Published: 12/04/2012 02:00 - Updated: 12/04/2012 06:38

Nairn swoop to land Irish stopper Webb

NAIRN County have pulled off a sensational signing coup by landing former Northern Ireland international Sean Webb on a three-year deal.

The 28-year-old former Ross County and St Johnstone defender was keen to return to the North of Scotland after recent years in Ireland and England and he called Nairn manager Les Fridge to line up the shock switch.

The impressive stopper, who has four full and six under-21 Northern Irish caps, and added steel instantly on Saturday when he helped his new team-mates run out 3-0 Highland League winners at Lossiemouth.

Former Ross County and Caley Thistle keeper Fridge revealed: "Sean contacted me to say he was moving up here again and we actually had him training with us over the Christmas period, but we were not sure if he'd get a chance to be involved before the end of the season, so we are delighted to have him here.

"After leaving Ross County (in 2008), he went over to Shamrock Rovers and, more recently, he's been training to be a physiotherapist in England. His partner is from Avoch and he's now back in the area and he wanted to come at play at this level. He offers us experience and quality and, at 28, he's at a good age."

Nairn, who drew 1-1 against Clach in Inverness on Wednesday, are now the league's highest scorers after Saturday's victory followed hard on the heels of a 9-0 midweek masterclass at basement side Fort William.

They have now bagged a whopping 83 goals in 29 games - that's just three short of their entire league tally from last term. They have also won five of their last seven matches.

Craig MacMillan, Paul MacLeod and Robbie Duncanson weighed in with second half goals on Saturday and Fridge said: "Brora was our fourth away game in a row, ahead of trips to Clach and Fraserburgh. Perhaps the midweek game at Fort William had taken its toll because we never really got going.

"We changed things around in the second half and I told the players to be patient and the breakthrough would come. Brora are a very stuffy, defensive team and we had to work extremely hard to get in front, but all three goals were well taken.

"It's great to have scored as many goals as we have, but in all my times at the club, especially in the past three years, we have been an attacking team. We had five different scorers at Fort William and three different scorers at Brora, so that's pleasing.

"Obviously, our main strikers always get on the end of crosses, like Conor Gethins, who has been out injured, and Steven MacKay, but it's a positive sign to see goals coming from throughout the team.

"People have always said to me, as a former keeper, they thought I'd be more defensive-minded as a manager, but I like to see my teams play some free-flowing football and we are getting our rewards."

And those rewards include being within striking distance of second-placed Cove Rangers, whose brave title challenge has faltered recently as Forres Mechanics remain on track to celebrate the title.

Ahead of their sixth straight away game this weekend, away to in-form fifth-placed Fraserburgh, Fridge added: "We were focused this season on improving our league position and we're not far behind Cove, with a game in hand and we still have to play them at Nairn.

"It's been tough having so many away games. With three home fixtures still to play, it would have been nice to have fixture at Station Park to break it up, but we've done well.

"However, we're taking nothing for granted. There are good sides all around us and we could just as easily find ourselves falling to fifth place. Fraserburgh have done very well under Kris Hunter and they are snapping at our heels, so we know how hard it will be, but we'll travel with confidence and see what happens."

Doubts for Nairn County this weekend are Gethins, Steven Ellis and John Cameron.

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