LES Fridge believes the narrow Christie Park pitch blunted his Nairn County side's attacking threat as Huntly scrambled a point when the two clubs met this afternoon, writes Graeme Macleod.
Nairn have seen Sam Urquhart and Alan Pollock pose a major threat to their opponents on either side of midfield over the last few weeks. But Huntly narrowing their playing surface made the hosts' style of play more suitable for the surroundings.
Fridge explained: "Huntly have brought the pitch in by about eight yards in total - four yards either side - and that has made the game very narrow and allows them to battle and work hard to restrict you."
"They played with two quick boys up front and they all worked really hard. They just looked to play long in the second half and squeeze the game, which will be why the park is narrow as they want to keep everything tight."
"Despite that, I thought we had the bulk of the second half and had a couple of half chances, which led to their goalie producing a couple of good saves. But over the piece, I think it is very much points dropped."
"When you look at their reaction, they were looking to slow it down and kill the game with 35 minutes still to play and were delighted with a point whereas we were desperate to win it and are disappointed to just take a point."
County fell behind to Glenn Main's own goal but strikes from John Cameron and Sam Urquhart within a minute of one another put the visitors in front with less than five minutes remaining until half time.
Huntly levelled things again with the last action before the break though and that was how the score remained until the final whistle thanks to a dogged second half display from the hosts.
Fridge said: "I do not think we got started until we came back with two great goals - especially the second one, which was a great bit of football - after going a goal down."
"The first goal from them was just a hopeful cross that Glenn (Main) tried to block but it came off him and went in for an own goal."
"The second one - when we were 2-1 up - was just a header down into the box and their boy (Alexander Thoirs) got himself a yard in front of everyone."
He added: "When you get yourself 2-1 up at the time we did then you have to hold that until half time. If we had done that, it would have been a completely different game in the second half than it was because they would have had to come out and go at us."
"They got everyone behind the ball, defended well and were then kicking the ball forward for the two quick boys up front."
Conor Gethins hobbled off on 57 minutes and is now a major doubt for the Highland League (Morganti) Cup final against Brora Rangers in three weeks. The striker - who has a history of hamstring injuries - immediately pulled up, clutched his hamstring and signalled to the bench for a change after shooting over on the turn.
Fridge commented: "We do not know what the full diagnosis is yet but he thinks he has tweaked his hamstring. We will have to have a look at that."