Alness United 3 Nairn County U20s 0 - Report

11th September, 2018 •
Posted In: Match Reports
Written By: Graeme Macleod •
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ALNESS United eased to a comfortable friendly win over Nairn County under-20s on a miserable night in Dingwall.
The rain-lashed Highland Football Academy was the venue for this meeting of two sides who will clash again in the first round of the North Caledonian Cup in November. And it was Kraig Vass's men who struck a pre-match psychological blow going into that tie by racking up a convincing win.
It could have been worse for the visitors but for the form of goalkeeper Fraser Wilkie, who pulled off a clutch of impressive stops to keep the score down.
Head Coach Stuart Finnie said: "We got a bit of a lesson. It was a tough night for the lads as Alness kept the ball well and gave us the runaround a bit - I was impressed by them. They had extra experience which makes a massive difference.
"Although nights like this are extremely disappointing, they can actually work out better for us in the long run as there is a lot we can learn from. The boys were getting frustrated but to be fair, they kept at it right until the end.
"A couple of the goals were our own undoing, which is down to inexperience but in saying that, Fraser made some terrific saves as well.
"It gives us an idea of how tough a game it will be against Golspie next week too but I am confident the boys will come back to training tomorrow night ready to work hard and learn from tonight."
Wilkie was caled into action within a minute, getting down well to hold Miller Mackay's low effort.
Nairn had their sights of goal early on though with Ian Payne fizzing a right-footed shot across goal and wide of the far post on seven minutes before Sam Campbell fed the unmarked Seamus McConaghy with a ball across goal from the right. But the young winger took a touch before shooting, allowing a covering defender to make a sliding block.
Alness piled on the pressure as they enjoyed the bulk of possession and only a stunning Wilkie save on 20 minutes prevented the hosts from going in front. The 19-year-old goalkeeper threw himself to his left to tip a net-bound shot on to the underside of the crossbar before the ball was scrambled away.
But Wilkie was finally beaten as the home side's pressure paid off on 39 minutes. Jack Mackay latched on to a sweeping ball across the face of the Nairn penalty area from deep on the right before cutting inside and drilling a low shot across goal and into the far corner.
Alness doubled their lead just a minute into the second half as Jack Mackay grabbed his second. His looping shot from 15 yards out to the left of goal dropped over Wilkie's head and into the net.
And United rounded off the scoring from the penalty spot with Mikey Grimes slotting home from 12 yards after a foul in the County 18-yard box.
Both teams had chances to add to the scoring in the closing stages with Wilkie making two superb finger tip saves to divert Alness efforts over the crossbar while at the other end, substitute Sean McWilliams could only guide his header into the welcoming arms of the United goalkeeper after meeting Ian Payne's out-swinging cross from deep on the right.
Nairn County - Wilkie, Cruden (Cuthbert 46), McDermott (Robertson 65), Cameron Maclean (Mitchell 46), Barron, Davidson, Morrison (McWilliams 65), Campbell (Hallam 46), Geddes (Young 55), Payne, McConaghy (Eadie 46). Subs unused - .


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