COHEN Ramsay struck a double as Nairn County saw off Clachnacuddin with their first home league win of the season.
The wide midfielder’s brace was sandwiched in between a Dylan Mackenzie effort to give Ronnie Sharp’s men a much-needed lift.
Nairn were slow out of the traps but managed to open the scoring with their first attack on five minutes. Dylan Mackenzie whipped in a cross from the right and Cohen Ramsay nipped in front of his marker to send a header into the ground and bouncing up into the net at the near post.
Mackenzie was involved again on 14 minutes when he met Ramsay’s out-swinging cross from the left off a short corner with a header. But the ball crept past the near post.
The visitors threatened twice within a minute just before the half-hour mark. Michael Finnis met James Beeston’s in-swinging corner from the left with a header that flashed across goal and wide. Then, Scott Dunn won a flick-on in the air for Liam Shewan to run on to but he blasted straight at Dylan Maclean, who dived to his left to make the block.
Clach then found a leveller on 34 minutes. Paul Smith dinked a free kick from right of centre 30 yards out towards the far post and Nairn failed to deal with it, allowing the grounded Ross MacKillop to stab the ball home at the second attempt.
Kenny McKenzie drove forward on the 43rd minute and fed Max Ewan. The forward evaded one defender and drove low towards goal but his effort was held by the sharp Steven Martin.
County were forced into a change at the break with goalkeeper Dylan Maclean forced off because of a foot in injury with James Kendall coming on.
Nairn struck the woodwork four minutes into the second half with Ewan doing well to advance down the left and delivering a low cross that was cleared only as far as Adam Porritt. But his low effort from just inside the box clipped the outside of the left-hand post on its way past.
And the hosts re-established their lead on 51 minutes. Kenny McKenzie drove into space down the left before releasing the ball for Ramsay to run on to. He whipped in an out-swinging delivery and Dylan Mackenzie was the most alert man in the box as he raced in at the far post to stab the ball beyond the reach of Martin.
Clach had the wind behind them for the second half and almost managed to use it to their advantage for a leveller on 59 minutes after working the ball inside off a throw-in from the left. But Michael Finnis’s blast flew narrowly over the crossbar.
The visitors were then inches away from finding a leveller four minutes later. Beeston whipped in an inviting low free kick with his right boot from deep on the left that was missed by everyone. And with Kendall rooted to the post, Sean Webb somehow skewed his shot across goal and wide under pressure from Ramsay.
But County put daylight between the sides midway through the second half. Adam Porritt received a throw-in by the left corner flag before driving inside and rolling the ball into the path of Cohen Ramsay. He took a touch to set himself before steering the ball beyond the despairing dive of Martin and inside the far post.
A goal line clearance from MacKillop prevented Nairn from increasing the lead on 72 minutes. Ewan showed great bravery to go in with the goalkeeper at the near post to meet Gregg Main’s powerful low free kick from the left with the attacker flicking the ball beyond the Clach stopper. But MacKillop was in the right place to hack clear.
Nairn County – D. Maclean (Kendall 46), Naismith (Maclennan 79), K. McKenzie, Callum Maclean, Glenn Main, Porritt, MacDonald (yellow 4), Ramsay, D. Mackenzie (Urquhart 84), Gregg Main, Ewan. Subs: Highet, Ednie, McConaghy, Munro.
Clachnacuddin – Martin, MacAskill, Finnis (Yellow 90+1), Webb, MacKillop, Robertson, Smith (Maclean 44), MacArthur (Watt 70), Shewan, Beeston, Dunn (y 61) (Fraser 81). Subs unused: Foggo, Andrew, Black, Dingwall.
Referee – Mat Northcroft.
Pictures by Donald Matheson.