SEVEN unanswered goals gave Nairn County their biggest win of the season as they thumped Strathspey Thistle at Seafield Park, writes Graeme Macleod.
There was one change to the County starting line up with a minor knock keeping Gregg Main on the bench. That allowed Bradley Halsman to return to the team while there was also a place on the bench for returning skipper Michael Morrison.
The visitors put pressure on from the off and Andrew Skinner's deep cross from the right on six minutes landed at the feet of the unmarked Robbie Duncanson at the far post but his shot was cleared off the goal line.
County's dominance paid off as they opened the scoring on 21 minutes. Glenn Main found the feet of Tony Wallace with a pass from the centre circle. The big Glaswegian had his back to goal at the edge of the box and fed the ball into the path of Robbie Duncanson running in from the right and the stand-in skipper lashed it first time across Michael MacCallum in the Strathspey goal and into the top corner of the net.
A Gethins miscued clearance put Owen Cairns in on Calum Antell's goal on the half-hour. And the full back's angled drive had to be touched over the top by the County stopper in the home side's first real attack of the game.
Four minutes later, a low Duncanson corner from the right was stepped over by Wallace at the front post allowing Gethins to step on to the ball and rattle the crossbar with a rasping drive from 18 yards.
County doubled their lead four minutes before half time. Robbie Duncanson was the creator this time as his pinpoint through pass was just perfect for Conor Gethins to run on to and once the striker was in on MacCallum's goal, there was only going to be one outcome as he lifted the ball over the advancing 'keeper.
The striker was inches away from doubling his tally on the stroke of half time with a superb free kick from 25 yards which cracked off the underside of the crossbar.
Nairn flew out of the traps in the second half by adding a third within 10 seconds of the turnaround. County took centre and found Alan Pollock out on the left. He fed Tony Wallace who knocked the ball beyond the exposed MacCallum to give County the perfect start to the half.
The visitors had their fourth of the evening on 55 minutes.Sam Urquhart showed persistence and it paid off as he chased a lost cause and mugged the Strathspey centre half to gain possession. He only had the goalkeeper to beat and proceeded to whip the ball over MacCallum before the stopper even had the chance to set himself.
Wallace then doubled his tally for the evening three minutes later. Antell's precise ball forward up the right was stepped over by Gethins and latched on to by Tony Wallace as it drifted in from the right behind the Strathspey defence. The striker made no mistake as he ran in on goal and clinically despatched the ball beyond MacCallum.
The rout continued on 65 minutes as Duncanson netted his second of the night. Wallace's pressure on the Strathspey backline allowed the ball to run into the path of Robbie Duncanson and the striker ran in on MacCallum's goal from the left before slotting the ball past the goalkeeper.
It was seven for the visitors on 77 minutes with Urquhart notching his second of the night. Bradley Halsman's precise through pass put Sam Urquhart in on goal and he lashed a low effort beyond MacCallum from 15 yards with the outside of his right boot.
Urquhart was inches away from completing his hat trick on 80 minutes but his header from a Kenny McKenzie corner cracked the crossbar.
Nairn County - Antell, Pollock, Gethins (McKenzie 63), Urquhart (Gregg Main 82), Halsman, Skinner, A. Naismith, C. Maclean, Duncanson, Glenn Main, Wallace (Macleod 72). Subs unused: Webb, Morrison, D. Maclean (gk).
Strathspey Thistle - McCallum, Wardrope, Cairns, Maley, McShane, Groat (Mackay 65), Macleod, Peters (Kerr 51), Race, Borthwick, Hume (Treasurer 69). Subs unused: McKernie, Aubrey, Hull, Duncan (gk).
Referee - Graham Fraser