St. Duthus 2 Nairn County 'A' 0

St. Duthus claimed all three points against Nairn County on Saturday to make it two wins from two so far in 2022, also claiming their first clean sheet since June last year.

There was a start for new signing Stuart Mackay coming in for the absent Jake Lockett, while Ross Tokely also made a return in midfield, with James Mackay having made way due to work commitments. Will Ross and Billy Cairns both made returns, taking a place on the bench.

Saints threatened in the early going with both Ben Bruce and Stuart Mackay looking like they were in a lively mood, and the Nairn defence did well on a couple of occasions to keep them out, Gus Wilson holding a Mackay volley after he had been left at sea by his back line.

Both teams exchanged corners, but most threatening were Saints, with Ross Tokely and Jamie Skinner both heading on target into the arms of Wilson.

On the half hour mark, Mackay thought he had opened his account for the club when got on the end of a looping cross from Daniel Christie, but his header flew just wide of the post.

The goal eventually arrived right on the stroke of half time. Another fine Christie cross was met this time by Ben Bruce who volleyed the ball to the side of Wilson and into the net. The goal was Bruce's tenth of the season and his first for the year.

St. Duthus moved up a gear in the second half and stated to assert their authority, Nairn reduced to taking chances from outside the box when they had them.

Corners again presented Tokely with a chance to score, and later Davidson with a headed effort well saved by the keeper.

But the second arrived on 70 minutes courtesy of a Paul Gair free kick, which was floated low into the box to take a bounce and, met by the boot of Finn As-Chainey, it was fired into the net to make it 2-0.

There were further chances late on to make it 3-0, but attention turned to keeping a clean sheet - their first of the season and a first for Danny Gillan in Saints colours. 

Dogged defending and persistence in possession ensured they saw the score out, and after 90 minutes it finished 2-0 for Saints.

Gillan, L Smith (A Allan 46), Christie, JW Skinner, Davidson (W Ross 61), J Skinner, S Mackay (S Ross 61), Gair (Millard 68), Bruce (Cairns 68), Tokely, As-Chainey

Referee: S Randall
Assistants: I Ross & F Wallace


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