TOMORROW sees Nairn County first foot Strathspey Thistle with Ronnie Sharp's men taking to the field for the first time in 2017 and the manager will have to go to Grantown without a pair of key players because of suspension.
The hosts sit at the foot of the Highland League table but will come into the match confident of taking all three points having already beaten Nairn this season with a 2-0 success at Station Park back in September while also running title-challengers Brora Rangers and Formartine United close in single-goal defeats last month.
The Jags' manager Brian Grant continues to build a competitive squad and will be desperate to accumulate more points between now and the end of the season to lift themselves away from bottom spot, even though his players have already racked up a credible return of seven for the campaign so far.
County go in search of their first win for two months having failed to take three points from a match since the dramatic 6-4 win at Huntly back in November and Sharp is calling on his players to prove their worth having had a mixed bag of good performances not yielding the points they deserves and poor displays since that day at Christie Park.
You can view a preview of the match below with live coverage of the available on facebook.com/nairncountyfc and @NairnCounty on Twitter starting with team lines before kick-off, updates on all of the major incidents as they happen while the match progresses, a report on the final whistle and reaction from the manager in the evening.
Date: Saturday January 7th 2017
Competition: Scottish Highland Football League
Opponents: Strathspey Thistle
Manager: Brian Grant
Venue: Seafield Park, Grantown-on-Spey
Previous meeting: Nairn County 0 Strathspey Thistle 2 September 10th 2016
Last time out: Strathspey Thistle 1 Clachnacuddin 4; Nairn County 1 Clachnacuddin 2
League position: Strathspey Thistle 18th Nairn County 14th
Form guides: Strathspey Thistle LLLLLL Nairn County DLLDLL
Team news: There is double suspension woe for Ronnie Sharp with club captain Wayne Mackintosh and experienced defender Paul Macleod both out of this trip to Grantown as they serve one-match bans with the former out due to an accumulation of yellow cards while the latter misses the Dava Derby because of his injury time ordering off against Clachnacuddin last Friday night. Jason Morganti is still struggling with a groin injury and this match may come a week too early for him to return to the squad but Jamie Mackay - who came off at half time through illness last Friday - should be well enough for inclusion. A large portion of the squad have been down with flu this week with the manager set to take a late health check on a number of his players.
One to watch: Owen Cairns. The young full back has impressed on every occasion he has come up against Nairn. He has the pace to get up and down the flank to supplement the Jags' attacking play but also the defensive nous to get back and do his primary job to a high standard. Continues to develop with regular football for the Grantown club and has all of the potential to go on to be a Highland League mainstay over the forthcoming seasons.
Match officials: Referee Liam Duncan, Assistants Ewan Jarvie and Darren Westmacott
Weather forecast: Light cloud 4 degrees 6 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).