Ronnie Sharp felt his players gave up in the second half of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Deveronvale as the home side fought back from a goal down to claim all three points.
Max Ewan fired Nairn ahead four minutes into the second half. But within the next 12 minutes, Robert Scott and Graeme Watt had found the net to put ‘Vale ahead and that was how it finished.
Sharp said: “It was a scrappy game from start to finish but to go ahead and then lose the momentum almost straight away was very disappointing. But so was the performance right from the start – we have probably saved our worst for last this season. We were poor from the first minute to the last minute.
“It looks like playing Fraserburgh and Turriff last week has taken its toll. They were hard games for it but it is no excuse for the way we passed the ball. We had no energy, no commitment and I thought they deserved to win.
“It is very disappointing to lead in the game and then throw it away. To be honest, I thought we gave up, which is the most disappointing thing of the lot. We have not done that at all this season and I thought we had turned a corner but we just gave up.
“Maybe some of the players’ legs have gone after a hard season but you have to try in games and we did not look like we tried.”
Both Deveronvale goals came off deliveries from the right with Scott and Watt finding the net at the far post.
Sharp added: “We went to sleep twice and their players were unmarked at the back post for both goals. We gave away cheap free kicks to allow them to put the ball into the box. You have to mark – it is the most basic thing to do and we did not do it. As I said, we had no energy and the minds were just gone. We have playing Wednesday and Saturday for the last few weeks, so I am hoping it is down to that and we go to Cove on Tuesday where we might give some other boys a run. The boys look dead on their feet but it is no excuse and I thought ‘Vale deserved to win.”
Seeing his side go in front in the match only to throw it away added to Sharp’s disappointment as they squandered the chance to draw level on points with Buckie Thistle and guarantee that they would finish ahead of Saturday’s opponents.
The Nairn boss said: “We have really good once we have got ahead in games and it usually gives us that extra yard or two and we pull away from teams. We did not even look like doing that though and as soon as we scored we were under pressure straight away. We kept giving them ball to them and they worked harder, so fair play to Stevie (Dolan, Deveronvale manager)’s team.”
County now need to take something from Tuesday’s trip to champions Cove Rangers to stand a chance of securing a top-half finish.
Sharp added: “Deveronvale are above us now and we both have one game to go. They play Fort William and that will not be easy and we are at Cove on Tuesday, where we do not know what sort of team they will put out.”