EIGHT different scorers adding to the tally was the most pleasing aspect of this comfortable friendly win at New Elgin for Nairn County boss, Ronnie Sharp.
Jordan MacRae bagged a first-half hat-trick with Adam Porritt netting a double after the break. Cohen Ramsay added to MacRae’s efforts in the opening 45 minutes with Tom Maclennan, Max Ewan, Dylan Mackenzie, Gregg Main and Danny Highet all netting in the second half.
“It was another good workout for all the players,” declared Sharp. “We split the squad again and the main positive was taking our chances to score a lot of goals. Our defence was not under a lot of pressure and the goalkeepers never really had anything to do.
“We had guys scoring from all over the park with eight different scorers, which is a good sign. Some of the goals were taken well – a good free kick and some other well-worked goals. We scored all types of goals.”
He added: “This game was more about working the attacking side of it whereas the previous two against Ross County and Inverness CT had been about working the defensive side of it. That was the plan then on Tuesday, we play Burghead Thistle, which will be another little step up then we play at Stonehaven on Saturday where it will be a step up again and hopefully, we can peak in time for the Formartine game.”
County had the outcome beyond doubt at the break with MacRae rounding off his hat-trick and Ramsay grabbing his goal to give Nairn a four-goal advantage both within in the final few minutes of the first half.
Any chance the home side had of mounting an unlikely comeback were snuffed out by the dismissal of David McNamara for a wild challenge on Dylan Mackenzie, which was promptly followed by Maclennan planting the free-kick that followed into the net.
That could have led to Sharp’s men easing up and seeing out the last third of the match but it was the exact opposite as the goals continued to rain in.
“The good thing was the players kept going,” stated Sharp. “They kept the shape and played the game we wanted them to play it. I think the players know they are playing for place because we have a bigger and better squad this year. They have to be on their toes and they cannot afford to take their foot of the pedal.”
MacRae’s first half efforts saw him move off the mark for the summer.
Sharp said: “He played well and took his goals really well again. He was strong and powerful in front of goal and even missed a penalty, which probably pleased Gregg (Main)! He is our usual penalty taker and was sitting on the side-lines at the time. Jordan did really well though and it was good to get 60 minutes into him.”
Dylan Mackenzie put in an impressive showing wide on the right during the second half, adding his name to the score sheet and setting up numerous chances for his team mates.
“He did really well”, said Sharp. “He has all the skills and all the pace you need but he is still a young lad and is still putting it all together – he is only going to get better. I thought everybody had good performances overall and we did not have anybody who did not play well.”
Highet’s goal was his first in a Nairn shirt as he got his reward for an industrious half-hour showing as a substitute, having earlier played a key role in Gregg Main’s goal.
Sharp added: “The goal will give Danny confidence and that is what you need. He took it really well and I thought it was a terrific finish. At times, you just need that one goal to set you up and get you going and hopefully, that can be the case for him.”