Yardstick matches looming as Rothes aim high

Steven MacDonald, Manager of Rothes.

Rothes manager Steven MacDonald says the upcoming run of fixtures will offer a measure of how far the Speysiders have come – starting with tonight’s home match against Formartine United.

The visit of the Pitmedden outfit marks the start of a difficult run for Rothes, with games against Cove Rangers and Brora Rangers coming after Saturday’s match against Lossiemouth.

The Mackessack Park men finished 16th last season but have shown big improvement this term and are eighth with six victories from 11 games.

MacDonald believes the challenge of taking on the teams in title contention will indicate the extent of his team’s progress and said: “We got a good start to the league season and I said it from the start, I would have taken that to try to get going. Now we have got to play these teams and we will give it our best.

“We’ve got to be realistic. They are still the ones we’ve got to be aiming to get close to. We know how difficult it’s going to be, but these are the games that will test how far we’ve come.”

MacDonald knows tonight’s opponents are full of confidence following Saturday’s 4-0 Scottish Cup victory against Lowland League side East Stirling, and added: “We’re under no illusions, they have such a strong squad and they seem to be scoring for fun. Paul Lawson has come in as manager and they’ve found form.”

Rothes will be without Blair MacLennan and Daniel Moore (holiday), while Paul Macleod is unavailable and Jaime Wilson (groin), Dale Gillespie (knee) and Craig Cormack (back) are doubtful.