Nairn County 0 Forres Mechanics 3: Convincing Cans now joint-top scorers
FORRES Mechanics produced their best performance of the season as they recorded a convincing 3-0 win over Nairn County at Station Park on Wednesday night.
The result moves the Cans above County and into the table's top six – although Nairn do have three matches in hand. Mechanics are also now the league's joint-top goal scorers, with 43 in 15 matches, level with Fraserburgh.
It was actually the home side that started the brighter on the night, however. Max Ewan had two shots in the second minute, the first thwarted by Stuart Knight and the second cleared from just in front of the line by Ross MacPherson.
Knight was forced into action again on four minutes as he made a great save to deny Liam Shewan's close range effort. But, as it played out, Nairn had more chances in the first five minutes than the rest of the game combined.
Mechanics had efforts through Allan MacPhee, Declan Hughes and Robbie Duncanson before the latter gave the visitors the lead on 25 minutes.
Duncanson picked the ball up 30 yards from goal and advanced before hammering low into the bottom left past Nairn's on-loan Brora Rangers goalkeeper Will Counsell.
And it was 2-0 almost instantly as Stuart Soane, fresh from his hat-trick against Lossiemouth, hammered a tremendous strike from 30 yards in via the post.
It looked like game over just before half-time as County's Fraser Dingwall was shown a straight red card for a late lunge on Martin Groat on the half way line.
The Cans managed the game well before killing it on 75 minutes. Allan MacPhee did superbly down the left hand side, taking on two, before playing a great ball across for Soane to double his tally from two yards.
Nairn thought they had pulled a goal back three minutes later. Liam Shewan tapped in after Knight's parry from substitute Adam Naismith's strike – but the flag went up for offside.
Mechanics nearly added a fourth with four minutes to go but MacPherson's header was cleared off the line by Naismith and it ended a comfortable 3-0.
Elsewhere, Huntly, who Forres host at Mosset Park this weekend, made it back-to-back wins with a 3-1 home success over Turriff United. The visitors took the lead before goals from Ashley Ballam, on loan from Elgin City, Kai Ross and an own goal gave Huntly the points.
Inverurie Loco Works and Brora Rangers both won to join Buckie Thistle at the top of the Highland League table on 33 points.
Locos defeated Formartine United 2-1 away from home, while Brora Rangers defeated Clachnacuddin by the same scoreline in Inverness. Andy Macrae, recently signed from Forres, grabbed his first Brora goal to seal the points.