IT was a stroll in the spring sunshine at Strathspey Thistle for Nairn County as they advanced to the quarter finals of the North of Scotland Cup and a home date with Brora Rangers.
The visitors went in front five minutes in. Ross Naismith cut on to his right foot wide on the left and whipped in a cross that was sent into the bottom right hand corner of the net by the head of the rising Jordan Macrae.
Naismith almost added to the score sheet himself on 15 minutes. The midfielder was picked out after Gary Kerr had stepped over Jack Maclean's knock down at the far post off Kenny McKenzie's cross from the left but he could only knock the bouncing ball over the crossbar from eight yards out.
Naismith was involved again two minutes later as his free kick from deep on the left bounced up and on to the head of Callum Maclean at the far post but he directed the ball over the top.
Then, on 23 minutes, a neat Kenny McKenzie through pass slipped Macrae in on goal from the left but his drive from a tight angle was diverted past the near post by a slight touch from the feet of Strathspey goalkeeper, Michael MacCallum.
Nairn doubled their advantage four minutes later. Wayne Mackintosh clipped a pass over the Strathspey back line and Gary Kerr bravely stuck his head in to get there before MacCallum with the ball trickling over the goal line for the striker's third goal in as many games.
Kerr should have added to his tally on 32 minutes but the striker could only direct a free head off an in-swinging Naismith corner from the left past the far post.
The centre forward then stretched to meet Naismith's drive cross from the right but he could direct the ball straight into the welcoming arms of MacCallum.
The Jags' first sight of goal arrive on 39 minutes but Scott Hume's header off an out-swinging corner from the left bounced past the far post.
Nairn then broke up the park and after he had played a tidy one-two with Ross Naismith, Kenny McKenzie saw his low, poked effort deflected inches past the far post. Off the resulting corner from the right, Kerr saw his near post header tipped over the crossbar.
County were dominant from the off in the second half as well and six minutes in, Jack Maclean's header was tipped on to the far post by MacCallum after the young wide man ran in from the right and on to a Macrae flick.
The third goal arrived a minute later though. Jack Maclean was tripped inside the box by Dominik Edwards and Wayne Mackintosh stepped up to coolly stroke the ball home from the penalty spot.
Nairn made it four with a well-worked move on 58 minutes. Stephen Mackenzie floated a great pass forward down the right for Naismith to run on to and he clipped in a cross that was powered into the net by Gary Kerr as he charged into the box to head home.
Kerr almost completed his hat trick seven minutes after Naismith sent over an inviting free kick from the right but the striker directed his header past the far upright.
The woodwork prevented Nairn from making it five with two minutes left on the clock. Mackintosh drilled in a low shot with his left foot from 15 yards but it bounced up off the far post with Dylan Mackenzie heading the follow up into the arms of MacCallum.
Strathspey Thistle - MacCallum, Hume, Cairns, Fernandinho-Soto (McKernie 54), Browett, Edwards, Mackay, Wilson, Finnis, Fraser, Macleod. Subs unused: Ritchie, Sim, Black (gk)
Nairn County - D. Maclean, S. Mackenzie, C. Maclean, Morganti, Glenn Main, Mackintosh, Naismith, K. McKenzie, Kerr (D. Mackenzie 75), Macrae (Riddell 59), J. Maclean (P. Macleod 64). Subs unused: Ednie, R. Macleod (gk).
Referee - Dan MacFarlane.
Pictures by Donald Matheson.