Nairn County 1 Fraserburgh 1 - Reaction

7th April, 2016 •
Posted In: Match Reactions
Written By: Graeme Macleod •
Comments: 0 Comments

LES Fridge felt his County team were lucky to still be in last night's game against Fraserburgh come half time, writes Graeme Macleod. But having drawn level despite underperforming for the opening 45 minutes, the boss was disappointed not to see his troops edge in front after an impressive second half showing.

Ryan Christie smashed home the opener for Fraserburgh in the very first minute before Gregg Main drew Nairn level on 38 minutes with an equally impressive strike.

"Calum Antell kept us in the game in the first half," said Fridge. "But what a strike it was from Ryan Christie. Although I did not think that we cleared our lines very well, you have to give credit to him because it was a hell of a strike.

"After that, Calum Antell kept us in the game with three really good saves. We looked like we had other things on our minds, which is understandable to an extent. But like I said to the boys at half time, I do not want them to take it easy in any game and I want them to go out and try to win.

"We changed things about for the second half and I thought we then had a lot of the play, creating a lot of really good chances that we never took. There were a lot of positives to take out of the second half although we were lucky to still be in the game at that stage."

Christie's rocket on the half-volley was followed by Main's fizzing left-footed drive which swerved past Joe Barbour in the Broch goal.

Fridge added: "I have to give credit to Gregg Main as well. I am giving Ryan Christie credit for his strike but Gregg's goal was every bit as good. It was on his weaker left foot too and it was just a tremendous strike. He dropped the shoulder to get away from the boy to open up the space and just hit a great shot with his left foot."

Fridge made a change at the interval taking Ross Naismith off and replacing him with defender Michael Morrison.

That led to Glenn Main being deployed at right back, Adam Naismith switching over to the left hand side of the defence, Kenny McKenzie stepping on one and Sam Urquhart moving infield to join Alan Pollock in attack.

"It was a tactical change," declared Fridge. "Rossco did not do an awful lot wrong but they were playing from back to front, knocking the ball down and then getting support from the middle of the park. We were not winning an awful lot of headers in the air or second balls, so I needed to get someone with a bit more aerial power back in there. I think Mo brought that and Sean Webb came a lot more into it as well."

"We also went with the two up front, which stopped their full backs stepping on like they had been doing for an awful lot of the first half, especially down the left hand side, where they had caused us a lot of problems."

He added: "If we had been sitting here having won the game 2-1 or 3-1 with the pressure we had in the second half then I do not think anyone would have been complaining because we deserved to win it on our second half performance. But over the piece, we were fortunate to still be in the game at that stage after the first half."

Fridge sprang a surprise by naming Tony Wallace among the substitutes after it appeared that the forward's season had been ended by the knee injury he sustained in January.

Not only that but the former Morton man was introduced for the last 15 minutes and made a big impact.

Fridge revealed: "Tony has really given me food for thought now. He has been strengthening his knee and seeing physios down the road. Sean Webb is a qualified physio and he had a look at the knee on Saturday. Tony then did the pre-match warm-up at the weekend and had no reaction, so we got him on for 15 minutes tonight and he looked really good. We will see how the knee reacts, although we do not have a lot of time before Saturday."

Andrew Skinner was left out after coming off injured at the weekend.

"It was a precaution with Skins," Fridge added. "He got a dead leg on Saturday and all of the games are now coming thick and fast, so I was not going to risk it tonight, in case he took another whack on it. He should be fine for Saturday."

"Robbie Duncanson and Bradley Halsman were also missing tonight. We do not have a lot of time but we will assess things towards the end of the week and take it from there."

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