RONNIE Sharp was satisfied with how Nairn County rounded off pre-season as they completed their preparations for the 2018/19 Highland League season with a 5-0 win away at Stonehaven.
The hosts were 4-0 up at the interval before Adam Naismith knocked in a penalty in the second half kick to round off the scoring.
“It was a satisfactory performance,” said Sharp. “I thought we were pretty clinical in the first half and looked pacey going forward, especially on the break. I am happy with it overall and we kept another clean sheet, which helps.
“We had pace on both wings with Dylan Mackenzie and Max Ewan and Ewen Urquhart through the middle. The midfielder were pretty quick at breaking forward as well, which is the way we are looking to play and we scored some good goals. We looked a threat from set pieces too and were unlucky not to get a couple of goals through that.”
Fraser Dingwall came into the team for his first start after two substitute appearances as a trialist and the manager was happy with how the new man performed.
He said: “I thought Fraser was very good for his first game. He was very good on the ball and defensively, he was really solid. He was excellent in the air and he gives us a threat at the attacking end of the park as well. He got on the end of some balls into the box and was unlucky not to score a couple – he hit the bar, had one in the net but it was disallowed and had one cleared off the line. I thought it was an excellent performance from him.”
Dingwall looked to have grabbed himself a debut goal with a header for Nairn’s third of the game but Max Ewan got a touch to the ball as it was crossing the line to leave the pair disputing who the goal was to be credit to.
“I will leave it up to the two of them to sort out,” said Sharp. “Max is claiming he got a touch to it on the line before it was over like all good strikers would say.”
The manager has seen his side net 24 goals for no losses in their last three friendlies but insists he will be unable to gauge how successful a pre-season his squad has had until the campaign is up and running.
“You do not know until you are about five games in,” he revealed. “All the teams are the same and everyone will be hopeful ahead of the season. It is not until battle commences that you really know how fit you are and how well you have done over the summer. Every team is the same and you can only try to prepare as best you can. We have done well in all of the games but we will find out over the next few weeks just how well.”
Sharp is also in a position to name the majority of his starting team for next weekend’s curtain-raiser at Formartine United.
“I know probably most of it,” he stated. “We have one or two things to iron out in training next week and Kenny McKenzie is unavailable for the game, so we will have to sort something out there. We had a few out today in the centre of the park with Cohen Ramsay on holiday and Ryan MacDonald working but they are both due back for next week. We will just wait and see.”