Locos fell to defeat at Station Park as they once again ended the game with 10 men. That second yellow card for Paul Coutts came as the midfielder conceded a penalty – the second of the game – that allowed Nairn County to take a 2-0 lead, effectively killing the game with 24 minutes remaining. Two goals in the last five minutes sealed a miserable afternoon for the Railwaymen.
In brilliant sunshine, it was Locos who had the better of the opening exchanges. County keeper MacLean was twice called into action early on to keep out efforts from Myles Gaffney. County settled though, and a shot across Zack Ellis from Ciaran Young came back of the post. The game continued to entertain with little further goal chances until Nairn went ahead 10 minutes from the break. Glen Donald threw himself in front of Angus Dey’s powerful drive but the ball struck his arm and the referee had no option but to point to the spot. Conor Gethins penalty kick was saved by Zack Ellis but the veteran striker was able to head home the rebound.
Ellis saved well from Gethins early in the second half before a Mark Souter shot from the edge of the box was deflected narrowly wide. Andy Low made several substitutions in an attempt to get back into the game but the hosts were largely keeping Locos at bay. When the second goal of the game did come, it went the way of County. A free kick into the box struck the arm of Coutts, who appeared to have been pushed. The referee wasn’t interested in Locos protests though, and showed a second yellow card to the midfielder before Gethins slotted the spot kick past Ellis.
Locos haven’t felt they’ve had the rub of the green much this season and they seemed deflated after that second goal. The closest they came to testing MacLean was a Jonny Smith free kick that the keeper was able to field comfortably. Nairn meanwhile were looking to press home their numerical advantage. Ben Kelly fired narrowly over the crossbar but the third goal came five minutes from time. Dey’s shot from the corner of the penalty area deflected off the boot of Donald and looped over Ellis into the net. The final goal saw Andrew MacLeod finish smartly following a good Nairn move.
Locos would have seen this game as an opportunity having shown improvement in recent games, but can have few complaints about the outcome. Andy Low will be disappointed with how little threat his charges could muster having fallen behind. The second goal secured the points for County, and Locos were certainly unhappy about the award of the penalty and subsequent red card, adamant that Courts had been fouled.
Locos travel away from home for the fifth consecutive match next week to face Clachnacuddin in the Scottish Cup.