3 - 0
Michael Sanderson (47)
David MacRea (58)
Martin MacDonald (85)
Neil MacDonald for Wayne MacKintosh (67)
Jason Robertson for Martin Sanderson (78)
Shane Sutherland for Gary Farquhar (72)
Shaun Sinclair for Richard Macadie (78)
Graeme Reid for Stewart Ross (85)
Matt Northcroft (Referee)
Nairn ran out winners by 3 – 0 today at Station Park. Wick had the better of the first half, but just couldn’t convert their chances, and Nairn managed to turn the game around in the second half.
The game started at a great pace, and within 2 minutes David Cowie made good ground up the right wing and crossed a low driven ball into the heart of the Nairn defence. The ball ran through to Mark Makhouli, but his crisply hit shot went wide of the Nairn right hand post.
A minute later from the middle of the pitch Gary Farquhar played a through ball to Craig Shearer and Craig worked a shooting position from about 20 yards out, but his shot also whistled past the Nairn right hand post.
These were two good early chances where we should have really worked the Nairn keeper.
Nairn’s first chance of the game fell to Wayne MacKintosh in the 9th minute. William Barron played a through ball to him wide to the left of the Academy penalty area. MacKintosh ran in on goal with the ball, and James came out to meet him. MacKintosh rounded the young keeper and tried to slot into the empty net, but he was foiled by an off the line clearance by Andrew MacLeod.
4 minutes later and Academy were again in the Nairn half. Stewart Ross played a long high cross into the Nairn penalty box, and Mark Makhouli and defender Martin MacDonald both rose for the ball. Makhouli got his head to it, but MacDonald just put him off enough and he couldn’t direct the header on goal, putting it wide for a goal-kick.
With 17 minutes on the clock Nairn had a bit of a mix-up in defence. Steven Edwards was adjudged by referee Northcroft to have made a pass-back to the keeper, and Academy were awarded an indirect free-kick inside the Nairn box. Gary Farquhar took the free-kick which was cleared by the Nairn defence. The ball came straight back into the Academy half and Darren Shallicker beat the off-side trap and ran in on goal with only James to beat. Shallicker pulled the trigger about 18 yards out and James made a very good save with his feet.
Nairn’s next chance came in the 22nd minute. An Academy attack was broken up in mid-field, when David MacRea stole the ball from Gary Farquhar. MacRea set Wayne MacKintosh off down the right wing and he got to the bye-line before crossing the ball. With 3 Nairn players waiting at the back post to slot home, Andrew MacLeod just managed to stretch out and got a toe on the ball to cut out the cross.
Academy’s best chance of the half came in the 27th minute. David Mowat took the play out of defence, and floated a perfect ball over the top of the Nairn back-line for Martin Gunn to beat the off-side trap and latch onto the pass. Martin set himself up well for the shot from about 18 yards out, but blasted his shot over the top of the Nairn cross-bar.
2 minutes before the end of the half Gary Farquhar was played to the edge of the Nairn box by Martin Gunn. Gary dinked his way around a defender and managed a shot on target that keeper Campbell got down well to save.
Half – Time 0 – 0
Nairn got the perfect start to the second half within 2 minutes of the re-start. A high ball was played into the Academy box and 3 Academy defenders rose for it, resulting in David Mowat getting a knee in back and going down in some pain. Play continued and the ball fell to Michael Sanderson at the edge of the box and he slotted home past a helpless James.
1 – 0
Nairn were starting to play the better football by this stage, and it was 10 minutes into the half before Academy got a sniff at goal. Makhouli was played through the middle by Richard Macadie, and found himself in a race to the ball with keeper Campbell. Campbell unfortunately got their first and smothered the ball under his body.
Nairn doubled their lead in the 58th minute. A high ball was played over the top of the Academy defence. David MacRea looked just off-side, but the flag stayed down and he ran in on goal from a wide angle. James came to try and close him down, but MacRea got round him and stroked the ball into an empty net.
2 – 0
Nairn made their first change in the 67th minute, Neil MacDonald came on for Wayne MacKintosh.
Academy weren’t getting a lot of the ball at this stage of the game, and Nairn were on top. 1 minute after their personnel change William Barron had a surging run up the Academy right wing and he rifled a 35 yards shot just past James’s right hand post.
Academy had two half-chances with 70 minutes on the clock. The first fell to Makhouli who headed a David Cowie cross into the hands of keeper Campbell. The second was created by Richard Macadie who weaved a bit of magic in midfield as he spun round two Nairn defenders and tried a curling shot for the top corner from 25 yards out. Keeper Campbell was sharp to it though, and saved with a two handed catch.
A minute later and Wick forced a corner following good work from Gary Manson. Andrew MacLeod came up for the corner and got a free header on target, but keeper Campbell made a really good diving save.
With time running out Peter made his first change, taking Shane Sutherland on for Gary Farquhar.
Nairn then had a chance to really kill the game off. Shallicker took down a high ball in the middle of the park, and he played David MacRea in on goal, but MacRea screwed his shot wide of target.
Nairn continued to attack at every opportunity, and with 9 minutes left on the clock David MacRea again found himself through on goal, but James saved his shot down low to his left hand post.
Good defending by Shane Sutherland in the 85th minute, clearing the ball for a corner-kick, broke up another Nairn attack, but Nairn got their 3rd goal from the corner, with Martin MacDonald steaming in at the back post to head home.
3 – 0
The final action of the game saw Shallicker, who had been influential in mid-field for most of the game, attempt an audacious chip over the top of More from 40 yards out, but it landed just over the cross-bar onto the top of the net.
Final Score 3 – 0
The sponsors man of the match was the Nairn number 15 Brian MacLeod.
So Wick getting the better of the first half, but failing to take their chances, and a much improved Nairn in the second half finally running out comfortable winners. The tough games just keep coming for Academy, with an away trip to Huntly next week.
Match report written by Alastair Ross
|James More (GK)||18||6||-||12||-|
|Graeme Reid (sub)||-||11||-||129||8|
|Shaun Sinclair (sub)||-||9||-||32||-|
|Shane Sutherland (sub)||-||5||-||5||-|