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Ronnie Sharp believes Scottish Cup victory could prove to be turning point in Nairn County's season

By Alasdair Fraser

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Ronnie Sharp is viewing Saturday’s Scottish Cup victory and an imminent break in action as just what the doctor ordered for a Nairn County squad replenished in numbers after recent injury woes.

The Wee County manager felt the 4–0 home triumph against Strathspey Thistle was exactly the kind of shot in the arm his side needed after an extremely challenging run of matches and absences in August and September.

This weekend’s scheduled trip to face title hopefuls Buckie Thistle has been postponed, with the Jags facing a Scottish Cup replay at home to Cumbernauld Colts.

The Station Park club’s passage to the next round of the national tournament will pit them against tough opponents in the shape of hosts Banks O’ Dee, North Superleague juniors who knocked out Highland League Turriff United on Saturday.

Summer signing from Fort William, John Treasurer, returned on Saturday after injury and Covid absences. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Summer signing from Fort William, John Treasurer, returned on Saturday after injury and Covid absences. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Sharp will use the hiatus in the fixture list to put in some heavy fitness work for players returning from injury, with the idle weekend followed by an important four games in a fortnight against Fort William, Inverurie Locos, Huntly and Wick Academy.

“The Strathspey Thistle win was a result we needed – we played well,” Sharp reflected. “I thought we took about 10 minutes just to get into the game, but after that we were in control throughout. We needed a win to set us off and running again. We’ve had a tough run of games against some of the biggest sides in the league, but we’ve had a lot of boys missing – eight at one time.

“Now we’re getting players back and they’re getting fitter, which is a good sign for us. We’re hoping the Strathspey win might be that wee spark to our season.”

John Treasurer, Tom Maclennan and Rory Williamson all returned to the starting line-up after significant absences.

Connor Gethins, Rory Williamson, Liam Shewan and Glenn Main all scored, but it could have been more for dominant County.

“The first couple of goals set us on our way, but we probably should have scored a couple more in the first half,” Sharp said.

“It was good to see boys coming off the bench and contributing – Liam Shewan scored and Ciaran Young assisted for two.

“We now have a break next weekend and, with all the guys coming back from injury, we’ll get a right good bit of fitness work into them.

“Guys are needing games, but also fitness work.

“On Saturday, we had Tom MacLennan and John Treasurer back, while young Rory Williamson came back in and scored.

“Adam Porritt missed the whole of pre-season and John Treasurer hadn’t played since the first game where he picked up an injury and then contracted Covid. Having that variety of options again is really pleasing.”

Scott Davidson will be monitored after exiting on Saturday with a thigh injury, while Fraser Dingwall and Calum Howarth remain out until close to Christmas.

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