STUART Anderson's goal 20 minutes from the end of this match at Station Park was all that separated the sides as Formartine United took all three points. It was not enough for the visitors to stay in the title race though as Cove Rangers' win at Clachnacuddin clinched the championship for the Aberdeen side, writes Graeme Macleod.
County have developed a nasty habit of conceding early goals and it nearly continued in the first minute tonight but Calum Antell made a smart, diving save to keep our Neil Gauld's looping header off Calum Bagshaw's deep cross from the left.
At the other end, Formartine goalkeeper Andy Reid had to look lively to keep out Conor Gethins. The Irish striker was played in by Tony Wallace but his first touch took the ball behind him, allowing Reid to race from his line to narrow the angle and block the forward's subsequent shot.
Wallace was denied a wonder goal 20 minutes into his return to the starting line up. The attacker knocked the ball past a defender and ran the other side before cutting inside another Formartine player and on to his left foot but his in-swinging shot dropped just beyond the far post.
Two minutes later, Gethins played a backpass to Antell that was intercepted by Gauld, who went around the exposed stopper but from a tight angle, the lively attacker's low shot flashed across goal and past the post.
Gethins then passed up a glorious chance to give Nairn the lead on 39 minutes. John Cameron drove forward on the right and fed Duncanson at the other side of the 18-yard box. The forward clipped the ball into the box for Gethins to run on to but Reid had anticipated the striker's close range header as he was able to touch the ball inches past the post.
Cameron's low cross from the right was just waiting for a touch to turn it into the net two minutes after the restart but it was just too far in front of Gethins and Wallace for them to apply the finish.
A superb ball over the top by Wallace on 57 minutes put Gethins in on goal but under pressure from two retreating defenders, the striker saw his shot blocked by the advancing Reid.
A minute later, Garry Wood had a free header off a corner from the right but he could not get over the ball as he sent it over the top.
The visitors netted the only goal of the game with a touch of fortune on 71 minutes. Graeme Rodger spread the ball out to Neil McVitie on the right and his cross took a nick at the front post, which allowed the ball to loop across the face of Antell's goal for Stuart Anderson to run on to it and head into the net, settling the contest.
Nairn County - Antell, Webb, P. Macleod, Morrison, Pollock, Gethins (Urquhart 79), Gregg Main (C. Maclean 66), Duncanson, Cameron (yellow 90+2), McKenzie (Skinner 54), Wallace (y 86). Subs: Mackintosh, R. Naismith, C. Maclean, Glenn Main, D. Maclean (gk).
Formartine United - Reid, Munro, Dingwall, Lawson, Wood, Smith, Rodger, Anderson, Gauld (Keith 66), Bagshaw (Barbour 52), Masson (McVitie 58). Subs unused: Michie, Berton, Macdonald (gk).
Referee - David Watt.