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AJG Parcels North of Scotland Cup semi-final and final dates / Huntly bolster squad

The dates for the two semi-finals in this season's AJG Parcels North of Scotland Cup have been announced, with both clashes mirroring last season's last four encounters meaning a re-run of the same final 12 months on between Nairn County and Wick Academy is a possibility.

The semi-finals of this year's competition will take place as follows:

Tuesday 3rd September 2013 - Nairn County v Forres Mechanics at Station Park, Nairn, Kick-off 8pm
Wednesday 4th September 2013 - Brora Rangers v Wick Academy at Dudgeon Park, Brora, Kick-off 8pm

Please also note that the Final is scheduled for Saturday 19th October at Grant Street Park, Inverness, Kick-off 3pm.

Meanwhile, Huntly have bolstered their squad ahead of tomorrow's Aberdeenshire Cup quarter-final clash with Fraserburgh with one new addition to the squad and another re-signing both on one year deals.

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Neill down but back up again to net historic winner

One of the most unassuming players in the Nairn County squad turned out to be the scorer of the winning goal at Allan Park on Saturday, ending the Wee County's long running 27 year record without a win at the ground.

Eight could be said to be a lucky and unlucky number for the player who netted a cracking volley on the drop, eight minutes after he was clattered to the ground and had to go off injured, struggling with his breathing.

However he was back on his feet and ready to give his thoughts to reporters John Innes and David Reid:

"I don't score that many, but saw the keeper come for it, went for it first time and thought I'll just see what happens. I suppose it will be classed as one of the best goals of my career.

"It is a great achievement for the club, we're absolutely delighted to come and win at Cove as a player. Before the win we'd not had the best of starts but everyone knows it will be a hard season, around ten teams are involved in trying to win the league.

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Matchday Summaries Saturday 17th August: Four teams continue to set the pace with nine from nine

Nairn County came from behind to defeat champions Cove Rangers 2-1 at Allan Park, and record their first victory of the season. After Ryan Stott's first-half strike, quickfire goals from Connor Gethins and Andrew Neill turned the tide in favour of Les Fridge's men who claimed a welcome three points.

However, the four teams who went into this afternoon's Highland League action leading the way remain on top, after each maintained their runs of three straight wins. 

Wick Academy top the pile on goal difference following a 3-0 win over Fraserburgh at Harmsworth Park, with Richard Macadie on target twice.

They are followed by Formartine United who overcame Fort William 5-0 at Claggan Park. Brora Rangers and Inverurie Loco Works both won by the odd goal, with Brora defeating Buckie 1-0 at Dudgeon Park thanks to Zander Sutherland's goal against his former side, while Inverurie Locos came through 4-3 against Turriff in a thrilling encounter in which they came back from a 3-1 half-time deficit. Both sides finished the game with ten men.

Huntly continued their unbeaten start to the season with a fine 1-1 draw away to Forres Mechanics, with Pawel Nowacki's opener cancelled out by Simon Allan's free-kick.

Clachnacuddin came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw at Lossiemouth, with Kyle Whyte's second-half goal levelling proceedings after Matthew Davidson had broken the deadlock.

Deveronvale and Keith both recorded comprehensive victories, with Vale winning 4-0 away to Strathspey Thistle, and Keith defeating Rothes 5-0 at Kynoch Park with Andy MacAskill and Callum Dingwall both netting doubles.

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Matchday Stats: Saturday 17th August 2013

The fifteen minute period before half-time was by far the most popular scoring phase with 12 strikes hitting the net. There were to be no hat-trick heroes this week, however three players hit the net twice with two coming in the same game.

Two of the weekend's three red cards were also brandished at the same venue, with opposing players Mike McKenzie and Gordon Forsyth dismissed in the Locos v Turriff clash at Harlaw Park.

Overall, the scoring average for the weekend fell below that of the season by 0.32. There has been plenty late drama already, reflected by the fact the most popular scoring period in league matches for the season has been between 76-90 minutes.

The two most northern clubs in the league, Brora Rangers and Wick Academy, have notched up five straight victories in all competitions, while Fort William and Strathspey Thistle are on a losing streak of four consecutive games.

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Team of the Week 10th August 2013: Lethal Liam the difference for Rothes

Reverting to the same 3-4-3 formation as last week's selection, some of the stiffest competion for a place came between the sticks with Joe Malin edging out fellow 8 out of 10 scorer Stuart Knight.

