WE are now only a few hours away from kick off in the Menzies Distribution North of Scotland Cup final as Nairn County attempt to win the trophy for the eighth time in the club's history. Standing in their way is a Wick Academy side, who have already beaten Nairn twice this season and go into the final unbeaten in the three clashes between the teams during this campaign. Everything you need to know ahead of the big match is in the preview below.
Date: Saturday November 21st 2015
Competition: Menzies Distribution North of Scotland Cup
Kick-off: 3.00 pm
Opponents: Wick Academy
Manager: Gordon Connelly
Venue: Dudgeon Park, Brora
Previous meeting: Wick Academy 5 Nairn County 1 October 31st 2015
Last time out: Inverurie Loco Works 1 Nairn County 1; Clachnacuddin 1 Wick Academy 2
League position: Nairn County 7th Wick Academy 6th
Road to the final: Nairn County - Strathspey Thistle (a) 2-1, Forres Mechanics (a) 1-0; Wick Academy - Brora Rangers (a) 1-1 (won 4-2 on pens), Clachnacuddin (a) 2-1, Inverness CT (h) 2-1
Form guides: Nairn County DLWWWD Wick Academy DWWDLW
Team news: County go into today's final with a question mark hanging over the fitness of forward Robbie Duncanson, who has been playing through a back injury recently. He underwent intensive physiotherapy treatment this week in an attempt to ensure he is fit enough to feature this afternoon. Definitely ruled out are Martin MacDonald and Wayne Mackintosh, who have long term knee injuries, while club captain Michael Morrison has only been fit enough to be named among the substitutes of late because of a calf complaint and may again have to settle for a place among the substitutes in this one. Bradley Halsman definitely misses out as he is away, Andrew Hardwick is still on loan at Fort William and John Cameron may also be unavailable because of work commitments.
One to watch: All of them. The Scottish Cup replay proved that Wick have quality all over the park with players at the back who keep goals out, in the middle who are creative forces and lethal finishers up front. Goalkeeper Sean McCarthy is one of the top stoppers in the north while full back Grant Campbell has been linked with a move to title-chasing Fomartine United after this final. The Steven brothers - Michael and Grant - are both solid, no-nonsense defenders while Alan Farquhar has improved every season since breaking into the Academy team as a youngster. Danny Mackay was a championship winner with Brora Rangers, although he has recently lost his place at left back to Ross Allan. James Pickles sits in front of the back four and keeps things neat and tidy, allowing the tour de force front five to go forward and inter-change to cause damage, starting with the thrusting runs of Sam Mackay. Out wide, Steven Anderson on the left and Richard MacAdie on the right both love to maraud forward while David Allan's tricky feet and movement up front provides the perfect foil for the powerful Gary Weir, who goes into the final in the form of his life.
Match officials: Referee Mat Northcroft; Assistants Gordon Seago and Molly Alexander; Fourth official Graham Fraser
Weather forecast: Light cloud 2 degrees 6 mph wind
Admission prices: Adults £10 Children / OAPs £5