NAIRN County eased into the next round of the North of Scotland Cup by putting eight unanswered goals past a youthful Elgin City at Station Park.
The result sees Ronnie Sharp guide his team into the quarter finals for the third season in a row, where they will face a home derby match against Forres Mechanics in three weeks.
After an impeccable minute's silence for supporter Tommy Tweedie, it was Elgin who flew out of the traps with Ali Sutherland advancing down the left and firing goalwards but James Kendall stood up well at his near post to make the save.
At the other end, Oliver Kelly had to be out sharp to block from Dylan Mackenzie on six minutes before Ewen Urquhart pulled the ball back from the right to Tom Maclennan but he bent his left-footed shot beyond the far post.
Then, Maclennan delivered a right-footed free kick from out on the left but Callum Maclean glanced his near post header inches off target.
Good skill by Max Ewan on the right led to Nairn’s next opportunity. His delivery found Urquhart but he was crowded out in the penalty before squeezing the ball out to Maclennan. But his blasts was saved by Kelly, who gathered at the second attempt with Urquhart sniffing about for a rebound.
Adam Porritt notched his first goal of the season as Nairn opened the scoring on 28 minutes. Cohen Ramsay broke down the left but his cross missed everyone in the middle with the ball rolling through for arriving right back, Adam Naismith. He took a touch inside and saw his shot blocked with Adam Porritt stepping on to the rebound to rifle home from 10 yards.
Dylan Mackenzie almost doubled the County lead two minutes later after latching on to Urquhart’s cut back from the right but he slammed his shot past the near post.
But the second goal arrived on 33 minutes. Ramsay’s pass infield from the left found Adam Porritt in acres of space and he arrowed a precise low effort into the bottom left-hand corner.
Porritt almost claimed his hat-trick on 38 minutes as Nairn went 3-0 up. Kenny McKenzie’s in-swinging corner from the right was flapped at by Kelly with Porritt heading goalwards at the far post and Dylan Mackenzie flicking the ball into the net from close range.
Urquhart almost got in on the act on 41 minutes when the ball dropped to him eight yards out when he was unmarked but a recovering defender was able to get a nick to the midfielder’s shot, diverting it inches off target.
But Nairn made it four off the corner on the right that followed. A well-worked short set piece was fed back to Kenny McKenzie and he clipped an in-swinging delivery to the far post that was misjudged by Kelly, with the ball dropping over the goalkeeper’s head.
The hosts made it five with just 10 minutes of the second half played. Ewan’s clipped delivery from the left dropped to Dylan Mackenzie at the far post and he bundled the ball home.
And Adam Porritt completed his hat-trick on 65 minutes with an excellent goal. Urquhart drove in from the right and found the feet of Porritt, who shimmied away from his man with a superb spin before planting the ball beyond Kelly.
Then, it was seventh heaven for Nairn seven minutes from time. Tom Maclennan was again denied a goal as Kelly this time made a block from the midfielder’s low drive from the edge of the box. But Jack Maclean was on to the loose ball first to roll the ball beyond the grounded stopper.
It was eight for Nairn two minutes from the end with a second player completing a hat-trick. Jack Maclean drove into the penalty area from the right before being tripped by Liam McDade for a spot kick. And Dylan Mackenzie stepped up to confidently stroke the ball home from 12 yards for his third of the night.
Elgin City – Kelly, Duncan, McDade, Ballam, Edwards (Milton 77), Anderson, Sopel (McCann 78), Watt (Davidson 62), Thomson, Loveland, Sutherland. Subs: Brown, Provan, Scott, McCann, Crichton.
Nairn County – Kendall, Naismith (Ednie 67), K. McKenzie, Callum Maclean, Glenn Main, Porritt (J. Maclean 67), Urquhart, Ramsay, D. Mackenzie, Maclennan, Ewan (Fernandino-Soto 76). Subs unused: Highet, MacDonald, Munro, D. Maclean (gk).
Referee – Harry Bruce.