Nairn County 3 Deveronvale 2 - Reaction

28th November, 2015 •
Posted In: Match Reactions
Written By: Graeme Macleod •
Comments: 0 Comments

LES Fridge praised referee Liam Duncan and assistant Chris Macleod for rightly reversing the man in the middle's decision to award Deveronvale a penalty kick, writes Graeme Macleod.

Photographic evidence on the County Facebook page has tonight shown that Michael Morrison won the ball before colliding with 'Vale forward Martin Charlesworth in the Nairn penalty box at a crucial time in the game with the visitors one goal up.

Duncan - whose view of the incident was obstructed by bodies in the penalty area - blew his whistle and pointed to the penalty spot but after consulting with standside assistant Macleod - who had a clear view of the tackle - he changed his decision. This infuriated the visitors with Gary Harris taking his protests too far and being sent off.

Fridge said: "It was never a penalty. We had a good view of it and I am sure the TV cameras will back that up as well. Mo (Michael Morrison) won the ball brilliantly and fair play to the assistant - he was very strong and dealt with it."

"It was a great bit of refereeing. The assistant was very strong and it was the correct decision. I have spoken to the TV crew - they said it was never a penalty and that he clearly won the ball. The referee could not see that because he was the other side and that is what assistants are for. All credit to the officials today for that."

It was Harris's foolish mouth that cost the visitors more than any perceived injustices from the officials with his 10 team mates who remained on their park giving their all to first re-establish and then protect their one-goal lead but running out of steam in the face of County's relentless pressure.

Fridge said: "I thought we started the game really well and looked quite comfortable but from their first attack, they won a corner and scored from it. That put us on the back foot straight away."

"They had the boy (Harris) sent off and we have been down to 10 men or even nine ourselves before and made it very difficult for teams. We just had to step on and take care of ourselves."

"Robbie (Duncanson) scored a great goal in the first half to draw us level and then in the second half, Calum (Antell) slipped just outside his box, mis-kicked the ball and we found ourselves 2-1 down."

"That gave them something to hold on to. They played with two banks of four and tried to hit us on the break but I thought that the longer the game went on it, the more we came into it. In the last 15 minutes, we were probing more and creating chances."

"Ross Naismith equalised with a great strike and that is what the wee man is capable of. Then, Sam Urquhart popped up with a great header to win it."

Naismith's strike was his first of the season. The attacking midfielder has had to be patient for his chance to shine but certainly made a positive impression this afternoon with renewed energy in attack when he replaced Tony Wallace with 10 minutes to go.

Fridge added: "Tony worked really hard and gave us his all but he is probably not fully match-fit yet. We knew Ross was capable of that sort of thing and we ended the game with four up front hunting the equaliser and then the winner. We had Robbie, Conor (Gethins), Sam and Mo up there and were just going for it and we got there in the end."

The goals that his side conceded were of a concern to Fridge, who believes that County have continually given away soft goals throughout the campaign.

He stated: "We are shooting ourselves in the foot. Look at our goals today - the first one was a great move and a great run by Robbie into the box followed by a good finish. Ross Naismith has pinged in an opportunist strike from 20 yards then Sam Urquhart was falling backwards and has managed to arch himself back and head the ball in from an almost impossible angle."

"Now, look at their goals - their first corner of the game, goal. Mistake, goal. We need to stop making life difficult for ourselves."

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