Brora Rangers v Nairn County - Preview

8th April, 2016 •
Posted In: Match Previews
Written By: Graeme Macleod •
Comments: 0 Comments

THE final of the Highland League (Morganti) Cup is almost upon as Nairn County prepare to take on reigning league champions and current table-toppers Brora Rangers for the right to win the most prestigious knockout competition at this level. County make the short trip along the A96 to Grant Street aiming to win the cup for the third time in the club's history and the second time in five seasons having last scooped it in 2011 while opponents Brora chase a maiden success. Find out all you need to know ahead of the game in the preview below:

Date: Saturday April 9th 2015

Competition: Highland League (Morganti) Cup final

Kick-off: 3.00 pm

Opponents: Brora Rangers

Manager: Richard Brittain

Venue: Grant Street Park, Inverness

Previous meeting: Brora Rangers 1 Nairn County 2 January 2nd 2016

Last time out: Forres Mechanics 0 Brora Rangers 3; Nairn County 1 Fraserburgh 1

League position: Brora Rangers 1st Nairn County 7th

Form guides: Brora Rangers DWDWDW Nairn County WWLDWD

Road to the final: Brora Rangers - R1 Brora Rangers 4 Inverurie Locos 1 QF Formartine United 5 Brora Rangers 5 AET (Brora win 5-3 on pens) SF Brora Rangers 1 Cove Rangers 1 AET (Brora win 3-1 on pens). Nairn County - R1 Nairn County 2 Keith 1 QF Clachnacuddin 1 Nairn County 2 SF Nairn County 2 Turriff United 0

Team news: There are a clutch of players in the "wait and see" category as County approach the biggest game of the season. Wayne Mackintosh will not manage to play from the start as he continues to ease his way back from a serious knee injury while Conor Gethins faces a morning fitness test on the torn hamstring he sustained just three weeks ago as he pushes himself to be fit enough to play some part in the final. Tony Wallace made a surprise appearance from the bench in the midweek draw with Fraserburgh and his knee injury will be re-assessed tomorrow before a decision is taken on his involvement. Also battling to be fit is Andrew Skinner, who was left out of the Fraserburgh game because of the injury he suffered last Saturday against Strathspey Thistle and Gregg Main, who took a serious whack to the shin on Wednesday night. On top of that, John Cameron, Adam Naismith, Ross Naismith and Bradley Halsman are all trying to finalise arrangements with their respective employers to allow their participation in the big game. Definitely out are Martin MacDonald with a knee injury and young striker Jordan Macrae because of a broken arm while Andrew Hardwick is on loan at Fort William. On the plus side, Robbie Duncanson will be back in the squad after missing the Fraserburgh match because of work commitments.

One to watch: The Brora squad is one laced with quality and it is no coincidence the Cattachs have scooped four trophies in the last two seasons, including back-to-back Highland League championships. Goalkeeper Joe Malin is among the best in the league and although he has been injured of late, Steven Martin has proven an able deputy behind a defence marshalled by Grant Munro alongside the classy Colin Williamson with John Pickles or former Nairn defender Scott Houston at right back and the flying Ally Macdonald on the other side. In the middle of the park, former County man Dale Gillespie has had the season of his life getting into the 20s in the scoring charts with Martin Maclean alongside him also keen to find the net while Gavin Morrison provides the cover required to break up opponents' attacks in the middle of the park and get Brora going again. Player / manager Richard Brittain can, of course, also operate in there or at right back, where he played himself earlier in the season and going forward, the Dudgeon Park boss knows he has a wealth of options - serial championship winner Zander Sutherland and reigning Highland League Player of the Year Andrew Grieg have pace in abundance as does Paul Brindle, who has taken moving to Brora in his stride this season. Ex-County pair Scott Graham and Steven Mackay will also be desperate to start and find the net against their former club while John Macleod has already bagged a double against Nairn this season in the colours of his former club, Fort William.

Match officials: Referee Graham Beaton; Assistants Gary McCarthy and Mike Sinclair; Fourth official Billy Baxter

Weather forecast: Light rain 8 degrees 5 mph wind

Admission prices: Adults £10 Children / OAPs £5

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