Published: 10/08/2017 14:30 - Updated: 09/08/2017 10:44

Polworth praises Sharp as Nairn County seek to halt derby defeats

Written byPaul Chalk

Clach manager Iain Polworth.
Clach manager Iain Polworth.
IAIN Polworth praised Nairn boss Ronnie Sharp for a swift transformation at the Station Park club – but he’s determined to drive Clach on to a third straight derby win against him this weekend.

The Lilywhites manager, who knows what it’s like to work with limited funds, has watched on with interest after Sharp returned to the Highland League club last summer after massive changes behind the scenes with major sponsors Narden ending their long-term backing, Les Fridge quitting as boss and experienced players leaving in their droves.

Sharp rolled up the sleeves and began building a squad up from scratch, guiding them to 13th place and 34 points, which was two places only below Clach.

This season, Nairn recovered from an opening day 1-0 defeat at Forres Mechanics to beat Deveronvale 3-0 last Wednesday before beating champions Buckie Thistle 3-2 on Saturday.

Polworth said: “Ronnie has come back in and transformed Nairn, who were a club known for having a bit of money to spend in previous years.

“However, Ronnie has had to work on a shoestring budget and you have to take your hat off to him. Producing players, especially young players, to get results like they have in this current climate is not easy. They are a young and enthusiastic side, so we know what to expect.”

Sharp, meanwhile, was delighted to see off the champions last weekend and wants his young guns to build on that with a derby win.

He explained: “We played well from start to finish (against Buckie). After going 1-0 up, we really should have added to that and we were disappointed to go in just 1-0 ahead at half-time.

“Buckie, as the champions, are still a very good team and they pulled level, but we stuck to the game plan that we had worked on last week and kept at it to get the goals to win.


Nairn County boss Ronnie Sharp.
Nairn County boss Ronnie Sharp.
“The six points are perhaps not once we would have been expected to have and it’s been a great start but we have to back it up and not get carried away after two good results.


“We now go up against Clach, who I understand are playing well. They beat us twice last year by a goal. Overall, we lost 11 times by a single goal last season and that is something we’re looking to turn around.”

Polworth expects no personnel changes for Saturday, apart from missing Fraser Robertson, who required stitches on a head wound, while for Nairn Dylan Mackenzie (thigh) and Ryan MacLeod (shin) hope to recover from weekend knocks in time to be fit for the weekend, while brothers Ross and Adam Naismith return to the fold.

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