Forres Mechanics assistant manager Nathan Sharp rues late goals costing Cans a leading Highland League position - and two red cards meaning more missing players at Mosset Park
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TWO derby day red cards will leave depleted Forres Mechanics without key personnel for this weekend’s home match against Turriff.
The Cans were reduced to nine men in a towsy clash at Nairn County on Saturday, yet were denied victory by a late equaliser.
Cans’ assistant manager Nathan Sharp was left to reflect on where his team could be in the Highland League table but for the loss of late goals.
Forres had midfielder Ross Macpherson sent-off for a tangle with Nairn’s Tom Maclennan before half time, with his team already 1-0 down to Conor Gethins’ 36th minute opener.
The visitors rallied and Robbie Duncanson punished a poor goalkeeping kick with a delightful lob to level, before Allan Macphee gave the 10 men a 2-1 lead on the hour.
Forres couldn’t hang on, with Callum Maclean equalising ten minutes from time, and Craig Dorrat followed Macpherson into the changing rooms when he was sent-off for a late lunge.
On Macpherson’s red, Sharp said: “It was a young ref, and the boy clattered Chuckie (Macpherson) and they both ended up on the ground, and while they were there, Chuckie went face to face with him.
“There was no headbutt and at half time the ref said because Chuckie went to his level, he was sent-off. He maybe gave him an opportunity but there wasn’t a lot in it.
“But to be honest in the first half we didn’t play well at all. They played a 3-5-2 and we struggled to cope with it. It’s kind of been the story of our season. We haven’t been aggressive enough.
“We knew we were one down with 10 men and we had nothing to lose. We had to have a go and we came out much better – just Lee (Fraser) up front on his own with the wide boys pushing on much higher.
“We put them under more pressure and forced a couple of mistakes, their goalie scuffed a kick and Robbie lobbed him, then Sid Macphee scored the second one so we were quite well in control for a spell.
“Then they pushed on and Knighty (Stuart Knight) had a couple of really good saves, kept us in it until they scored a poor goal.
“I said to the boys, we lost an injury time goal against Wick and the same against Clach, that was four points we conceded.
“We were winning late in the game on Saturday as well. If those three draws were wins we would be sitting second in the league.”
Macpherson and Dorrat will be banned for the visit of Turriff, who have yet to win this season. Graham Fraser returns and Joe Gauld could be available.