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Team news for matches on Saturday 29th April

SPFL Pyramid Play-Off First Leg

Buckie Thistle v East Kilbride
Buckie Thistle clinched the Highland League title with a crushing defeat of Strathspey last weekend, but it's back to business with the play-off ties against East Kilbride. Craig Dorrat and Andrew Skinner both miss out with ankle injuries and Craig Cowie has a knee problem.

Lowland Leage Champions East Kilbride hit the headlines this season when they broke the mighty Ajax Amsterdam's world record of 26 successive wins, racking up number 27 with a home win over BSC Glasgow in November. Goalkeeper Matt McGinley could face his former club at Victoria Park, he spent six months with The Jags in 2015. 

North of Scotland Cup Quarter Finals

Fort William v Invergordon

Fort William take on North Caledonian League Champions Invergordon at Claggan Park and they'll be without Scott Chisholm and Barna Tot due to work commitments, and Ewan MacLean through injury. Danny Highet returns to the squad along with Ally Stark.

Golspie Sutherland v Rothes

Rothes took the notable scalp of cup holders Wick Academy in the last round and they'll hope to reach the semi-final at the expense of Golspie Sutherland. Chris Brown is injured and is the only absentee for the visitors.

Halkirk Utd v Forres Mechanics

Forres travel to face Halkirk United, who finished a creditable third in the North Caledonian League. Ross MacPherson, John Cameron, Simon Allan , Jordan Wardrope and Fraser Forbes are all out injured for the Cans, while Connor McIver, Alan Pollock and Charlie Brown are also unavailable.

Nairn County v Brora Rangers
Nairn are looking to go one better than last season when they lost in the final to Wick Academy, but they face a tough test against Brora at Station Park. The Wee County are likely to have the same squad who won at Rothes last week.

Brora finished their league campaign in superb form and were unlucky to miss out on the title by just a single point. Boss Ross Tokely has a full squad to choose from, with striker Paul Brindle returning to training and back in the squad.

News round-up: Lossie manager steps down

Bobby Beckwith has stepped down as Lossiemouth manager due to ill-health.

Meanwhile, Neil Gauld has re-joined Inverurie Locos. The striker has left Formartine and signed a three-year deal at Harlaw Park.

Elsewhere, Wick forard Gary Weir has decided to retire.

Audio Interviews: Buckie celebrate title triumph

Buckie celebrated winning the Highland League championship after a 9-0 demolition of Strathspey.

After the match, key members of the club gave their thoughts on the title triumph. Listen to the interviews below.

Buckie manager Graeme Stewart

 

Buckie striker John McLeod

 

Buckie captain Kevin Fraser

 

Buckie forward Chris Angus

 

Full-time scores and scorers: Saturday 22nd April

Press & Journal Highland League

Buckie Thistle 9-0 Strathspey Thistle

Chris Angus (10, 13, 19, 75), Kevin Fraser (15), John McLeod (37, 54, 62), Stuart Taylor (73)

Cove Rangers 5-0 Lossiemouth

Mitch Megginson (7, 18, 82), Blair Yule (20, 50)

Fraserburgh 2-0 Huntly

Jamie Beagrie (13), Paul Campbell (84)

Rothes 0-2 Nairn County

Dylan Mackenzie (53), Gary Kerr (60)

Wick Academy 2-2 Formartine United

Wick: Gary Weir (35 pen), Sam Mackay (41)

Formartine: Scott Ferries (8), Liam Burnett (38)

Menzies Distribution North of Scotland Cup First Round

Forres Mechanics 2-1 Clachnacuddin

Forres: Stuart Soane (42), Owen Paterson (90)

Clach: Liam Shewan (7)

North of Scotland Cup quarters confirmed

The second round of the Menzies Distribution North of Scotland Cup will be played on Saturday 29th April with all matches kicking off at 3pm.

The revised draw is as follows:

Halkirk v Forres

Fort William v Invergordon

Golspie Sutherland v Rothes

Nairn County v Brora Rangers

The semi-finals will be:

Brora/Nairn v Halkirk/Forres

Golspie/Rothes  v Fort William/Invergordon

Team news for matches on Saturday 22nd April

Highland League

Buckie Thistle v Strathspey Thistle

Buckie take on Strathspey at Victoria Park, knowing that a win will surely clinch the Highland League title, unless Cove can produce an unlikely 12-goal swing on the final day. The Jags will hope to have Sam Urquhart back in their squad after he missed the draw at Formartine.

The Grantown Jags need a win to leapfrog Fort William and avoid finishing bottom of the Highland League table.

Cove Rangers v Lossiemouth

Cove boss John Sheran has a full squad to choose from for the visit of Lossiemouth, apart from the unavailable Eric Watson. A win for the Aberdeen side is a must to have any chance of winning the title.

