Forres Mechanics assistant manager Stephen Maclean "massively pleased" with side's battling performance in narrow 1-0 loss to Brechin City
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FORRES Mechanics may have gone down to a 1-0 defeat against Brechin City – but there was plenty in the team’s battling performance that pleased the management.
A 25th-minute strike from Kevin McHattie – who netted a last-minute winner at Mosset Park in a 1-0 win last campaign – proved to be enough for Brechin, with Forres reduced to 10 men when Ben Barron was sent off after half-an-hour.
The nature of the performance, with Forres competing well against a title contender, pleased assistant boss Stephen Maclean.
He said: “We know it was backs to the wall and we know Brechin had a couple of gears to go up, but they didn’t have loads of clear-cut chances. They were clearly the better team but we competed all over the park.
“We’ve got to be realistic. Brechin will be right up the top of the table and we are aiming for high mid-table.
“Last season that could have been four, five or six but the boys stayed in the game. We’re massively pleased with the attitude of the boys as well as the performance.”
Ben Barron’s red card – with a second yellow picked up for alleged simulation – was the second Forres have received in as many games.
“It’s disappointing to get two red cards, but we have been asking the boys to get stuck in and we can’t do that and not expect these things to happen,” Maclean said.
“Callum (Johnston)’s first booking against Strathspey was cheap, but his second he was doing exactly what we asked. He now knows he needs to watch himself, and likewise with Ben.
“He’s a 17-year-old kid whose attitude and commitment is never in doubt. He has to learn, but we don’t want to take that competitive edge away from him.”
It’s derby time for Forres on Saturday as they make the short trip along the A96 to take on Nairn. Ben Barron is suspended against his hometown team, while Callum Murray is on holiday.
Maclean added: “I’ve been really impressed by how Nairn have started.
“I wouldn’t have wished their opening two fixtures on anyone, so to come out with two draws has been very credible. We got beat by them in pre-season but there wasn’t much in it.
“If we control their front four we have a good chance of getting the points.”