Written by Nairn County FC August 30th 2018

MORE like it was Nairn County manager Ronnie Sharp’s summary of his sides efforts as they battled to a 1-1 draw against Rothes. The County boss had been critical of the work rate of his players in Saturday’s defeat at Fraserburgh but felt they looked more like themselves as they fought back from a goal down to claim a share of the spoils. Craig Cormack opened the scoring early on for Rothes only for Gregg Main to lash home the equaliser four minutes before half-time. Sharp said: “The effort and application was great, especially after the first 10 minutes. We were a bit slow to start and gifted them a goal and a few chances but I thought our goalkeeper James (Kendall) did really well in the first 15 minutes of the game, pulling off some really good saves. After that, I thought we settled down and the effort was what we expect from them, so we cannot fault them that way. That was like the effort we put in last season and it was really good to see.” Rothes opened the scoring on 12 minutes but even so early in the game, the goal was coming such was the Speysiders’ dominance as they peppered the Nairn goal with shots from varying distances, which had all been repelled by Kendall. Sharp added: “James made two saves before they scored off efforts that were similar to the goal they scored. It was not the best of defending from us but once we got into the game and built up a bit of confidence, we looked a threat." “Our confidence took a bit of a knock on Saturday. It was good to see them bounce back because if you take a heavy defeat, it takes a bit of time to get going in the next game and I thought that was the way it panned out for us.” Main’s goal was his first since February 22nd 2017 after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee ligament injury. Sharp said: “It is going to take him time to get back to his best as he was out for a very long time with a really serious injury but I thought the strike was excellent. He took a bit of power off it and it was more accurate than powerful unlike the one he had earlier put over the bar." “It was excellent build-up play for the goal and some of our all-round play was really good but it was the application that we were more delighted with because we did not produce that on Saturday and it got a bit embarrassing at times. Not tonight though, I thought it was really good and you have to remember we are up against a strong Rothes side – they have spent a lot of money on players and they have some really good players." “We were chasing a bit to try to get the win in the second half but sometimes you just have to settle for the point. You do not want to go chasing all the time and leave yourself open at the back and I think we would have been devastated if we came out of the game with nothing.” Sharp peaked his personnel with Glenn Main stepping forward from defence to feature in centre midfield. Sharp revealed: “I thought Glenn had a very good game. We needed to shore up the defence a bit and Glenn is a good football player who likes to step out from the back at times. I thought it suited him more naturally playing in the middle of the park and we took Craig Munro in for a bit more power and a bit more height because we have lost a lot of goals off set pieces lately through headers and things like that.” Munro was making only his second appearance for the club and lasted 77 minutes before limping off having rolled his ankle. Sharp added: “It is hard going coming in for your home debut after playing away at Forres in the game there. He just needs time to settle in and I thought he did really well. At times, we looked really solid and Callum Maclean helped Craig by talking him through the game. It was good to see.” Sharp also took the opportunity to give a trialist attacker a late run out from the bench as he featured for the final five minutes. The manager said: “He has been doing really well for us in training and technically, he looks a good players. We will look to speak to him about signing on and see how he feels about it – hopefully we can get something done." “We have been lacking a bit up front and we have been a bit light in that area since we lost Jordan (MacRae). It has been hard to replace him and we have been trying different players in that position, although it has been players playing out of their natural position. We have had Max Ewan, Dylan Mackenzie and Ewen Urquhart all playing through the middle at various points and we need an extra forward player.” Graeme Macleod

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