A TACTICAL reshuffle by manager Les Fridge helped Nairn County to dominate against Fort William at Station Park according to the boss as he watched his side clock up a 5-2 win, writes Graeme Macleod.
The home side went with two out-and-out strikers and one in behind as they attempted to add more attacking menace to their line up and it paid off with the front duo of Conor Gethins and Sam Urquhart supplying the goals – the latter notching two while the former helped himself to a hat trick.
Fridge revealed: “I just felt that we had not looked as much of a threat going forward as we usually do. I changed things about a wee bit and I thought we looked a real threat going forward as a result.
“Take nothing away from Fort William – they have only been beaten by the odd goal in the last couple of games and have been doing really well. They have won in the Scottish Cup for the first time in a long time as well, so they came here high in confidence and we were maybe a wee bit down after the past week. I thought it was a really good performance from us, all things considered.”
County had conceded 11 goals in two games going into this match and shipped another two with lively Fort centre forward John McLeod grabbed a brace. Fridge felt that the goals were preventable though and came from his side’s own errors.
He stated: “The two goals we conceded were down to bad mistakes on our part. They both came from big punts up the park that we did not deal with. But on the plus side, it was a game we totally dominated. We scored some great goals and it could have been a lot more.”
Robbie Duncanson flourished in his role in behind the strikers and was happy to ping accurate, dangerous deliveries into the goalmouth all afternoon long, causing the Fort defence no end of trouble.
Fridge said: “Robbie put in the ball for a couple of Conor’s hat trick. He played in a deeper role today and was involved in most things for us.
“We showed a bit of character and it was a good reaction to what has been a disappointing week for us. Everybody in the dressing room was disappointed with the way things have gone in the last two games and it was a nice way to bounce back in what was really a potential banana skin because you can take nothing away from Fort William.”
Urquhart made it five goals in the last four games with his brace with the attacker hitting red hot form at the right time with a number of key games coming up.
Fridge added: “You know what you get from Sam – he has plenty of energy, works really hard and obviously he can score goals as well. He scored a couple a fortnight ago in the Selkirk game, he scored last Saturday and he has got himself another two today as well.”
County now begin their preparations for an away fixture at high-flying Turriff United with an important Scottish Cup match coming hot on the heels of the visit to the Haughs.
Fridge said: “It has already been a big week for the club and that is just the manner of the league and the way things are now but the end of October is going to be big – Turriff away, the Scottish Cup tie against Wick and then we finish it off against Strathspey. There are no easy games in this league and I keep saying that. You have to give respect to every opponent.
“It will be nice to get a proper week of training. With having a midweek game, that altered things a bit but we will be back to normality this week and prepare for the Turriff game next weekend.”