Nairn County A
05/03/2022
2:00 PM

1 - 2

Nairn Academy
North Caledonian Cup (Semi Final)
St Duthus

Match Report

St. Duthus are in the North Caledonian Cup Final, thanks a 2-1 win away to Nairn County reserves on Saturday.

Goals either side of the half time whistle for Jamie Skinner and Jake Lockett put Saints in the driving seat before Nairn grabbed one back through Grant Hogg. The win secures the Tain side a place in the final at Dudgeon Park on April 2nd where they will meet Halkirk United.

Saints could have gone a goal down in the first couple of minutes were it not for some stellar goalkeeping from Johnny Allan. A free kick into the area bounced into the path of Euan Logan who hit a first time volley which Allan steered out for a corner with a great reaction save.

From then it was one way traffic though, as Saints put the Nairn defence under constant pressure and the hosts were saved by the woodwork on five minutes when Ben Bruce turned his man and struck the crossbar with a curling shot.

Moments later, a Tokely flick on found Jake Lockett inside the box, but his lashing left foot effort flew across goal and wide of the post.

With twenty minutes gone, a long kick out sent Bruce clear down the right, and after cutting inside he shot straight at the onrushing Wilson.

Good delivery from a Gary Millard free kick found Bruce for another shot on target, this time a strongly placed header which Wilson had to tip over the bar. Just minutes later, broke free down the same side and flashed another shot across the face of goal.

Geegan's men finally broke the deadlock on 40 minutes and it came from a corner kick. A high ball from Paul Gair was headed onto the bar by Ross Tokely, but pouncing quickly to nod the ball over the line was Jamie Skinner to make it 1-0.

A couple of minutes later, Saints were certain they had the ball in the net again when Tokely hit a downward header onto the goalline. Nairn scrambled the ball into the clutches of the keeper as St. Duthus players claimed the goal. Referee Stuart Randall waved play on.

Saints doubled their lead five minutes into the second half. A superbly worked team goal that started with Lockett led to a quick one-two between Jamie Skinner and Ben Bruce, the former receiving the ball on the byline. A sublime turn followed, leaving his man behind him and placing a fantastic ball across goal, Lockett was left with the easy task of side footing the ball into the net.

The two goal advantage was short lived though, albeit in controversial circumstances. A dubious corner kick awarded after defender Duncan Davidson believed he had shepherded the ball out led to Nairn pulling a goal back, Grant Hogg connecting with a first time shot at the far post.

A stuffy final 30 minutes followed with chances limited for both sides, but Saints will feel aggrieved not to have had a penalty kick on 70 minutes after the ball seemingly struck the arm of a Nairn defender after a dangerous Gair free kick into the box.

Substitute Caillean Eaglesham made himself a handful after his introduction, forcing Wilson to make a save on 85 minutes and moments later doing well to win a corner with a tight angled shot blocked on the byline.

Despite the close scoreline, Saints ultimately saw the game out in comfortable fashion, ensuing their place in this season's North Caledonian Cup Final. 

Lineups

Nairn County A Starting XI

Gus Wilson

Liam Balfour

John Grant

Scott Mutch

Nathan Grant

Grant Hogg

Robbie Lean

Euan Logan

Kieran Duffty

Kyle Macdonald

Jamie Young


Nairn County A Substitutes

Reid Peterkin

Duncan Robertson

Dean Calderwood

Scott Stewart

Ross Peters

Next Match

11/07/2022 at 1900
Friendly
Grant Park, Tain

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