TWO sides who went out of regional cup competitions in midweek meet at Station Park as Keith are the visitors having seen their Aberdeenshire Cup aspirations ended by Cove Rangers at the same time as hosts Nairn County were being eliminated from the North of Scotland Cup by Brora Rangers.
County ran into two of the Highland League's top teams in the space of four days with that midweek loss to the title-challenging Cattachs coming off the back of the weekend reverse at championship hopefuls, Formartine United.
Nairn still sit level for third place on points in the table despite that 5-0 defeat at North Lodge in their last league match seven days ago but the impact that it had on the team's goal difference ranks them seventh in the standings with a total of four teams all locked together on 16 points.
Keith will come to Station Park looking to turn recent performances into results having been unfortunate not to take anything out of last Saturday's match against Turriff United and the midweek trip to Clachnacuddin the Wednesday before, with the Maroons on the wrong end of a 2-1 score line on both occasions. That proves that Ewan Robb's new-look team can compete in the Highland League and they will arrive at Station Park confident that they have what it takes to earn a result.
You can follow live updates from the match on the club's social media channels by logging on to facebook.com/nairncountyfc or @NairnCounty for team lines before kick-off, coverage of all of the major talking points as the action progresses, a report on the final whistle and reaction from Nairn boss Ronnie Sharp later in the evening. Meanwhile, a preview of the match is below:
Date: Saturday September 9th 2017
Competition: Scottish Highland Football League
Manager: Ewan Robb
Venue: Station Park, Nairn
Previous meeting: Nairn County 1 Keith 1 December 17th 2016
Last time out: Nairn County 0 Brora Rangers 4; Keith 0 Cove Rangers 3
League position: Nairn County 7th Keith 16th
Form guides: Nairn County DWWWLL Keith LLLLLL
Team news: Adam Porritt returns to the Nairn County squad for this visit of Keith to Station Park but fellow defender Callum Maclean misses out as he is suspended following his dismissal away at Formartine United last weekend. Goalkeeper Ryan Macleod is away on holiday so he too is unavailable but fellow shot stopper Stephen Foster is fit again after suffering a concussion a fortnight ago. Kenny McKenzie sat out the midweek loss to Brora Rangers and he is touch-and-go to make it for this one because of a hamstring injury while Jordan MacRae continues to be troubled by a knock to the ankle. Gregg Main received a scan on his injured knee this week and will receive the results shortly. He remains on the sidelines for this one where he will join Calum Riddell and Matty Macleod (both illness) while Jason Morganti and Stephen Mackenzie are also unavailable.
One to watch: Cammy Keith. The striker is back home at Kynoch Park after taking some time out from the game last season following the end of his spell at Formartine United. A prolific goal scorer and former Highland League Player of the Year with Keith, his goals propelled the Maroons to a league championship and Highland League (Morganti) Cup double in season 2006/07, the last club to achieve such a feat. He is an experienced head in a young and emerging Keith team and that sort of knowhow will be important to manager Ewan Robb as he looks to mould a side that is capable of progressing up the league table throughout this season and into the next few years.
Match officials: Referee Billy Baxter, Assistants Gary Falconer and Kieran Johnson.
Weather forecast: Light rain showers 14 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).