A GARRY Wood hat trick put Nairn County to the sword as the centre forward rattled in his side’s third goal before half time before adding another two after the turnaround to complete a 5-1 win, writes Graeme Macleod.
Nairn made four changes to the team from Saturday’s game with Calum Antell returning in goals while Sean Webb, Kenny McKenzie and Wayne Mackintosh were restored at the expense of Sam Urquhart, Glenn Main and the unavailable John Cameron.
The home side dominated the opening period and broke the deadlock 12 minutes in. A loose ball dropped to the advancing Graeme Rodger 22 yards out and he rifled a powerful, left-footed drive into the top right hand corner of the net past the diving Calum Antell.
It took just six minutes for Formartine to double their lead. A short corner was worked to Scott Barbour on the right edge of the box and Scott Barbour was afforded the space to fire in a rasping drive which appeared to be going past the far post until it deflected off Alan Pollock’s outstretched leg and into the net.
The home side were on the attack again with Barbour racing in from the right in behind the Nairn back four but he was thwarted by the advancing Antell who kept himself big to block the lively winger’s clipped effort.
A neat one-two on the right edge of the box allowed Formartine to add a third on 37 minutes. Stuart Anderson received a pass inside from Barbour on the right, with the former Fraserburgh wide man receiving a return and hitting the by-line. His ball across the face of goal was not cleared, which allowed Garry Wood to net from close range.
Antell then had to get down well to hold a Paul Lawson drive as the home side continued to press for more goals.
County almost pulled a goal back on the stroke of half time when Alan Pollock’s corner from the right was flicked on to Sean Webb at the back post but his looping volley across goal was cleared by the man on the line at the near post.
Nairn started the second half in positive form and pulled a goal back a minute after the turnaround. Gethins was played in by Robbie Duncanson and the Irish striker saw a low, angled drive across goal from the left parried by Andy Reid. The loose ball dropped to Kenny McKenzie, who teed up Alan Pollock and he drove home through a couple of covering defenders on the goal line.
Pollock tried his luck again when he was played in behind left back Stuart Smith before cutting on to his left foot and firing just over the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Paul Lawson looked dangerous from set pieces all night and he nearly picked out the top corner from 25 yards with a curling right-footed effort off a free kick.
Graeme Rodger raced into the box on 57 minutes and was tackled from behind by a Wayne Mackintosh sliding challenge. Referee Scott Leslie pointed to the penalty spot and Garry Wood drilled home from 12 yards to the bottom left hand corner to restore his side’s three-goal lead.
A great Mackintosh ball out from centre midfield to Pollock on the right was collected by the wide man on 70 minutes. He cut inside the full back and advanced past the centre half before seeing a low effort held by Andy Reid in the Formartine goal.
Garry Wood completed his hat trick to make it five for the home side with quarter-of-an-hour remaining. The centre forward escaped his marker to rise at the near post and meet Lawson’s in-swinging corner from the left to glance home a header.
Nairn County - Antell, Webb (yellow 57), A. Naismith, Morrison, P. Macleod (y 57), Mackintosh, Halsman (Glenn Main 79), Pollock (y 74), Duncanson (R. Naismith 89), Gethins (Urquhart 79), McKenzie. Subs unused: Skinner, C. Maclean, M. Macleod, D. Maclean (gk).
Formartine United - Reid, McVitie (yellow 65), Smith, McKeown, Crawford (y 44), Lawson, Rodger, Anderson (y 72), Wood (Keith 80), Masson (Bagshaw 63), Barbour (Gauld 80). Subs unused: Dingwall, Michie, Axten, MacDonald.
Referee - Scott Leslie.
Pictures by Donald Matheson