Craig Dorrat earns his second successive Team of the Week appearance following a two-goal, 9 out of 10 performance for Huntly. He is joined by Ross Anderson and Graeme Grant.

Zander Sutherland set Brora on their way to a fine away win at Nairn County, and he takes his place in midfield alongside Formartine's Man of the Match Neil McVitie, Sam Mackay who was a hat-trick hero for the second time this season, along with Aaron Conway who scored one and assisted the other in Buckie's victory over Fraserburgh.

However, for the second week running Player of the Week can be found up front. Liam Forbes edges it for a hat-trick which was all so crucial for Rothes as it earnt the Speysiders their first victory of the season over Fort William. SuperSub goes to two-goal Gary Weir, meanwhile Thomas Shaw earns the golden whistle.

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Winger Czechs In At Huntly

Huntly’s foreign legion continues to grow with the signing of Czech winger Petr Stepanek on a three year deal.

Stepanek has most recently featured for Czech side FK Baumit Jablonec and featured as a Trialist in Huntly’s pre-season win over junior side Lewis United at the end of July.

Having had to wait on international clearance for the 20 year old, Manager Dave McGinlay is pleased to be able to start getting Petr playing in competitive games.

“I think he’s a player who given time will be a very good player for the club and that’s why we’ve got him secured on a three year deal. I have to give a big thank you to Marek Mádle who was instrumental in getting him over and having seen what he can do when he came in as a trialist during pre-season he really impressed us with the deliveries he put in for our forwards.

Petr has worked with us in training since then and has a good work rate and is strong on the ball and for a winger he’s technically gifted. His English is coming along and Marek has helped him too and he even seems to be picking up a bit of Doric from some of the lads.”

Weekend Preview: Saturday 17th August 2013

With four teams leading the way on maximum points, goes around the grounds ahead of tomorrow's third round of games.

Brora Rangers v Buckie Thistle

Brora will look to continue their fine early season form and Davie Kirkwood once again has a full squad to pick from.

Buckie are also near full strength, with striker Craig MacMillan their only doubt.

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League Table

Rank Teams Played Points Current form
1 Cove Rangers 20 56 WWWWW
2 Fraserburgh 21 48 WLWWD
3 Inverurie Locos 23 48 WWLWD
4 Formartine United 21 43 LWWWW
5 Forres Mechanics 21 42 WWWWW
6 Buckie Thistle 23 42 WWLDW
7 Brora Rangers 19 41 WWWLD
8 Huntly 22 38 LWWLL
9 Rothes 21 31 WWLDL
10 Deveronvale 21 29 WWLDL
11 Nairn County 20 29 LWLWD
12 Clachnacuddin 22 28 DWWLW
13 Turriff United 21 24 LLLLL
14 Wick Academy 18 23 LDDWW
15 Keith 23 11 WLLLL
16 Lossiemouth 24 11 WLWLL
17 Strathspey Thistle 20 3 LLLLL
18 Fort William 20 1 LLLLL

Recent Results

20-01-2018 15:00 - Scottish Cup Fourth Round
East Fife 0 : 1 Brora Rangers
13-01-2018 15:00 - SHFL Week 25
Huntly 1 : 2 Buckie Thistle
Turriff United 0 : 4 Cove Rangers
Wick Academy 2 : 0 Keith
Lossiemouth 0 : 6 Formartine United
Inverurie Locos 2 : 2 Fraserburgh
Fort William 1 : 9 Forres Mechanics
06-01-2018 15:00 - SHFL Week 24
Fraserburgh 7 : 0 Fort William
Buckie Thistle 2 : 2 Brora Rangers
30-12-2017 15:00 - SHFL Week 23
Buckie Thistle 0 : 2 Cove Rangers
Lossiemouth 1 : 2 Wick Academy
23-12-2017 15:00 - SHFL Week 22
Deveronvale 2 : 3 Cove Rangers
Wick Academy 1 : 1 Nairn County
Fort William 3 : 4 Lossiemouth
Fraserburgh 7 : 0 Huntly
Inverurie Locos 5 : 0 Strathspey Thistle
Forres Mechanics 3 : 2 Brora Rangers
Keith 0 : 3 Clachnacuddin

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Next Fixtures

31-01-2018 19:45 - Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Fraserburgh - : - Rangers
31-01-2018 20:00 - Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Formartine United - : - Cove Rangers

Tweets around the grounds