Written by Nairn County FC October 8th 2016

STRIKER Gary Kerr's double helped Nairn County on their way to a first home win of the season as the hosts marked Davy Johnston Day and the opening of the new enclosure in style. Johnston is the club's all-time leading scorer and he will have looked down approvingly as one of his successors in the County number 9 shirt made his mark on this special day. County were quick out of the traps and broke the deadlock with 11 minutes on the clock. Jamie Mackay's pass inside from the right touchline found Gary Kerr with space to turn 20 yards out and the centre forward advanced towards goal before stroking a low shot under the body of the diving Sean McIntosh from 15 yards. Kerr almost doubled his tally in acrobatic fashion four minutes later. The striker chested down Ross Naismith's in-swinging cross from the left before volleying goalwards but this time he was denied by a diving save from McIntosh. Former County striker Craig Macmillan saw his header bounce off the crossbar on its way over the top on 21 minutes but home stopper Dylan Maclean had it covered. Ricky Henderson blasted a low shot from 22 yards out on the left past the near post on 25 minutes and at the other end a minute later, Jason Morganti cut inside from the left and bent a shot from just outside the box across goal and inches beyond the far post. Kerr was played through on goal on 27 minutes but he lost his footing at the vital moment as he prepared to round the goalkeeper allowing the Rothes defence to mop up. The striker was not to be denied on 29 minutes though as he doubled his tally for the day by rounding off a fantastic move. Morganti and Kenny McKenzie linked up well on the left with the latter cutting the ball back infield for Calum Riddell. His exquisite, raking pass out to the right looped over the head of the full back for Jamie Mackay to stride on to and play across goal first time. Gary Kerr was lurking at the front and he touched the ball away from the diving goalkeeper and rolled it home. An impressive stop from McIntosh prevented Naismith from adding a third on 42 minutes. The attacker met a Kerr knocked down on the volley but his effort from 18 yards was palmed over the top. Then, straight away at the other end, Maclean was called into action as he threw himself to his right to touch Henderson's fizzing low shot past the post. Rothes made a double substitution at the interval with Callum McIntosh one of the two introduced and his chip on 56 minutes from the right edge of the box floated across goal and was prevented from finding the top corner by a fine diving save from Maclean. County were denied a third goal on 63 minutes as Naismith sprung the offside trap and rounded goalkeeper McIntosh. His shot was blocked by a covering defender with the ball coming back to the attacker. He then lifted it to the far post to the head of Kerr but his effort was blocked on the goal line. County continued to pose a threat and a Naismith corner from the left was headed clear to Chris Moir on 69 minutes and his thunderous first time strike clipped the outside of the right-hand post as it flew wide of goal. The visitors were reduced to 10 men on 80 minutes with Nathan Sharp dismissed for an off-the-ball incident with Calum Riddell as the two defenders jousted for a high free kick into the Nairn box. County almost added a third when Jack Maclean lifted the ball to the far post for Riddell to head back into the danger area with Callum Maclean running in to head the ball over from close range. But the hosts rounded off the win in the final minute. Kenny McKenzie advanced down the left and pulled the ball back to substitute Jordan Macrae. He rolled the ball inside to Ross Naismith and the attacker stepped on to it to whip a pinpoint shot across goal and in off the far post from 20 yards. Nairn County – D. Maclean, Morganti, C. Maclean, P. Macleod, Glenn Main, Riddell, Naismith, Moir (Maclean 79) (yellow 80), Kerr (Macrae 87), K. McKenzie, Mackay (S. Mackenzie 85). Subs unused: MacDonald, Barron, Ednie, R. Macleod (gk). Rothes – McIntosh, Stables, Watt (yellow 63), McDonald (y 84), Sharp (red 81), Smith (y 42), Gauld (C. McIntosh 46), Main, McLaren, Macmillan (McNamara 46), Henderson (y 46) (McIntosh 79). Subs unused: S.Johnston, Ezekiel, Riddoch (gk). Referee – Graham Fraser. Graeme Macleod

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