Written by Nairn County FC August 17th 2016

HAVING missed almost all of pre-season, Nairn County boss Ronnie Sharp deemed last night's friendly match against Inverness CT a worthwhile workout. A hat trick from Farid El Alagui was added to by strikes from Jamie Wilson and Ali Sutherland for the visitors with Wayne Mackintosh notching Nairn's counter from the penalty spot. Sharp said: "I hope we took a lot out of the game fitness-wise. It was a very good Caley side and at times we were just chasing shadows." "5-1 was a decent result for us in the end because they were a very good side with first team boys playing." "We got everybody decent minutes on the park and that was the main objective for us because we are still trying to catch up on our fitness." "A lost a few decisions that resulted in goals, like when they were awarded a free kick for a very good tackle which then led to a goal and there was then a ricochet which went in as well. That was a bit harsh on us but they are a Premiership team playing a Highland League team with boys pushing for their first team or even playing in their first team." "You still have to remember it was only three or four weeks ago we put the team together and I thought they did really well." Sharp took the opportunity to shuffle his side about with Jack Maclean stepping in at left back, Chris Moir being handed a start and Jordan Macrae featuring in the central striker's role. Sharp said: "I thought Jack did really well. He is very versatile and very composed on the ball for a young boy. He has a big future in the Highland League." "We needed to see what boys can do because we missed all of the pre-season games, so we do not really know what cover we have all over the park." "We brought Chris Moir in on the left hand side and I thought he played well. We did not get the ball to him a lot in the first half though but that improved in the second half." "Young Dylan Mackenzie came on out on the right and I thought he looked very pacey. We put Jordan Macrae through the middle in the second half as well instead of Gary (Kerr) because we need to find out what boys can do." "We would like to have had three or four extra games in pre-season but we obviously never had the time to do it, so that was the main reason for taking this game on." Former Celtic and Inverness CT midfielder Liam Keogh featured for Nairn as a trialist having trained with the squad over the last few weeks. Sharp added: "Liam is a very experienced player and is very good on the ball. He is going to help us out when we need help. He works offshore, so he is only available three weeks at a time. Hopefully he can help us out if we need him." "He cannot make it all of the time even when he is home but it is good to have these sorts of boys around the club, especially for the younger boys to see how an ex-professional trains." Graeme Macleod

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