THERE could be as many as three players back in the Nairn County squad for the visit of Keith this weekend as the Maroons come to Station Park looking to continue the form that has seen them climb up the Highland League table to seventh spot.
Allan Hale's side enjoyed an impressive second half to last season which encompassed a league win at Station Park almost 12 months ago. And after an indifferent start to this campaign, the Kynoch Park side are well-poised to repeat the trick having hit an impressive seam of form over the last few months.
Gary Kerr's dismissal at Buckie Thistle last Saturday sees him miss out in this one with the powerful centre forward seeing red with Nairn well in the game at one goal apiece. Buckie made their numerical advantage pay though by plundering a late winner but it was another impressive showing from Ronnie Sharp's men and one from which the manager will be keen for his player to continue on from this weekend.
Live coverage of the match will be available on facebook.com/nairncountyfc and @NairnCounty on Twitter with team lines available before kick-off, live updates of all of the major talking points as the match progresses, a report available on the final whistle and reaction from the Nairn camp in the evening. A preview is available below:
Date: Saturday December 17th 2016
Competition: Scottish Highland Football League
Manager: Allan Hale
Venue: Station Park, Nairn
Previous meeting: Keith 0 Nairn County 1 August 27th 2016
Last time out: Buckie Thistle 2 Nairn County 1; Keith 7 Fort William 2
League position: Nairn County 13th Keith 7th
Form guides: Nairn County WLDDLL Keith LWWWLW
Team news: Gary Kerr's ordering off at Buckie Thistle last week means that he is suspended for two games, so the centre forward will miss this one and next Saturday's visit to Formartine United. Gregg Main is back in the fold for Nairn though having been absent for that trip to Victoria Park seven days ago. Chris Moir returned from holiday in time to be named among the substitutes last weekend and Ronnie Sharp also hopes to be able to call upon the services of Willie Barron and Jamie Mackay, who will be returning from work commitments. But Paul Macleod is still on the sidelines with a foot injury.
One to watch: Mike Ewen. The centre forward is returning to top form after a spell on the sidelines at the start of the season and notched a hat trick last weekend as Keith brushed past Fort William. The experienced attacker can count the likes of Rothes, Deveronvale, Huntly and Formartine United among his former clubs and missed the previous meeting between these two sides when Nairn County edged a tight contest at Kynoch Park by a single goal to nil. Since then, the Maroons have shot up the league table with Ewen's return to action at the same time no coincidence.
Match officials: Referee Thomas Shaw, Assistants Gordon Seago and David Alexander
Weather forecast: Light cloud 8 degrees 15 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).