INEXPERIENCE cost Nairn County in today's 3-2 reverse at the hands of Inverurie Loco Works according to manager Ronnie Sharp, who watched his side fall two goals behind early on before gifting the visitors another having got themselves back into the game before half time.
Locos goalkeeper Andy Reid opened the scoring with a wind-assisted effort from his own box that bounced over the head of Dylan Maclean in the Nairn goal before Neil McLean lashed home number two for Locos with less than quarter-of-an-hour played.
But Gary Kerr's first goal of the season brought County back into it before half time only for Nairn to be caught on the counter just before the hour-mark, with Joe McCabe racing forward to grab Locos' third of the game.
That turned out to be decisive with Jordan MacRae pulling another back for Nairn with just under 10 minutes to go but the home side could not quite draw themselves level to take a point.
Sharp said: "A wee bit of inexperience has cost us the game and we gave them two goals of a start through two major mistakes. The goalkeeper made a mistake for the first one and then was beaten at his near post for the second one. You cannot give a team like Inverurie that sort of start and expect to come back and win."
Inverurie's opening goal came after an almighty scramble at the other end with Nairn inches away going in front when the ball cannoned off a Locos player on the goal line after an Adam Porritt drive.
"The boys were saying it was not over the line but were claiming for handball," revealed Sharp. "Then the 'keeper kicks it down the pitch and it goes over our goalkeeper's head but these things happen. We were a bit deflated after that then went 2-0 down to a cheap goal but after that, I thought we battled back."
"It was difficult conditions and it was hard playing into the wind especially. We were under pressure for the whole half but in the last 10 minutes of the first half we got the ball down and scored a good goal through Gary Kerr. We thought then that we could get back into the game in the second half but we gave away another sloppy goal. We were chasing the game and left ourselves open at the back which meant that one long ball over the top put them in. It comes down to inexperience on our part."
He added: "Once we got over the fact that we had given them two goals, I thought we battled away and then when we got it back to 3-2 and had chances again. We just need that wee bit of experience and composure in the last third. We were getting the ball into the 18-yard box but we need to just calm ourselves down at times and stick it away."
"I cannot fault the effort because I thought the players put a lot into it and some of the football was very good in the conditions. It is very hard to play in this wind, which was blowing at about 40 mph. I am disappointed at the result but overall, if that is a team challenging up at the top of the league then I do not think we are far off it."
Kerr's strike was his first of the season and now that last year's top marksman is off up and running, Sharp is looking for him to go on a run in front of goal.
"It was a good finish," the manager stated. "Gary has been getting back to his best in the last few games and that goal will do his confidence the world of good. Jordan (MacRae) stuck away the penalty well, so that keeps him going too."