A WIN, goals and a clean sheet were probably high on Nairn County manager Ronnie Sharp’s priorities list going into this weekend’s match at Lossiemouth. And his players delivered all three as they racked up their biggest league victory of the campaign.
Recent poor results and performances made three points a necessity from this trip to the team second bottom in the table and Sharp’s men delivered a clinical display in front of goal and a ruthless streak to keep the back door shut.
Dylan Mackenzie opened the scoring on 13 minutes before Callum Maclean smashed in a second and Max Ewan swept home from close range to put County well in control at the interval.
Any renewed Lossiemouth enthusiasm after the break was extinguished by Mackenzie, who added Nairn’s fourth of the day on 55 minutes and rounded off his hat-trick 11 minutes later.
Sharp said: “Scoring goals and play in the final third of the park has been the problem of late for us. But right from the off today, I thought we were on our game all over the park. I do not think we had a poor player in the team the whole game and that was good to see.
“We had three excellent finishes from Dylan Mackenzie up front, it was good to see Callum Maclean get another goal from a set piece and Max (Ewan) got another on off a set piece we never gave up on. That was good to see.”
Sharp emphasised on Wednesday night following defeat to Brora Rangers that his players had to take the same sort of effort and commitment from that match into today’s trip to Grant Park and could not let complacency set in.
He added: “There are times in games that are really important and when you are on top, you need to make sure you score. Brora showed us that on Wednesday night.
“I was delighted that we took the work rate from the Brora game into today and we got the rewards. It was a hard, hard game against one of the top teams just a few days before and we were able to carry the work rate into this one and create the end-product in this game. That was really pleasing.”
Mackenzie’s hat-trick was his second treble of the season and with his side now halfway through the season, the manager is now looking for the young striker to target a similar tally from the second half of the campaign.
“That is Dylan on 12 goals for the season,” he said. “That is good to see and like all the other players, he needs to kick on and want to score even more goals. And hopefully it puts us in good heart for the next game with a number of players putting in good performances today.”
Callum Ednie was pitched into the team for his first start of the season after four previous substitute appearances and Sharp was pleased for the young defender to be part of a back line which kept a clean sheet.
“I thought he did very well,” the manager said. “It was good to see him come in and play well. Tom Maclennan is out injured, so we decided to switch Adam Porritt into the centre of the park. Ednie has been training really well, so he was due a start and I thought he did really well.”