Preston progressed into the second round after an exciting William Hill Scottish Cup tie that was a real game of two halves.
The Panners got the perfect start within two minutes as a Gavin Stevenson’s run down the right saw the home defence fail to deal with his low cross and Kenny Park placed his shot into the bottom corner.
On 12 minutes, Preston were two up. The ball broke to Liam Todd, whose cross was met perfectly by Danny O’Rourke to bullet a header home.
Scott Barclay then finished off a great move to give the Panners a three-goal lead.
Just prior to half-time, the home side brought on Ross Naismith and changed to three at the back and they started the second period well, pushing Preston back and gaining a foothold as Naismith tucked home a cutback from Jamie MacKay. Nairn’s second on 70 minutes saw the Preston defence caught out with a long ball and Naismith grabbed his double. Nairn pushed for an equaliser and Craig Pennycuick touched a Naismith effort onto the post and out for a corner, the visitors holding on.
Nairn County: D.MacLean, S.MacKenzie (Naismith), McKenzie, P.MacLeod, Glen Main, Mackintosh, Riddell, C.MacLean, Kerr, MacKay (D.MacKenzie), J.MacLean. Subs: Moir, MacRae, Morganti, Greg Main, R.MacLeod.
Preston Athletic: Pennycuick, Law, Cochrane, Cowan, Colquhoun, Todd (McLeod), Stevenson, Barclay, Henderson (Shave), Park, O’Rourke (Lawson). Subs: Baines, Jardine, Erskine, Siegel.