DEPLETED Nairn County travel to Mosset Park looking to cause a derby day shock with a number of influential first-team regular set to watch on from the side lines with Ronnie Sharp’s selection issues heightening by the match.
The manager went into the midweek match against Wick Academy without four of his 20-man first-team and come full time, that number had risen to seven following an injury to Kenny McKenzie, the dismissal of Fraser Dingwall and Tom Maclennan being unavailable for the weekend.
Sharp will be looking for a better display from his team following the disappointing performance in that defeat to the Caithness side on Wednesday night and will have to call upon a number of the club’s emerging youngsters to boost his squad as they look to upset the odds.
Forres impressed in their opening outing of the season as they dumped Rothes out of the North of Scotland Cup, although they would have been disappointed not to have taken anything out of their home match with Brora Rangers last Saturday. That is testament to the progress that has been made by Charlie Rowley’s charges over the last few seasons and they will have their sights set on breaking into the top four this season having put their first points of the season on the board in emphatic style with a comprehensive 5-1 win at Lossiemouth in midweek.
If you are unable to make through to Mosset Park for the match, you can follow all the updates on the club’s official social media channels. Just logon to facebook.com/nairncounty or follow @NairnCounty on Twitter to find team line-ups before kick-off, coverage of all the talking points from the match as they happen, a report on the final whistle and reaction from inside the Nairn camp later in the evening. Meanwhile, a preview of the match is below:
Date: Saturday August 11th 2018
Competition: Scottish Highland Football League
Opponents: Forres Mechanics
Manager: Charlie Rowley
Venue: Mosset Park, Forres
Previous meeting: Nairn County 2 Forres Mechanics 4 November 11th 2017
Last time out: Lossiemouth 1 Forres Mechanics 5; Nairn County 1 Wick Academy 4
League position: Forres Mechanics 12th Nairn County 14th
Form guides: Forres Mechanics WLW Nairn County LWWL
Team news: Ronnie Sharp does not have his troubles to seek going into this derby match with only 13 first team squad members definitely available for selection. Out are Fraser Dingwall and Tom Maclennan through suspension and due to being at a family wedding respectively while Adam Porritt is still on holiday. Kenny McKenzie limped off in the first half of the match against Wick Academy in midweek with a thigh strain that is set to keep him on the side lines while Jack Maclean’s foot problem is unlikely to heel in time for him to play. Callum Maclean missed the Wednesday night meeting with the Scorries because of a thigh injury which is yet to 100 percent heel while Gregg Main sat out Academy’s trip to Station Park because of bruised ribs and that could curtail his involvement in this derby match. As a result, the manager has drafted Seamus McConaghy, Joe Cuthbert, Cameron Maclean and Ryan MacBean into his match day pool from the under-20s squad for this match.
One to watch: Andrew McRae. A superb acquisition for the Mechanics over the close season and one that has the potential to make the difference between the Mosset Park side pushing on from last season’s impressive campaign or struggling to match the tremendous form which took them to a fifth place finish in the 2017/18 Highland League table with Fraserburgh only edging the Can Cans out of a top four finish and subsequently qualification for the Irn-Bru Challenge Cup on goal difference. The nippy attacker was courted by several Scottish League clubs upon his release from Inverness CT in the summer but chose to make a permanent move to Forres, where he enjoyed two successful loan spells over the last two seasons.
Match officials: Referee Alan Proctor, Assistants Gavin Dearie and Alan Dawson.
Weather forecast: Light cloud 17 degrees 12 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).