NAIRN County cruised into the last 16 of the Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup with a comfortable win at Formartine United in the preliminary round, writes Graeme Macleod.
Conor Gethins broke the deadlock after 26 minutes as he dinked the ball beyond advancing Formartine goalkeeper Andy Shearer and the Irish striker had a hand in Nairn's second goal too as his through pass was latched onto by Stuart Leslie six minutes later and the attacker made no mistake, rifling the ball beyond Shearer.
United were reduced to 10 men on 58 minutes with Hamish Munro dismissed for a straight leg challenge on Leslie with the Nairn man avoiding the full force of the tackle and thus serious injury.
Nairn took full advantage of the extra man on 65 minutes with Gethins' precise cutback from the by-line converted by Robbie Duncanson.
A stunning save from Callum Donaldson then preserved the stopper's clean sheet as he clawed a goal-bound header away from the top corner.
The Nairn goalkeeper was finally beaten on 84 minutes after Martin MacDonald was harshly judged to have handled in the penalty area as the ball bounced up and hit him on the arm from close range. Stuart Anderson made no mistake from 12 yards.
Nairn restored their three-goal lead on 87 minutes though. Gethins rose highest to meet substitute Daniel Moore's pinpoint cross with a header that flew past Shearer.
Nairn host Turriff United in the next round of the competition in a fortnight.
Pictures by Donald Matheson