INVERNESS CT were too strong for Nairn County at Station Park with the Championship outfit clocking up a 4-1 victory and although Ronnie Sharp may be disappointed at the nature of some of the goals his side conceded, the County boss will be heartened by the way his charges finished the game.
Sharp made a single change to the starting line-up from Sunday's match against St Mirren with Glenn Main returning to the team and taking on the captain's armband while Ewen Urquhart dropped down to the bench. He was joined among the substitutes by trialist Ryan MacDonald, who the club hope to tie up on a contract over the weekend.
The visitors controlled possession but it was Nairn who had the first sight of goal seven minutes in but Jack Maclean misjudged his header off a Ross Naismith in-swinging corner from the left and the ball flew harmlessly past the far post.
Inverness CT created a free header opportunity of their own five minutes later with trialist Liam Shewan meeting fellow trialist Alex Cooper's delivery from the left but he sent the ball sailing over the top at the near post.
County again threatened on 14 minutes with Adam Porritt linking up well with Ross Naismith at the edge of the box. Nairn's new signing surged into the box and got an angled shot away from the right but it was kept out by a strong arm from the diving Ryan Esson, with Jordan Macrae miscuing the follow up as the ball flew over the bar.
Trialist Andrew Blake sent off a deep cross from the right for Inverness CT on 16 minutes and Liam Shewan slid in at the far post to meet it but he sent the ball across goal and wide.
Inverness found an opener 22 minutes in and Nairn will be disappointed in the nature of the goal. Alex Cooper sent over a delivery from the left and trialist Liam Shewan was unmarked just a few yards out to crash home a header from a central position.
Another header presented itself for the visitors on 27 minutes with trialist Chiedu Ikeme delivering a cross from the right that went all the way through to Liam MacDonald at the far post but he steered the ball over.
The visitors added a second with six minutes left before the break. Trialist left back Joe Chalmers had the time and space to control the ball and lift his head before blasting a powerful drive from 20 yards that flew past the rooted Dylan Maclean and into the net.
Inverness added to their tally six minutes into the second half. Trialist Jack Leitch's cross from the left took a slight deflection and that allowed the ball to evade Maclean at the near post before dropping perfectly for fellow trialist Alex Cooper to stroke into the net.
Then, on 54 minutes, centre forward Aidan Wilson was unmarked at the far post as he headed Shewan's cross from the left in off the underside of bar and beyond Maclean.
Nairn pulled one back though on 63 minutes. Jordan Macrae outmuscled David Ferguson the left touchline before racing forward and sliding across a perfectly-weighted low cross for Kenny McKenzie to run on to and clip over Stephen Foster in the ICT goal.
County had the chance to further reduce the arrears five minutes later but substitute Ewen Urquhart could not quite get over McKenzie's in-swinging cross from deep on the right as he sent the ball inches over the bar.
Nairn County - D. Maclean, A. Naismith, Ramsay, C. Maclean, Glenn Main, Porritt, R. Naismith (Ryan MacDonald (trialist 55)), J. Maclean, D. Mackenzie (Urquhart 55), Macrae (Ewan 64), K. McKenzie (M. Macleod 82). Subs unused: Munro, Ednie, Wilkie (gk).
Inverness CT - Esson (Foster 46), Blake (Trialist), Chalmers (Trialist), Ferguson (Trialist), Stark, Leitch (Trialist) (Macleod (Trialist 58)), Ikeme (Trailist), MacDonald, Wilson (Trialist) (Barton (Trialist 54)), Shewan (Trialist), Cooper (Trialist) (Ross (Trialist 54)). Subs unused:
Referee - Darren Munro.
Pictures by Donald Matheson.