A DIFFICULT afternoon in Angus saw Forfar Athletic ease past Nairn County as the visitors took on another challenging pre-season friendly.
The artificial 4G surface proved tricky for the County players with a number of Ronnie Sharp's men losing their footing throughout the 90 minutes but it will be the simple goals lost from cross balls by his side which will be of more concern to the Nairn boss.
Forfar took just six minutes to find an opener. The creative instincts of Dylan Easton saw him play a perfectly-weighted through ball to the by-line on the right for Marc Scott to run on to. He needed just the one touch to stand his delivery up at the far post for Matthew Aitken to nod into the net from almost on the goal line.
The visitors called Ryan Macleod into action again on 13 minutes when a long through pass sent Scott McBride racing in from the left but the Nairn 'keeper stood up well to make the block.
Dylan Mackenzie fired tamely at Marc McCallum in the Forfar goal on the quarter-hour before Forfar doubled their lead four minutes later. Goalkeeper Macleod missed Mark Millar's in-swinging corner kick from the left and Matthew Aitken was on hand at the far post to blast the loose ball into the roof of the net on the turn.
County competed well enough but could not do enough with the ball when they had it and two goals in as many minutes put the result way beyond doubt with 10 minutes still to run in the first half.
Matthew Aitken was completely unmarked 10 yards from goal to stoop and redirect a deep cross from the right with a header that sailed over Macleod in the Nairn goal and the County 'keeper was beaten again from the same source just two minutes later with Jim Lister rising highest to meet another delivery from deep on the right as the visitors were undone by another cross ball.
Forfar added a fifth on the stroke of half time. With County probing for a goal back, the visitors were dispossessed on the edge of the Athletic box and the deadly Dylan Easton played another neat slide rule pass to the by-line on the right with Jamie Bain's cut back stabbed goalwards by Marc Scott. The ball rattled the left-hand post before flying across Ryan Macleod and behind the goalkeeper.
The second half started like the first with Forfar on the score sheet as they added a sixth goal on 51 minutes. Eddie Malone was afforded too much time on the ball in a central position and he lifted his head before drilling a shot into the top left-hand corner from 20 yards.
County found a way to goal 20 minutes from the end after good play on the right from Dylan Mackenzie saw him cut the ball back to Ewen Urquhart. He held it up and fed the on-running Jack Maclean and the Nairn sub poked the ball beyond Forfar substitute goalkeeper, Jason King.
Forfar Athletic - McCallum (King 61), Bain, Malone, Millar (Travis 46), Trialist (Munro 46), Mensing (Cox 61), Scott, Easton (Warwick 46), Lister (Gill 46), Aitken (See 61), McBride. Subs unused: -
Nairn County - R. Macleod (D. Maclean 58), MacDonald (Munro 73), Ramsay, C. Maclean, Glenn Main, Porritt (J. Maclean 58), A. Naismith, McKenzie (Ednie 58), D. Mackenzie (M. Macleod 73), Macrae (Ewan 66), Urquhart. Subs unused: -
Referee - Alex Shepherd.
Pictures by Donald Matheson.