Lossie have Aaron Hamilton unavailable, but Tony Ross and Nathan Smith return to the squad. The visitors can finish in 11th place with a win tomorrow.

Fraserburgh v Huntly

Broch will look to bounce back from defeats to Clach and Buckie when they finish their season against Huntly at Bellslea.

Huntly have a fully fit squad with the exception of Ross Still, who is suspended, and long term injury victim Martin MacDonald. The Christie Park men need a point to ensure a 13th place finish.

Rothes v Nairn County
Rothes had an excellent win over North of Scotland Cup holders Wick in midweek, but they are still without Keir Smith for the visit of Nairn. Struan MacArthur could be involved and Scott Maclean returns to the squad.

Gregg Main, Jamie McKay and Paul McLeod are out injured for Nairn and Dylan McLean is unavailable. Jack Mclean is also doubtful and will face a late fitness test. County could finish in 13th if they win and Huntly lose at Fraserburgh.

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Stewart believes Buckie squad can go on to win more titles

Buckie thrashed Strathspey 9-0 to win the Highland League title.

Chris Angus scored four times, John McLeod hit a hat-trick, while there were goals for Kevin Fraser and Stuart Taylor.

Buckie manager Graeme Stewart believes this could be the first title of many for his squad.

He said: “My remit at the beginning of the season was to get in the top four. We have probably over-achieved to some degree. But after a few games I could tell that the team was pretty special.

“I think we have won in style. A lot of the neutrals like us because we score goals and are entertaining. It was 9-0, but it could have been 12 or 15. We had a lot of chances. We are a nice team to watch.

“I said at half-time, don’t let it peter out because I wanted 10. We got nine and will take that.

“I said to the players before the game, I think this team can go on to win many titles, if they stick to their beliefs – they don’t take their foot off the gas, they are not happy with their lot and they go and get it again.

“All we have done is won one. We have got to win the next one.”

Buckie now face Lowland League winners East Kilbride in the first stage of the League Two promotion playoffs.

The first leg is at Victoria Park on Saturday. The return is in East Kilbride seven days later.

Stewart said: “I’ve not even thought about it. People have asked me and I’ve told them to forget about it. On Monday I’ll have a look at it. I am looking forward to it. It’s a challenge and that’s why we are in football. We will be going out to win.”

The winners of the Highland/Lowland play-off will play the bottom side from League Two over two legs on May 13 and 20.

No points deduction for Buckie Thistle or Formartine

Buckie Thistle have been given the all clear at a Highland League management committee meeting tonight, no action will be taken against them or Formartine United after they allegedly named ineligible players in their squads on Saturday.

The Jags can now clinch the championship with a win over Strathspey Thistle at Victoria Park on Saturday.

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Latest Results

20-05-2017 15:00 - North of Scotland Cup Final
Fort William 1 : 4 Brora Rangers
06-05-2017 15:00 - North of Scotland Cup Semi-Finals
Rothes 1 : 2 Fort William
Brora Rangers 4 : 1 Forres Mechanics
06-05-2017 15:00 - SPFL Pyramid Playoffs Second Leg
East Kilbride 2 : 1 Buckie Thistle
29-04-2017 15:00 - North of Scotland Cup Quarter-Finals
Nairn County 1 : 3 Brora Rangers
Halkirk United 0 : 3 Forres Mechanics
Golspie Sutherland 0 : 3 Rothes
Fort William 3 : 0 Invergordon
29-04-2017 15:00 - SPFL Pyramid Playoffs First Leg
Buckie Thistle 2 : 2 East Kilbride
22-04-2017 15:00 - North of Scotland Cup First Round
Forres Mechanics 2 : 1 Clachnacuddin
22-04-2017 15:00 - SHFL Week 38
Cove Rangers 5 : 0 Lossiemouth
Fraserburgh 2 : 0 Huntly
Rothes 0 : 2 Nairn County
Wick Academy 2 : 2 Formartine United
Buckie Thistle 9 : 0 Strathspey Thistle

Press and Journal Highland League 2016-17

Rank Teams Played GD Points
1 Buckie Thistle 34 94 82
2 Cove Rangers 34 79 82
3 Brora Rangers 34 80 81
4 Formartine United 34 35 73
5 Fraserburgh 34 29 63
6 Forres Mechanics 34 21 58
7 Turriff United 34 14 58
8 Wick Academy 34 23 53
9 Inverurie Locos 34 18 50
10 Keith 34 -14 47
11 Clachnacuddin 34 -24 41
12 Lossiemouth 34 -18 38
13 Nairn County 34 -17 34
14 Huntly 34 -43 34
15 Deveronvale 34 -24 30
16 Rothes 34 -69 26
17 Fort William 34 -92 11
18 Strathspey Thistle 34 -92 9

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