RONNIE Sharp believes his players gave up when they fell behind at Fraserburgh this afternoon, with the visitors not only edging in front four minutes before the break but putting the game beyond doubt with two further strikes before referee Greg Soutar called a halt to the first 45 minutes of action.
The result means Nairn remain just the two points better off than from the same fixtures last season – albeit with a significantly less goal difference – having also lost on their trip to Bellslea in the 2017/18 campaign.
It was County who took the lead when Adam Porritt struck early on but Paul Campbell levelled for the Broch before their three-goal blitz before the outcome with strikes from Paul Young, Kieran Simpson and Scott Barbour effectively sealing the game with half of it still to play.
Campbell and Barbour both added to their personal tallies after the break with substitute Sean Butcher getting in on the act in between.
Sharp said: “We were well in the game and then conceded three goals in four minutes. Seeing that happen is just absolutely soul destroying. I thought we gave up mentally when it went to 2-1 – a good Highland League team should be able to hold on and see it out to half-time at 2-1 but we were not able to do that.
“I did not think there was much between the two teams up until that point but we just gave up. When you give the ball away like we did, you are not going to come to places like Fraserburgh and take anything. They have some real quality players in their team and if you give them the ball, they are going to score.”
County went close to going to one in front when Dylan Mackenzie’s drive was tipped on to the post by Broch goalkeeper Peter Tait with the game tied at 1-1.
Sharp added: “It could have made a difference if that had gone in and it was a fantastic save but I think we were still patting ourselves on the back for going in front. After that, you have to move on and build on it and you cannot lose so many goals in such a short space of time as we did before half-time.
“Two of the goals we gave away were from gifting Fraserburgh the ball in their own half when we were on the attack. We then never touched the ball again before it was in our net on each occasion. That is not acceptable. It was good, good finishes from them and as I said, if you keep giving a team like Fraserburgh chances to come at you, your defence is not going to hold out for all that time.”
The half-time interval failed to rally County with the visitors still shell-shocked from their post-break capitulation, allowing the hosts to dominate the entire second 45.
Sharp stated: “We scored a good goal and had one other real chance but other than that, I thought we were really poor in the final third. In the second half, we gave nothing to the game.”