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Highland League leaders Banks o’ Dee not getting ahead of themselves after winning silverware, says Lachie Macleod

Read the build-up as Dee get set to travel to Nairn County on Saturday after winning the Aberdeenshire Shield - plus all of the team news from around the Highland League.

Banks o' Dee won the Aberdeenshire Shield after beating Aberdeen FC 2-0.
Banks o' Dee with the Aberdeenshire Shield. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson.

Forward Lachie Macleod insists Breedon Highland League leaders Banks o’ Dee will remain level-headed after winning their first piece of silverware this season.

The Spain Park side won the Morrison Motors (Turriff) Aberdeenshire Shield on Wednesday night after beating a young Aberdeen side 2-0 at Balmoral Stadium, with Macleod scoring the early opener. 

The Aberdeen club are also top of the Highland League table with 35 points, having lost only one of their 16 games, and travel to Nairn County on Saturday.

Macleod made clear Dee will not be getting ahead of themselves in pursuit of further success, as the teams who sit below them in the league – down to seventh-placed Huntly – have at least one game in hand over the current league leaders.

He said: “Being at a club like Banks o’ Dee, they expect us to always be winning silverware and be up there challenging.

“You look at our results and there are a couple of results we’re not happy with, but, overall, we have done well and have to look to keep picking up those points.

“We’re not getting ahead of ourselves. There are teams who have a number of games in hand, but we just have to keep ourselves up there and keep winning.

Lachie Macleod, left, in action for Banks o’ Dee. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson.

“We want to get more points on the board because it puts more pressure on the teams around us, but we make no qualms about it – we know how difficult it is going away to Nairn.

“We struggled there last year and they are on some run just now, too. It’ll be a difficult game, but we will be ready to go again.”

Nairn on nine-game winning run

Nairn, who sit fourth in the table with 30 points, have won seven Highland League games on the spin – nine game in overall – and are the most in-form team in the division.

But despite Nairn’s surge up the table to fourth place, player-manager Steven Mackay insists they, too, are keeping their feet on the ground.

He said: “You can be seduced by where you are in the league, but when you drill down to it, you have other teams that have got a lot of games in hand that you would expect them to win. The picture then changes very quickly.

Nairn County player-manager Steven Mackay. Image: Brian Smith.

“We’re not getting carried away. We were third last week and we are now sitting fourth.

“It’s great being up there and the target for the players is to try and maintain that position and stay there for as long as we possibly can.

“We know where we are as a football club. We’re a long way off challenging for this league, but we will enjoy being up there while we can.”

Wayne Mackintosh should finally get to serve his one-game suspension for Nairn this weekend, while Mackay is still sidelined with a hamstring issue.

Team news from around the Highland League

There are four 2pm kick-offs in the Breedon Highland League on Saturday.

Champions Brechin City, who sit second, having lost their last two league matches, have bolstered their squad ahead of the visit of Huntly by signing former Edinburgh City captain Danny Handling.

The 29-year-old attacking midfielder left the capital club earlier this week with Brechin boss Gavin Price hailing the signing as “a coup for the club”.

Colin Charlesworth – bossing the visitors for just the second time – will be without Lyall Booth, James Connolly and Owen Morris through injury.

Keith head to Clachnacuddin without full-back Liam Cheyne – who has been loaned to Junior side Hermes.

Deveronvale host Wick Academy at Princess Royal Park, with Horace Ormsby and Ben Allan unavailable for the home side, while the Scorries will be missing Jack Halliday, Alan Hughes, Ryan Campbell, Gordy MacNab, James Mackay and Brandon Sinclair.

Formartine United, meanwhile, will head to Strathspey Thistle bolstered by the return of Jonny Crawford and Lewis Wilson, although Kieran Adams and Daniel Park won’t be in their squad.

Brora Rangers welcome Rothes to Dudgeon Park in a 3pm kick-off, with Alex Cooper, Ross Hardie and Joe Malin out injured for the Catthachs, while Ross Jack’s visitors will be without Iain and  Ally MacKenzie, Alan Pollock and Fraser Robertson, with doubts over Aidan Wilson and Charlie MacDonald.

Fraserburgh and Inverurie Locos meet at Bellslea (also 3pm). Zane Laird and keeper Zack Ellis are injured for the respective sides. But Locos have added Peterhead loan goalie Blessing Oluyemi to their ranks, with Liam Morrison and Anton Chauvin back, and Logan Johnstone returning from suspension.

Inverurie have also received the boost of vastly-experienced midfielder Paul Coutts signing a contract extension.

At the same time, Turriff United – trying to make it three wins on the spin in the league – host Buckie Thistle at the Haughs. Turra have Luke Kinsella and Rory Brown available again after long-term injuries, but Ayria Abolfathi has been sent out on loan – also to Junior outfit Hermes.