|Campbell comes up trumps for County|
Former Forres Mechanics man Craig Campbell struck a last minute winner for Nairn County to sink his former club in this derby clash at Mosset Park.
Forres threatened on three minutes when a mistake by Martin Sanderson let in Kyle Scott but his shot was blocked by the visiting defence. At the other end, an out-swinging corner from Gregg Main had to be tipped onto the crossbar by home goalkeeper Stuart Knight moments later.
Craig Campbell broke free on the left for County on the left hand side and delivered an inviting ball into the box but his delivery was missed by the on-running Tony Low.
A Steven Mackay shot went wide of the Forres goal before a shot free kick had the visiting defence in a panic but Sanderson kept a cool head to clear his lines.
The Forres crossbar was again struck when Mackay whipped in a cross-come-shot from the left that was palmed onto the woodwork by Knight.
Nairn almost edged in front when Wayne Mackintosh embarked on a probing run and his shot had Knight scrambling across his goal with the Mechanics shot stopper happy to see the effort go wide.
The visitors broke the deadlock on 24 minutes. Mackay raced up the left and delivered a pinpoint cross into the path of Dale Gillespie who volleyed home his second goal for the club in as many games.
Nairn should have doubled their lead 10 minutes later when a great Gregg Main pass landed at the feet of Low but he mistimed his shot and saw the ball roll harmlessly through to the goalkeeper.
Forres responded and Bruce Milne had a great chance to equalise when the ball broke to him in the box but he overran it and Nairn goalkeeper Ally Ridgers saved at the Can Cans' full back's feet.
The hosts were having the better of the game at this stage and Darren Shallicker fed in Ryan Green but the Forres striker shot wide when he should really have at least tested the goalkeeper.
David Chambers came on as a substitute for Forres after just seven minutes replacing the injured Kyle Scott and he brought out a good save from Ridgers with a ferocious drive from the edge of the box that was tipped wide by the goalkeeper.
It was end-to-end stuff towards the end of the first half and Low's cross on 38 minutes should have resulted in a second Nairn goal but Gillespie headed wide at the back post.
Neil Whyte then headed wide for the hosts before Shallicker linked the play again to put Chambers through but his shot bounced wide of the target.
Half time: Forres Mechanics 0 Nairn County 1
Forres had a glorious chance to level things minutes after the restart when a long throw in fell nicely for Milne but he somehow missed the target from only four yards out.
Green was next to pass up a great chance for the Cans on 55 minutes when he went through one-on-one with Ridgers. The Forres centre forward screwed his effort wide of goal when it looked easier to score.
Glenn Main was in the right place at the right time to keep the visitors in front when Neil Whyte flicked on a corner towards the net but the Nairn auxiliary full back cleared from the goal line.
Nairn threatened for the first time in the half when David Hind met a well-flighted free kick into the box with a header at the back post but the despair of the travelling contingent among the crowd, the County skipper sent his effort wide.
It came as no surprise when Forres levelled the match on 69 minutes. Centre back Nathan Sharp rose highest amongst the pack in the Nairn penalty area to powerfully head the Can Cans back on level terms.
The hosts were now in full flight and had the chance to score as many as three goals in just three minutes as the ball bounced about in the County penalty area as the Nairn goal lived a charmed life.
Mackay was yellow carded for an off the ball incident on 77 minutes though and this seemed to take the momentum out of the Forres attack while galvanising the County troops at the same time.
The visitors picked up their game and substitute Shaun Kerr played in Gregg Main but his goal-bound effort was cleared by the sliding Sharp. By now, Nairn had reverted to the long ball game but it was all meat and drink to player of the match Sharp.
A long ball out of the Nairn defence put Craig Campbell through on goal and just as he was about to pull the trigger, that man Nathan Sharp slid in to save the day for the home side.
Ex-Nairn man Darren Shallicker really should have won the match for Forres on 89 minutes but he shot wildly over the crossbar when well-positioned inside the County penalty area. It was to prove to be a costly miss.
From the resulting bye kick, Nairn went up the park and snatched all three points. Craig Campbell latched onto the long ball forward and this time the former Elgin man had the pace to see off Sharp before rolling the ball under the advancing Knight from 12 yards and celebrating behind the goal with Nairn fans.
Full time: Forres Mechanics 1 Nairn County 2
Reporter: Kenny Macleod
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