THERE was a lack of urgency to Nairn County's display at Clachnacuddin this afternoon according to manager Les Fridge and that contributed to the visitors failing to take the chance to claim a top six finish, writes Graeme Macleod.
Nairn went into this season-ending derby at Grant Street knowing that all three points would see them jump two places to sixth in the final table.
But the match failed to take off and although County had the better of what few chances there were, slackness in front of goal was again costly.
"As I said last week, not taking chances has been the story of our season," said Fridge. "That was the case again today. We created a lot of chances today but again did not take any of them."
"We had three chances in the second half which were inside the six-yard box but Conor (Gethins), Sean Webb and Alan Pollock all put their efforts over the bar."
"I have been saying it all season - we have been getting in scoring positions a lot but we do not seem to be taking the chances to make our lives a lot easier."
He added: "The game had an end-of-season feel to it, which was also disappointing because we had the opportunity to finish sixth and that was something to play for."
"There was no urgency about us though and it just looked like an end-of-season game from both teams."
"We told the players what sort of game it would be and what was at stake in that we could go up two positions in the table but we seemed to go through the motions."
"Unfortunately, that is what you get at this time of this season but when all was said and done, we had enough chances to win the game and that is what has let us down."
Fridge has seen his side struggle to hit the heights since the crushing disappointment of losing the Highland League (Morganti) Cup final on penalty kicks a fortnight ago.
He said: "In my opinion, the cup final should have been the last game of the season not only because it is the showpiece occasion for the league but because that result has had such an effect on us. We have been flat since then because we put so much into it and lost on penalties and that is understandable because everybody was really disappointed."
Fridge will no doubt look back on games against Wick Academy, Fraserburgh, Turriff United, Buckie Thistle and Keith at home this season and trips to Huntly and Forres Mechanics as well as today's result and think what might have been if his players could have turned most - or even all - of those dropped points into victories.
He stated: "There are several games that you could look at where we were in the position to win or in the position to do better but we have not done it. That has been disappointing."
There are now five first team players at the club whose contracts expire before the club are in competitive action again. Some of that quintet had earlier intimated that they will consider their options in the summer but now the season is out of the way, that is likely to become more of a priority again. But with the manager keen on bolstering his squad in the summer, some may have to be moved on to make way.
Fridge revealed: "I will look at things over the next couple of weeks now that the season is finished. I need to sit down and see where we are and what we need before I decide what we do players-wise with keeping players at the club and bringing new players in for next season."