Depleted Nairn County face sharpness concerns ahead of Forres Mechanics test
RONNIE Sharp admits a hefty absentee list and a lack of recent action represent twin threats to Nairn County’s strong start in the Highland League.
The Wee County host near-neighbours Forres Mechanics tomorrow evening with six players missing despite a lack of action since the October 19 win against Wick Academy.
A league trip to flood-hit Turriff proved a wash-out on Saturday, adding to recent inaction through cup tie rescheduling.
“It will be two-and-a-half weeks without a game by the time we play Forres. It’s a frustration because we won’t be as game sharp,” manager Sharp said.
“We just have to be wary of that against Forres, who are a good, powerful side with goal threats everywhere, but there’s nothing we can do about it.
“We’ve only had one heavy defeat this season down at Locos, but otherwise our defensive record has been really good. That’s a big plus for us. But the amount of injuries and players missing for Wednesday is a concern.”
Goalkeeper Dylan MacLean and striker Dylan Mackenzie are still a few weeks away from a return after respective hip and knee problems. Tom MacLennan’s absence is more unusual, with the ex-Ross County youngster laid low by whooping cough for the best part of two months. Gordon McNab and Ryan MacDonald are on holiday, while Jack MacLean has work commitments.
“We will have to reshuffle and some of the under-20 players, who have been training with us anyway, will step up,” Sharp said. “They will get the chance to stake a claim.”
November, weather-permitting, at least offers sixth-place Nairn the chance to rebuild a head of steam with a run of six matches before the end of the month. Only Rothes in the League Cup pits them against a team above them in the league, while after Forres they play Lossiemouth, Fort William, Deveronvale and Huntly.
“We’d like to go on a run and pick up a good number of points,” Sharp stressed.
“We’ve played all the teams above us in the top five and mostly done well, but we still need to build consistency and hope we don’t pick up too many more injuries.”