bar from an Alan Cormie cross on 28 minutes. Cormie then had the come off injured soon-after and was replaced by Johnny Seaton. Willie Barron again had the next opportunity on 36 minutes but with the ball coming over his shoulder he mis timed his volley and missed the ball competely when in a good goalscoring position. Nairn were dealt a decisive blow 2 minutes before the interval when Ross County went 2-0 up. Holmes did well to clear from the line but his clearence hit Edwards in the back and fell perfectly for the home sides striker to slot home.
Nairn came out on the second half looking to half Ross' advantage and nearly did so when Kellacher hit the side netting after springing the offside trap 2 minutes after the re-start. Ross County brought on several younsters for the second 45 and this gave Nairn hope that they could take advantage of the inexperience. Willie Barron will think he should of got his side back in it after he collected the ball on the left hand side of the park in his own half after a Ross County break and ran the whole way, skinning Brian Irvine for pace en route, but his angled shot across the goal trickled wide of the post. Scott Kellacher then suffered a bad injury when challenging the keeper in the air for the ball. The keeper caught him in the spine with his knees and the Nairn man landing awkwardly resulting in a long hold up in the proceedings and with Kellacher being taken to hospital.
Nairn were now in control of the game despite losing Kellacher, who was replaced by Sanderson, and grabbed a deserved goal back through Farquhar. Holmes made a surging run down the right and when his low cross was only half clear the ball broke to Farquhar home fired it home, via the underside of the crossbar, from 20 yards out. Nairn were now in search of the equalizer and 2 minutes after Farquhar's 66th minute goal Holmes had a shot that the keeper did well to keep out. Rae then made a good save on 70 minutes to keep his side in the proceedings but straight from his kick Rae was called into action again to make another fine stop. This signalled the end of Nairn's spell of domination in the game and with 3 minutes of normal time remaining the home side restored their 2 goal advantage when a substitute made a surging run through the Nairn defence before slotting home.
Nairn put in a good show in this game against opposition of a different class and made the hosts work for their victory. The County players will maintain their match fitness ahead of next weeks derby with Forres at Station Park despite their enforced break but will be without the services of Scott Kellacher and possibly Alan Cormie for a few games. Also it gave Ronnie Sharp a chance to pit his wits against a top manager in the form of Alex Smith. All in all, Nairn can take more positives than negatives from this bounce game.
No league table has been added for this season.