Written by Nairn County FC August 12th 2018

RONNIE Sharp has revealed he is looking to strengthen his Nairn County squad in the wake of this derby defeat at Forres Mechanics – his side’s third 4-1 reverse in four Highland League outings this season. Andrew McRae struck two first half goals to put Forres in control at the break and although Max Ewan pulled one back for the visitors just after the hour-mark, McRae completed his hat-trick 10 minutes later before substitute Liam Taylor rounded off a comfortable Mechanics win. Sharp said: “We are looking around to see if we can bring some boys in. If you are going to improve, the boys who are coming off the bench or are coming into the team when you have a few players unavailable must step up. At the moment, we are struggling that way, so we need to get bodies in. There might be a few leaving as they have had their chance and there might be a few coming in.” “We have boys on the fringes who should be looking to push on and be regulars in the team. This was their opportunity but we did not step up.” Reflecting on the match, he said: “We have a lot of boys unavailable – if you take one or two out of your team it makes a difference, so six or seven makes a real impact. The seven who were missing would probably have started if they had been available." “We started the game well enough but we made defensive mistakes and found ourselves two goals down. We gave the ball away cheaply and that cost us goals.” “At 2-1, I thought we were back in the game and we had changed to two up front to try to cause them more problems. But we gave them ball away again and we were punished. We have players out but there are no excuse – they deserved to win.” Sharp handed a Highland League debut to goalkeeper James Kendall, who came in for Dylan Maclean. The manager said: “We changed them about because we thought James would be stronger against a side like Forres. I thought he did really well and he could not do anything about any of the goals. He had a couple of good stops as well as that.” There was also a first appearance of the season for 18-year-old Seamus McConaghy, who impressed as a substitute after coming on with 35 minutes remaining. Sharp added: “I thought he was probably our best player in the time we was on the park. He has been in the under-20s and he is coming on great. I thought he was terrific and he gave us great width in the team.” “Max Ewan took his goal well too. He is still only 17 years old but he seems to be the only one scoring consistently at the moment.” Graeme Macleod

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