Written by Nairn County FC July 6th 2018

MAX Ewan missed his uncle’s pre-wedding bash to feature against his former club Inverness CT tonight. And manager Ronnie Sharp will be glad the young attacker made himself available after seeing him net the equaliser in tonight’s battling 1-1 draw with the Caley Jags. Ewan is the nephew of former County player, Chris Rankin and heads off to the west coast in the morning to link up with the rest of his family for his uncle’s big day. He had business to take care of at Station Park before that though, netting Nairn’s first goal of the summer to cancel out George Oakley’s opener for the visitors. Sharp said: “It was an excellent finish by Max. We started off with a different system but that did not work, so we changed it. Once we did that, we settled down and started to play a bit. We looked a lot stronger and got the goal, which was well-taken by Max.” Sharp was pleased with how much effort his players put into containing their full-time opponents. He said: “I thought it was a really good workout for us. We split our squad and put on two different 11s in the first half and second half and I thought everyone did really well." “Most of the boys are at about the same level now, which is good for us because we can take boys in and out of the team depending on their form. For the last couple of years, we have been building the squad and there has been that many boys coming in and out of the squad but so far this summer, we have just taken in one player and we are looking to keep a hold of everyone else.” He added: “We stood up well against a Championship team, who had some first team boys and some youngers boys involved too but we are doing the same. I thought it was a really good performance and we played some really good stuff.” Sharp handed a first start to new goalkeeper James Kendall, with the English shot stopper making a series of impressive blocks before being replaced at the interval by Dylan Maclean, who also impressed between the posts. “James came in and I thought he was excellent,” said Sharp. “Dylan was really good in the second half too. Right from the keepers right the way through, nobody had a bad game at all." “I think James is claiming an assist for the goal as it was his clearance which picked out Max. He is getting used to being around all the players because he does not know a lot of them. He is getting more confident with every training session he is around them. I thought he did really well but both played well and it is competition, which is what we are looking for all over the park.” Jack Maclean came on at half time for the second game in succession and could have won it for Nairn with County’s best chance after the interval only to be denied by a sprawling block by his former teammate, Daniel Hoban. Maclean also looked for a penalty kick after going down in the box in the final minute of the game. But even Sharp felt it was asking too much to consider it a serious claim. “I think he has been watching too much of Neymar in the World Cup!” he declared. “I think there was a wee bit of tiredness there at the end with the dive but he was getting into the positions before that and he was able to get up and down on the right.” The only drawback on the night was Inaki Fernandino-Soto hobbling off just 15 minutes after taking to the field at half time. “I think it is a heel problem he has,” Sharp revealed. “I am not sure where that has come from but we will see how that settles down when we are in training next week. Hopefully, it is nothing major as he started the half well after coming on at half time.” Graeme Macleod

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