DOMINANT Nairn County started 2015 in fine fashion with a deserved 3-0 success at Moray neighbours Forres Mechanics, writes Graeme Macleod.
The visitors’ high-pressing game had the deep-lying Forres defence on the back foot for most of the first half with County growing in confidence and increasing in dominance as the opening 45 minutes wore on.
The only thing that was missing from the first half display was a Nairn goal which would not have been unmerited, with Forres thankful for hearing the half time whistle with the match still goalless.
Nairn have formed an unwanted habit of leaking goals early on in the second half of recent fixtures but they continued their dominance of this match straight from the restart with Sam Urquhart’s sweeping low drive from a tight angle on the left unfortunate not to find the inside of the far post.
Michael Morrison’s long range free kick was watched all the way over the top by Forres goalkeeper Stuart Knight before County opened the scoring on 66 minutes.
Conor Gethins showed his speed-of-thought to anticipate that Stuart Soane would attempt to head a long ball up the park back to goalkeeper Knight. The Forres sweeper had not seen Gethins sneak on his blindside to an offside position, allowing the Irishman to collect the backwards header and scoop the ball over the stranded Knight and into the net. Farside assistant referee Molly Alexander raised her flag for offside but the touch that played Gethins through had come off Soane and referee Anthony Cooper correctly allowed the goal to stand.
Nairn continued to dominate and deservedly doubled their lead through a tremendous solo goal from Alan Pollock, who danced past a couple of defenders coming in from the left and smuggled the ball beyond Knight at the ‘keeper’s near post. Although Forres defender Steven Fraser may have got the decisive touch, the Nairn midfielder was quick to claim it and deserved a goal for his work in the build up.
The Nairn supporters – who again outnumbered their Forres counterparts at Mosset Park – were lapping it all up and their favourites added a third with 10 minutes to go to give the scoreline a fair reflection of the balance of play. Gethins whipped a 22-yard free kick up and over the wall and down into the bottom left corner to round off a very happy New Year for everyone at Station Park.
Pictures by Donald Matheson