A LACK of conviction at both ends of the park cost Nairn County their chance of taking something out of Deveronvale's visit to Station Park, according to boss Ronnie Sharp. But the boss said he could not have asked of anymore from his players, writes Graeme Macleod.
Sharp said: "I thought we deserved a point. We played really well in phases and played some terrific football. It is just that lack of concentration right in the first couple of minutes and then again at a set piece. But it is not helping having to change the defence all of the time. Once we settle down over the next couple of weeks, we will look to win quite a few games and do well."
"I thought we were the better team football-wise for a lot of the game but we need to find that bit of a killer instinct when we are going forward into the last third. We need to learn to make the right pass at the right time and also defensively but I cannot ask any more of the players."
"Willie Barron has come in at centre half and young Jack Maclean has played at right back and I do not think he has ever played there before. Stephen Mackenzie also came in as a trialist after only one training session with us and I thought he did really well. The only regular we had in the defence was Glenn (Main)."
Graeme Watt opened the scoring for 'Vale just four minutes in and it was the second match in a row where County lost an early opener, following Brora's strike two minutes into last weekend's game.
Sharp said: "There is a lack of continuity but that is just where we are just now. We have been at it for three or four weeks now and had boys missing from last week's game in defence and we were caught out by a cross which we should have dealt with better."
"The second one was probably more annoying. The boy had time in the box but that is just down to a lack of confidence between the defenders. Other than that, I thought we played well. I know we only had a few clear cut chances but we were getting to the edge of the box and I thought we played a lot better this week than we did last week."
Gary Kerr's first goal since returning to the club drew Nairn level in the first half when he thumped home a near post header off a Ross Naismith corner.
Sharp added: "It was a great set piece and it is something we have worked on with Gary going to the front post. It was a great header from him off a great delivery from Ross. That gave us confidence and we started to play a bit."
"We want them to have confidence to knock the ball about and I thought they did that, even from the back. It was just concentration that cost us and once we get over this next few games, hopefully that will improve. I thought we tired again towards the end but that is just down to a lack of pre-season games. After another few weeks at it, I have every confidence that we will win a lot of games."
Sharp takes his team to Fraserburgh next weekend followed by fixtures against Buckie Thistle, Keith and Formartine United.
The boss stated: "It is a tough start and there are no doubts about that. We had Brora to start off with and then five Aberdeenshire teams after that. You have to play them though and as I said, once the end of August comes, we will really be up to speed."
"We will have a stronger squad next week with boys coming back in and I hope that we get better and better with each passing week. The boys will get fitter and you have to remember that even Wayne (Mackintosh) the captain is just back from holiday, so he will get stronger and fitter, as will the rest of them. The boys who have come in to the team have done well, so hopefully it is onwards and upwards."