NEW-look Nairn County put up a competitive performance in this evening friendly match with Premiership club Ross County at Station Park as the visitors eked out a narrow 2-1 win, writes Graeme Macleod.
Les Fridge handed starts to summer signings Callum Maclean, Andrew Skinner and Kenny McKenzie while fellow new arrival Andrew Hardwick and youngster Matthew Macleod were both given late run outs.
Also appearing in the second half were two trialists with Martin MacDonald, Alan Pollock, Robbie Duncanson, Sam Urquhart and Gregg Main all away with Wayne Mackintosh still recovering from a groin injury.
The visitors opened the scoring four minutes before the interval through summer signing Brian Graham. The former Dundee United centre forward had fluffed his lines in front of goal several times throughout the first half but this time he was right on cue to anticipate a clipped ball back into the danger area with the Nairn defence trying to step up and play offside. That gave the attacker the time he needed to pick his spot beyond the exposed Calum Antell.
It was a harsh blow for the hard-working hosts who had competed well and limited their more illustrious opponents to just a handful of half chances during the opening 45 minutes.
Kyle Macleod doubled County's advantage on 57 minutes. He clipped an accurate shot from the edge of the box past the left glove of the diving Antell and into the top corner.
Glenn Main rattled the post at the other end with the Ross County goalkeeper rooted to the spot.
The hosts grabbed the goal their endeavour deserved three minutes from time though with trialist capitalising on some slack defensive play along the Ross County back line and smashing the ball into the net.
Nairn move on to Saturday's home math against Airdrie as their build up to the new season continues. Kick off at Station Park is at 3.00 pm.
Pictures by Donald Matheson.