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Highland League: Brechin City looking to be a ‘handful’ as they try and close gap at the summit of the table

Brechin City have the opportunity to close the gap at the top of the Highland Table when they host Nairn County.
Brechin City have the opportunity to close the gap at the top of the Highland Table when they host Nairn County.

With the top-three in cup action, Brechin City could move up to third in the Highland League table with a win over Nairn County at Glebe Park.

A victory would could see the Hedgemen move up to 67 points and overtake Brora Rangers – leaving them level on points with Buckie Thistle and breathing down the neck of Fraserburgh, who have just a one-point lead at the summit.

Andy Kirk’s side come into the game on a decent run of form in the league having won their last seven games, including a 1-0 win against Rothes on Wednesday.

But Nairn travel to Glebe Park in good form too, having now won six out of their last nine games after beating Fort William 4-0 midweek.

City boss Kirk is aware that the Wee County will fancy causing an upset, which is something Brechin might have to contend with in the absence of a few players.

In last weekend’s game against Wick Academy Iain Davidson and Murray Mackintosh came off injured, while Kieran Inglis only lasted 17 minutes against Rothes in midweek.

However, Kirk is hopeful of possible returns, and reckons the Hedgemen will prove a handful against Nairn.

“We have Nairn on Saturday and we’re glad to be at home. We will get as many boys fit, healthy and raring to go,” Kirk said.

“We’ll hope to maybe get a few boys back, have that freshness in their legs.

Brechin City boss Andy Kirk.
Brechin City boss Andy Kirk.

“We were quite light in numbers in midweek, the boys on the pitch have played a lot of minutes over the last couple of weeks.

“Hats off to them as it’s a team game and we need everyone.

“We will prepare for Nairn and go out to try and win the game, as I’m sure they will.

“If we can put in the same level of performance and commitment as we did on Wednesday, with our quality in the team, we can hopefully get a rhythm in our play, we can be a handful for any team.”

Rothes drop out of the title-chase

Rothes travel to Clachnacuddin today in their bid to return to winning ways after their midweek defeat to Brechin.

And that loss has left the Speysiders boss admitting that his side look to be out of the running for the Highland League title.

Ross Jack said: “It’s tight at the top of the table but I think that’s us out of the race now, but we’ll keep plugging away.

“It will be important to get into the top four to qualify for the Challenge Cup next season, so we’ll fight for that.”

Even their bid for fourth place could prove a challenge as Rothes currently trail the pack by 14 points.

And a win against the Lilywhites could be hard to come by with injuries affecting player selection.

Jack added: “Clach will be tough on Saturday. Like a lot of clubs right now, their pitch will be heavy.

“We will regroup. We have one or two knocks from Wednesday and we will see what we’ve got for Saturday.”

Rectifying midweek results

Deveronvale and Keith will both be looking to put right midweek 6-0 defeats when they host Inverurie Locos and Lossiemouth respectively.

Vale striker Robert Scott, who has scored 41 goals for the club, has signed a one year contract extension ahead of their game against Inverurie.

At the bottom end of the table, second-bottom Strathspey Thistle welcome Turriff United to Seafield Park.

Turriff sit one place above the Grantown Jags and a win would extend the gap between the sides to seven points, while a win for Strathspey would narrow it to just one point.

Formartine United will be hoping to get back to winning ways after last week’s 2-2 draw with Turriff when they host basement side Fort William to North Lodge Park.

It would be a valuable three points for Paul Lawson’s side, who currently sit in sixth, as they try keep up the chase with the top four.

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