Written by Nairn County FC September 15th 2016

RONNIE Sharp praised his team's fighting spirit as they dug in to turn the tables on Fort William in a war of attrition at Claggan Park. It was far from pretty but the visitors fought back from a goal down at the interval to take all three points, with Paul Macleod and Dylan Mackenzie finding the net in the second half. Michael Ellis broke the deadlock for Fort William on five minutes and only a tremendous save by Dylan Maclean kept the deficit at one, ten minutes later. The Fort hit the crossbar three times all in, with Ross Naismith somehow managing to acrobatically turn a goal-bound shot on to the bar in the first half before Maclean excelled again after the break with a stunning tip on to the goal frame to prevent Ellis from adding a second. That is not to say that Nairn did not have their fair share of chances with Kenny McKenzie striking the post in the second half and Naismith being an inch away from turning home Jamie Mackay's low cross just before half time. Indeed, it may have been a completely different game if Jordan Macrae had stuck away the best chance of the lot with just two minutes on the clock. Sharp said: "It was all about hard graft in the second half to claw us back into the game." "In the first half, we had the major chance inside two minutes to put us ahead, which we should have taken. We missed it and then they went and scored what I thought was against the run of play. That led to us being a bit nervous for the rest of the half." "The players took it upon themselves at half time to look to turn it around, especially the experienced boys like Paul Macleod and Glenn Main. They drove the team on in the dressing room at half time with a frank talk, which was great to see and it helped to drive the team through in the second half." Macleod struck County's equaliser on 59 minutes before Mackenzie's winner with 12 minutes left for play, both goals being headers. Sharp added: "It was a good corner from Ross that led to the first goal and a great header from Paul. That gave us a bit of momentum that we then lost for a wee while but we got it back again after the introduction of Dylan Mackenzie's pace. That paid dividends late on." "Jordan played well up front for the first hour but Dylan freshened things up and it was an excellent header from him for the winner. It was his first goal in the Highland League and for it to be a winning goal too is excellent for him." Macrae fired Nairn's best chance of the first half past the post with just two minutes gone. Sharp stated: "To be one up in two minutes would have been good. Jordan played well and worked hard up front but it is something he has to learn from. He thought he was offside but he has to play the whistle." He added: "I am delighted with the second half showing. We worked hard to get the result. The away form seems to be pretty good and we just need to sort out the home form now." "Hopefully, tonight will give us a bit of confidence. We will have Gary Kerr back at the weekend and Jason Morganti did the warm up with us tonight as well, so he looks like he will be back in the squad for Saturday." Graeme Macleod

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