GRANT Street Park is the destination for Nairn County tomorrow as derby day looms large on the horizon. Opponents Clachnacuddin kick-started their season with a thumping win away at Fort William in midweek, their first of the new campaign and that is sure to give them a huge boost of confidence going into this one.
Nairn were on the receiving end of a 2-0 reverse to title-challenging Formartine United on Wednesday night but the performance level pleased manager Ronnie Sharp and he will be looking for more of the same but with more of a cutting edge in the final third in what is poised to be an evenly-matched derby encounter.
There will be full coverage from the match on the official Nairn County Facebook and Twitter page @NairnCounty starting with team lines well in advance of kick-off and continuing with live updates throughout the match as they happen with a report on the final whistle and reaction from the County camp later in the evening. For now though, the Preview is below:
Date: Saturday September 3rd 2016
Competition: Scottish Highland Football League Championship
Manager: Iain Polworth
Venue: Grant Street Park, Inverness
Previous meeting: Clachnacuddin 0 Nairn County 0 April 23rd 2016
Last time out: Fort William 0 Clachnacuddin 5; Nairn County 0 Formartine United 2
League position: Clachnacuddin 14th Nairn County 16th
Form guides: Clachnacuddin LLLDLW Nairn County LLDLWL
Team news: Midfield duo Callum Maclean and Jason Morganti miss this derby match as they are both on holiday. Willie Barron is also unavailable while Gregg Main is still on the treatment table with a long term ankle injury. On the plus side, Kenny McKenzie is nearing a return to full fitness having sustained a knee injury in the pre-season friendly at Inverness City and is expected to be in the matchday squad for this one.
One to watch: Stuart Leslie. The former Nairn forward was sent off last Saturday but served his one-game ban in midweek while his team mates were winning away at Fort William. A powerful attacker, he will be a key player for Iain Polworth over the course of the season and the visiting fans will know all about the attributes he can bring to any team at this level following his successful 2013/14 campaign at Station Park. Whether Polworth elects to throw him straight back into the starting line-up following the performance of his team in the absence of the ex-Elgin City and Deveronvale man is another matter.
Match officials: Referee Graham Fraser, Assistants Chris MacLeod and David Alexander
Weather forecast: Light cloud 17 degrees 5 mph wind
Admission prices: Adults £8 Concessions £5 (two children under the age of 14 are admitted for free if they are accompanied by a paying adult).