Peterhead winger Robert Ward has a very good track record against his side’s upcoming second-round Scottish Cup opponents Clachnacuddin.
Ward, who joined the Blue Toon this summer, scored six goals in six games against Clach during his time in the Breedon Highland League with Inverurie Locos and Turriff United.
Five of those goals were for Locos – in his last four meetings against the Inverness side, who Peterhead face at home in the Scottish Cup on Saturday afternoon.
Ward hopes to be back in the starting XI for the clash, having featured from the bench in his last three Blue Toon appearances in League Two, and to replicate his previous form against the familiar Highland League opponents.
He said: “I knew in the back of my head that I had scored a few goals against Clach, but I didn’t realise it was six in six games. I am definitely looking forward to the game.
“I have been out of the team a little bit recently, so hopefully I will get a chance to play Saturday and add another goal or two to my record against them.”
Ward is also familiar with Clach’s new manager Conor Gethins, who will take charge of the Inverness side for the first time against Peterhead after leaving Nairn County.
The Blue Toon winger said: “I remember being at Formartine as a young lad when Conor was playing with Formartine.
“I think he played a couple of games with us for the under-20s when he was coming back from and injury, and I’ve played against him a number of times in the Highland League.
“He is a true professional and has got this opportunity in management and I’m sure he’ll do really well. There is no doubt that he will be an asset for Clach long-term.”
Ward says Peterhead, who sit top of League Two and have a game in hand over second-placed Dumbarton, will not be taking their Highland League opposition lightly as the Blue Toon aim for a run in the Scottish Cup.
Meanwhile, Clach travel to Peterhead sitting second bottom in the Highland League – where they are still to pick up their first league win of the season after 11 games.
The Blue Toon winger added: “We have spoken about it all week at training that we can’t underestimate Clach.
“They had to beat Inverurie Locos, who are strong opposition, to get into the second round. We know they will be no mugs and we will give them their due respect.
“We want to do well in the league, but the club deserve for us to do well in the cups – especially this one, because it doesn’t get much bigger than playing in the Scottish Cup.
“It’s really good for momentum if we can get the win and progress through to the next round.”
Gethins brings new recruits on board ahead of ‘tough’ game at Balmoor
Clach manager Gethins has done his first bits of business since his appointment with defender Keith Mason and attacker Dylan Mackenzie signing deals until the end of the season after featuring as trialists in recent weeks.
Mason will be in the squad for the Scottish Cup clash against Peterhead, but Mackenzie is a doubt due to a knee problem.
Gethins said: “Keith’s leadership has been incredible since he’s come in, while Dylan is a goalscorer – it’s just getting him fit enough on the park to do what he needs to do.
“Keith has stepped into the team over the last few weeks and the other players have responded to him.
“He’s leading by example and he’s communicating, which is 50% of the game really – and if he can get the guys around him doing that, it will be a big help to us.”
Gethins, who plied his trade for Peterhead between 2009 and 2011, is expecting a tough contest in his first game in charge at Balmoor.
The Clach boss said: “It will be a really difficult game, Peterhead have got a lot of firepower.
“You could take Kieran Shanks and Rory McAllister and replace them with Robert Ward and Aaron Reid.
“They’re a very talented side, particularly in the forward players.
“It will be tough for us, but we’ve worked on a few things and the boys know what we’re looking for them to do.”
Clach will be without James Anderson, Martin MacKinnon, and Martin Callum against Peterhead, but Harry Nicolson returns.