NORTH OF SCOTLAND CUP FINAL
NAIRN COUNTY 5 – 4 ROSS COUNTY (AET)
SUNDAY 18th NOVEMBER 2023
GRANT STREET PARK, INVERNESS
Goalscorers: Aaron Nicolson (33, 43, 66 pen), Ben Kelly (92), Sam Gordon (104); Alex Samuel (3 pen, 19, 100), Calum Brown (90+3)
In what must be one of the greatest cup finals in North of Scotland Cup history, Nairn County prevailed as winners to lift the trophy.
It was a final that had nine goals, two hat-tricks, two penalties, Nairn two down, an equaliser from Ross County with the last kick of the 90 minutes, a cracker from Ben Kelly in extra time before local player, and product of the Nairn County youth pathway getting the winner.
It was truly an astonishing day in front of a bumper crowd in Inverness of which the majority were Nairn fans.
Ross County lined-up with six first team players and raced into a two-goal lead after just 19 minutes. Aaron Nicolson who scored his first goal for the club last weekend, pulled one back with a calm finish in the box.
He then sent the Nairn fans into raptures with an equaliser just before half-time. Nairn were far the better side in the second half and Aaron Nicolson completed his hat-trick and put the Wee County in front for the first time from the penalty spot.
Nairn continued to look comfortable but were undone by an equaliser right at the very death.
The heads didn’t go down though and first-half substitute Ben Kelly scored a sensational goal from outside the box to restore the Nairn lead.
Alex Samuel then completed his hat-trick after latching onto a ball over the top and tie things up at 4-4.
The drama wasn’t finished there. Local Nairn lad, Sam Gordon headed in the winner from Jamie Carnihan’s cross. A sensational finish to a sensational game and for the first time in 11 years, Nairn County lifted the North of Scotland Cup.
NAIRN COUNTY: Dylan MacLean, Callum MacLean, Steven MacKay (Ben Kelly 37), Ross Tokely, Fraser Dingwall (C); Wayne MacKintosh, Alasdair Gillies, Angus Dey (Jamie Carnihan 89), Kenny McKenzie, Ciaran Young (Sam Gordon 100), Aaron Nicolson
Subs not used: Lewis Munro (GK), Tyler Eadie, Owen MacDonald
Referee: Harry Bruce