THE Jeykll and Hyde nature of his team’s performance left Nairn County U20s Head Coach Stuart Finnie frustrated after they almost blew an incredible FIVE-GOAL lead against Clachnacuddin.
Sean McWilliams, Euan Wheeler, Cameron Maclean, Seamus McConaghy and Ian Payne had all found the net with a little over half-an-hour on the clock to leave Finnie’s side on Easy Street at Station Park.
But Clach pulled a goal back shortly before half time before adding a further three unanswered strike in the second half to leave Finnie’s men hanging on for a 5-4 victory.
He said: “For 35 minutes, I thought we were outstanding. Our passing, movement and finishing was excellent and we pressed them and gave them no peace at all.
“I demanded before the game we came out all guns blazing and stamped our authority on them and we did that. The goal we conceded before half time was completely avoidable and although Clach were still four goals down, it gave them a lift.
“I am really disappointed in the second half performance and I know the boys are as well. We had numerous chances to kill off any comeback but did not take any of them. Then, all of a sudden, they scored their second, third and fourth goals and we are having to cling on to defend numerous set pieces. We should never have been in that position in the first place and I must praise Clach for their spirit in not giving up.”
He added: “It is a welcome win and the good thing is the boys know that the second half was not good enough but we will keep working hard to improve.”
Finnie handed a start to Alex Geddes in attack and was rewarded with a bright display from the centre-forward, with the coach pleased with the youngster’s recent progress.
He said: “It was good to see him take his chance as he has waited patiently and never once moaned about anything. His performance definitely merited a goal and I am happy for him. There are boys in the squad who should be taking a leaf out of Alex’s book and putting the work in.
“We have had two games in three days with our progress in the Football Times Cup and a lot of friendlies thrown in because of that too, which has meant that everyone has been able to play a lot of football. But from now on, it is the league we are concentrating on, which means only those who put the work in will get the chance to play and those who aren’t can sit in the stand.”
Finnie saw his side bow out of the Football Times Cup with a quarter finals loss at Golspie Sutherland on Saturday.
The hosts went in front just before the break and then doubled their lead shortly after the turnaround.
Angus Davidson thumped home a long-range effort to pull County back into but was then sent off as the visitors’ hopes of a comeback petered out.
Finnie said: “We were very disappointed as it was a game that was there for us but we just seemed to lack the belief that we could knock them out.
“Our decision-making was poor and we did not make the most of any half decent opportunities.
“We scored an absolute wonder goal through Angus and had a little bit of momentum built up but Angus’s red card deflated that and we can have no complaints about that decision.
“It feels like a missed opportunity but good luck to Golspie in the semi-final.”
The team for the tie at Golspie was:
Nairn County – D. Maclean, J. Maclean, J. W. Maclean, Robertson (Barron 25), Wheeler, Morrison (Davidson 65), Eadie (Geddes 70), Campbell (McDermott 65), MacBean, Young, Mitchell (Payne 65). Subs unused - .