This game, about as one sided as a White House Press Conference, showed Formartine at their best as they utterly dominated their hosts with a high tempo, high energy passing game that left them struggling to find any traction at all against the rampant visitors. Save for a ten minute spell shortly after the interval, United dominated, territory, tempo, and possession throughout scoring a bunch of well crafted and skillfully delivered goals at regular intervals.
The game was played in the precursor to Storm Ciara with a howling wind that skirled across the park and sometimes swirled to other compass points. United, skilled in control and accurate in passing adapted quicker and better to the blast.
After an opening attempt down the left when Porrit fed Shewen to cut in before being jockeyed by Crawford to a position that reduced his chances to a tight angled hoof into the side netting, United went for the jugular: Greig was too quick and tricky for Ednie or MacLean while the blistering pace and relentless harrying of Lisle prompted by the guile of Gethins soon had them on the rack. The United back line advanced regularly to half way and County were squeezed into their own final third. Norris operating as a deep play maker in front of the back four impeccably orchestrated by McKeown, had a key role in much of that squeezeing, bringing in forwards and attacking midfielders with a nous that constantly wrong-footed the home side.
The goal fest began with a gift. In the 11th minute Lisle, after a one two with Greig, from about twenty yards wide whipped a low left to right ball across the goal face. PORRITT got between keeper and ball by the near post before mis-directing a diving header into his own net.
This did little to settle a young, jittery looking defence and United ramped up the pressure leaving Nairn with little option but to put 8 or more behind the ball for protracted periods. Attacks were coming from both sides and United were regularly getting balls from wider areas into the box. After a thumping 30 yard drive by Greig was tipped over his bar by MacLean and a corner that was scrambled away thereafter, United broke down the right. Started by Crawford the move was developed by Norris before Lisle slipped the ball to meet the run of RODGER. As a phalanx of four defenders advanced on him, the midfielder burst through between the central two, drew the keeper and skillfully clipped the ball into the right corner of the net.
Nairn were all but beaten by half time when a 44th minute close range finish by GETHINS showed that the veteran's reflexes are still razor sharp when he reacted quicker than his markers to make space near the right post to turn a rebound in the 6 yard area into the net.
Nairn made a spirited if vain attempt to get into things after the break but beyond a blistering long range drive by Ewen that Main got after parrying it, Formartine were still in charge. Another break down the left saw Lisle get into the side of the box before his progress to nowhere immediately threatening was illegally halted. CRAWFORD sunk the spot kick hard low and just inside the left stick in the 62nd minute.
An 81st minute break by Park and Norris opened up the retreating defence; Norris hit one in hard and low that MacLean parried only as far as LISLE who drove it home.
Speedy sub LEYDEN made it 6 in the last minute: a Park corner from the right was struck to an area beyond the back stick and he was in like an electric ferret to nick the ball into the net.
Nairn County: D.MacLean, Ednie, Ramsay, Porritt, C MacLean, Naismith, MacLennan (MacDonald 33), McNab, Ewan (Young 74), Davidson, L.Shewan (McConaghy 45).Subs: Main, Day Shewan, MacDonald, Young, McConaghy, Counsell.
Formartine United: Main, Crawford, Lawrence, Norris, McKeown, Kelly, Rodger (McGowan 55), Lisle, Gethins (Leyden 70), Park,Greig (C.Anderson 83). Subs: Leyden, Lawson, Smith, C.Anderson, McGowan, S.Anderson.