FESTIVE derby action sees Nairn County go to Clachnacuddin for their final match of 2018 after a layoff of four weeks without a competitive outing for Ronnie Sharp’s men.
The manager has been pleased with how his side has defended of late with a goals against column that stands up well to opponents in the top half of the table. But it is at the other end of the park where the visitors will be targeting an improvement during the second half of the season with their return of 32 strikes only better than the tally of four other clubs.
County have seen games against Wick Academy and Forres Mechanics lost to the weather since their last outing with high winds and a frozen pitch respectively putting paid to action in December and they now look to round the year off on a positive note against an improving Clachnacuddin side, who proved themselves to be a class above from the strugglers at the foot of the table in their last outing when they thrashing Lossiemouth 5-1 away from home. The target for the Lilywhites will now be to gain another three points to begin eating into the gap between themselves and the pack in the middle of the table over the second half of the season.
You can follow the action from Grant Street Park in this one through the club’s official social media channels. Simply logon to facebook.com/nairncountyfc or follow @NairnCounty on Twitter for team line-ups before kick-off, updates on all the major talking points from the match as it progresses, a report on the final whistle and reaction from the County camp afterwards. Meanwhile, a preview is below:
Date: Saturday December 29th 2018
Competition: Scottish Highland Football League
Manager: Brian Macleod
Venue: Grant Street Park, Inverness
Previous meeting: Nairn County 3 Clachnacuddin 1 August 18th 2018
Last time out: Lossiemouth 1 Clachnacuddin 5; Nairn County 0 Deveronvale 1
League position: Clachnacuddin 16th Nairn County 14th
Form guides: Clachnacuddin LDWLLW Nairn County WLLLWL
Team news: A red card for Adam Porritt in County’s last outing four weeks ago means that he starts a two-game ban and sits out this trip to Grant Street. Fraser Dingwall is on holiday and new signing Liam Shewan will have to wait for his debut as he is unavailable. Tom Maclennan is a doubt and long-term absentee Gregg Main is still on the sidelines with a knee injury. Seamus McConaghy is out because of a groin strain but with the junior leagues on a winter shutdown, County’s five players who are out on loan – Fraser Wilkie, Joe Cuthbert, Cameron Maclean, Craig Munro and Ryan MacBean – are back with their parent club. Angus Davidson and Tyler Eadie from the under-20s squad are involved in the first team matchday pool for the first time.
One to watch: Scott Dunn. A summer signing who has now really settled in at Grant Street under the management of Brian Macleod. He comes into the game in great form having bagged five goals in his last five matches, including finding the net in his last two home appearances for the Lilywhites. He provides the focal point of the Clach attacker with a real physical presence leading the line for the Merkinch side. Skilful with the ball at his feet as well, he will prove a real handful for the Nairn defence to keep quiet and will come into the game confident of keeping up his impressive recent run.
Match officials: Referee Scott Leslie, Assistants Stephen McDade and Gary McCarthy.
Weather forecast: Sunny intervals 8 degrees 13 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).