IN FORM Strathspey Thistle are brimming with confidence following their recent positive results and will fancy their chances of collecting more Highland League points as they prepare to welcome Nairn County to Seafield Park.
The Jags currently sit on eight points for the season so far, more than 50 percent of their tally of 14 they accrued during the entire campaign last year and just one short of their overall tally from the season before, when they finished in bottom place with just nine.
Times are far more positive at Seafield Park these days though with last week’s win at Lossiemouth hoisting them further away from the lowly Coasters and Clachnacuddin with the Jags surely to have their sights firmly set on now overhauling a Keith side who are five points better off but have also been on the receiving end of another Thistle victory earlier on in the campaign.
And Seafield Park has proved to be a tough venue for the league’s best so far this season, with Cove Rangers twice trailing before snatching all three points with a late winner before Formartine United laboured to a 1-1 draw at the same venue.
Visitors Nairn made heavy weather of taking care of business against bottom club Fort William at Station Park last weekend with the Lochaber men frustrating Ronnie Sharp’s side for long spells, with only a late Max Ewan double enough to put the outcome beyond any semblance of doubt in an eventual 4-0 win for the hosts.
Updates from the match will be available through the Nairn County social media channels by logging on to facebook.com/nairncountyfc or following @NairnCounty on Twitter with team line-ups available before kick-off, updates of the major incidents from the match as they happen including goals, substitutes, cards and chances at both ends, a report on the final whistle and reaction from the Nairn dressing room later in the evening. A preview of the match is below:
Date: Saturday October 13th 2018
Competition: Scottish Highland Football League
Opponents: Strathspey Thistle
Manager: Gordon Nicolson
Venue: Seafield Park, Grantown-on-Spey
Previous meeting: Nairn County 1 Strathspey Thistle 0 February 17th 2018
Last time out: Lossiemouth 2 Strathspey Thistle 4; Nairn County 4 Fort William 0
League position: Strathspey Thistle 15th Nairn County 9th
Form guides: Nairn County LWWLDW Strathspey Thistle DLWLLW
Team news: Club captain Gregg Main remains on the injury list with a knee problem he sustained in the Scottish Cup tie with Beith while Ewen Urquhart has returned from holiday but will miss this match also because of a knee injury, which he suffered in training a month ago. Max Ewan picked up a knock to his foot early on in the win over Fort William last week and is doubtful for this trip to Grantown as a result but Adam Naismith looks to be fit enough to return having come through training this week after a few weeks out with an ankle injury. Tom Maclennan drops out of the squad due to work commitments, young starlet Seamus McConaghy is away so will also miss this one along with the unavailable Danny Highet and Inaki Fernandino-Soto but Ian Payne from the under-20s squad has been added to the pool for this match.
One to watch: Scott Lisle. The pacey forward was among the goals last weekend as he grabbed Strathspey’s equaliser after they had fallen behind early on at Lossiemouth, a game they went on to win thanks in part to a brace from Lisle’s twin brother, Cameron. Both Lisles were with Inverness CT as youngsters before moving to Clachnacuddin and then being snapped up by Brora Rangers, with Scott proving more of a success at Dudgeon Park playing a number of times for the Cattachs with Cameron being farmed out to Rothes and then Strathspey on loan. It was something of a coup for the Jags to recruit both brothers in the summer on permanent deals as they went in search of regular action and it is a move that has paid off for them both.
Match officials: Referee Filippo Mazzoni, Assistants John Black and Mike Sinclair.
Weather forecast: Heavy rain 10 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).