CLINICAL St Mirren eased past a youthful Nairn County side at Station Park as Ronnie Sharp's pre-season preparations started with a 9-0 defeat.
Sharp listed 11 teenagers in his 18-man matchday squad, which had an average age just 20 due to a number of experienced players being unavailable. Trialist Cohen Ramsay came in at left back with Max Ewan debuting from the bench and under-20s squad members Joe Cuthbert and Ryan MacBean also included among the substitutes. Craig Munro and Matty Macleod also made their first appearances since returning from loan spells at Nairn St Ninian last season.
The visitors opened the scoring six minutes in after a great diagonal pass by Gregor Buchanan sent Josh Todd to the by-line on the left. He had the time to lift his head and pick out the run of John Sutton in the box and the experienced centre forward slid the ball home from close range.
Dale Hilson saw a tame low shot from 15 yards held by Dylan Maclean on 13 minutes before Kyle Magennis stung the palms of the Nairn goalkeeper 10 minutes later with a shot from just outside the box.
Lewis Morgan impressed out on the left for the Buddies and on 26 minutes, he cut inside and on to his right foot before blasting just past the year post from 20 yards.
County tested Saints goalkeeper Ross Stewart on 31 minutes with Dylan Mackenzie meeting Ross Naismith's in-swinging free kick with a back post header that the Buddies stopper dived to his right to hold.
Less than a minute later, Morgan advanced down the left again and fire in a cross that Hilson ran on to and volley inches over the bar.
Saints' second goal game eight minutes before the break with Kyle Magennis cutting in from the right and on to his left foot before blasting a shot from 22 yards that flew past Maclean at the near post.
Todd then dispossessed Kenny McKenzie 30 yards from the Nairn goal before letting fly but his swerving effort flew last the left-hand post from 22 yards.
Ramsay called Stewart into action on 41 minutes with a 30-yard drive but his long range effort was comfortably held by the diving goalkeeper.
It was three for the visitors on the stroke of half time. Intelligent play from Sutton saw him chest down Morgan's clipped, right-footed delivery from 25 yards out on the left with Dale Hilson running on to the ball and drilling a first time shot from 15 yards into the bottom left-hand corner of Maclean's goal.
County's best chance of the game came on 54 minutes. A great diagonal pass from Adam Naismith sent his brother, Ross in behind the St Mirren left back but he ran in on goal and screwed his low effort wide of the far post.
Just two minutes later though, Saints added goal number four. Conor O'Keefe in his first contribution since coming off the bench seconds before pinged a free kick from wide on the right to the far post and Gregor Buchanan rose highest at the far post to head home.
The visitors increased their lead on 61 minutes with Dale Hilson ghosting between the tiring Nairn defence to meet Todd's in-swinging cross from the left with a deft flick that send the ball flying in at the far post.
Nairn almost fashioned a consolation on 73 minutes when Porritt powered his way forward but his stinging drive was tipped away by the diving Stewart.
But Saints went up the other end and made it six with substitute Cammy Smith arriving on the scene to sweep home from close range.
Then, on 77 minutes, substitute Stelios Demetriou smashed home a low effort from 22 yards that flew into the bottom left-hand corner before Ross Stewart was on hand to sweep home number eight by meeting a low cut back from the left.
Substitute Darren Whyte found St Mirren's ninth of the afternoon two minutes from the end as he charged to the near post to flick Cameron MacPherson's corner from the left beyond Ryan Macleod and into the far corner.
Nairn County - D. Maclean (R. Macleod 64), J. Maclean (Ednie 46), Ramsay (trialist), C. Maclean, A. Naismith, Porritt, R. Naismith (Munro 77), K. McKenzie, D. Mackenzie (Ewan 64), Macrae, Urquhart (M. Macleod 64). Subs unused: Cuthbert, MacBean.
St Mirren - Stewart, Irvine (MacPherson 64), McDonald (Demetriou 56), Baird (Horne 74), Buchanan (Flanagan 77), Magennis (Whyte 74), McManus (Kirkpatrick 64), Hilson (Reilly 68), Todd (Stewart 68), Morgan (O'Keefe 56), Sutton (Smith 64). Subs unused: Samson (gk).
Referee - Billy Baxter
Pictures by Donald Matheson.