Written by Nairn County FC August 13th 2016

A FLYING first half at Bellslea looked like it had set Nairn County up for a first Highland League win of the season but in the end, Ronnie Sharp's men had to settle for a point despite leading 3-0 at the interval. Gary Kerr's opener was followed up by strikes from Callum Maclean and Wayne Mackintosh to put the visitors in control with Russell McBride dismissed for the hosts on the stroke of half time. Kerr was probably the only man of a Nairn persuasion asking for the Broch captain to be given a reprieve given how dominant the County centre forward had been up against the veteran centre half. A Calum Riddell own goal on the hour-mark was followed up by a Fraserburgh double in the final quarter-of-an-hour as County again failed to deal with cross balls to leave boss Ronnie Sharp gutted. "It feels like a defeat," he exclaimed. "To be 3-0 up and to play the way we did in the first half, when we were by far the better team, it is disappointing not to win the game." "We stopped playing in the second half and we panicked on the ball. We had the chances to be 4-0 or even 5-0 up. If we had taken those chances then the game would have been over." "We said to the players at half time that it was going to be a lot harder in the second half because they were going to come at us. They hit one long ball after another at us and we did not really handle that. But the main reason they were able to do that was because we were unable to keep the ball and kept giving it away and kept fouling, which gave them opportunities to put dead balls into the box." "Yes, we would probably have taken a point before the game but not with the way the game was played, especially in the first half." Sharp saw his men concede one goal 15 minutes into the second half and then stabilise before the Broch hit their quick-fire double to complete their comeback. He said: "Our heads went down after Fraserburgh's second goal. The heads went down, the dejection set in and we looked really heavy-legged." "I will take the positives from the first half though. It was probably as good as a Nairn team has played down here for many years. We knocked it about and thoroughly deserved to be 3-0 up at half time and continued that in the second half. "We need to take more chances though as we probably took the hard chances today and missed the easy ones." "We are still a bit short of fitness as well and some boys have just arrived at the club and they will be about three weeks behind everyone else." "You can see the disappointment on their faces because they are really disappointed that they gave away two points and Fraserburgh have started really well with two wins in the league and a win over Formartine in the cup. But we will get over it and we are already looking forward to the next game." Graeme Macleod

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