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Skinner's Predictions Panel (2013-14) 5th: Brora Rangers

There are still plenty of predictions to get through before the big kick-off on Saturday, and we break into the top five now with http://www.hflhub.co.uk reporter Andy Skinner tipping Brora Rangers to record an improved finish. 

5th Place: Brora Rangers 

Last Season: Prediction: 1st Actual: 8th   

P 34 W 17 D 4 L 13 GD 31 Pts 55   

Post Season Positives: 
An assured finish to the season, and a real sense that the squad are subscribing to what Davie Kirkwood is trying to achieve at Dudgeon Park. A very pleasing team to watch in attack and some very solid additions throughout the entire team. The signing of Joe Malin has captured much attention, he's a keeper who has  

Post Season Negatives: 
Like a few teams, there really isn't a lot negative to say after a superb end to last season. Brora will be looking to improve upon their form at the start of the season, which they will be confident of given the disruption of the management change mid-season. Brora did eventually find momentum, but it will need to come much earlier if they are to challenge.   

Key Man: 
Martin Maclean. Amidst all the experienced heads in the side, it's important to also focus on the players who are benefitting from the presence of Tokely, Hart and Golabek etc in the team. Maclean sees a huge amount of the ball when Brora attack due to his energy and hunger to get on the ball and create for the likes of Zander Sutherland and Liam Baxter. His runs into the box will cause many sides problems this season, and is a player who has really come on since signing from Lewis outfit Back. 

Prediction 2013-2014: 
A very good side to watch, a lot of Davie's plans were beginning to become clear as we moved into the latter stages of the season. He has recruited well himself although there are still some very talented players who remain from the side Andy MacLeod before him had built. I think they will progress to finish in the top five this season. 5th

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Newsround 1st August 2013: Buckie, Clach, Huntly and Broch add / Fox departs PRP

Buckie Thistle have signed Elgin City forward Fraser Forbes on a three-month loan deal.

Forbes hit the net twice in the Jags' 6-0 win against Buckie Rovers on Saturday.

With Forbes arriving, Buckie have made striker Aaron Shand available for transfer.

Shand joined from Newmachar United last summer, and was on target 19 times in his debut Highland League season last term.

Thistle have also made young pair Stuart Hodge and Ben Stewart available for loan, with the latter having spent time with Buckie Rovers last season.

Clachnacuddin signed former Fort William defender Ryan MacDonald in time for the player to be on the bench for last night's 5-4 victory over Halkirk in the AJG Parcels North of Scotland Cup.

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Skinner's Predictions Panel (2013-14) 6th: Fraserburgh

While http://www.hflhub.co.uk reporter Andy Skinner is the only pundit tipping Fraserburgh to finish 6th for the third season running, the remaining pundits have looked further north with two in agreement.

6th Place: Fraserburgh  

Last Season: Prediction: 3rd Actual: 6th     

P 34 W 18 D 5 L 11 GD 36 Pts 59   

Post Season Positives: 
The three constants maintained by Fraserburgh last season following on from Kris Hunter's first in charge: sixth place, silverware, and Scott Barbour scooping Young Player of the Year. They have retained the same squad who achieved that, and the stability of the team looks very strong as a result, and have plenty momentum on their side having finished the season exceptionally well. 

Post Season Negatives: 
The fine line between what was and what could have been if games had been seen out. On a few occasions last season, Fraserburgh were left to curse the fact they relinquished a winning position. 

Key Man: 
Scott Barbour. When people outside of the Highland League ask which exciting prospects are coming through, he's the first one I'll list every time. His energy in and around the penalty box coupled with the technical ability he has brings real danger to defenders. I look forward to seeing his continued development this season.    

Prediction 2013-2014: 
Fraserburgh haven't tweaked their squad at all which is a major positive. A settled team is always an advantage, and the Broch have most definitely earned the right to be considered as a team in the mix for top spot. While I can sense that their time is coming, I think the sides I've predicted to be the top five are stronger placed to maintain a consistent run of form throughout the season. That said, if the Broch can mirror their end of season run they will certainly be in contention. For now, it's a third consecutive 6th 

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Skinner's Predictions Panel (2013-14) 7th: Forres Mechanics

The pre-season predictions have now firmly reached the top half of the table, and as we close in on Saturday's kick-off a full table of predictions from our pundits is nearing. http://www.hflhub.co.uk reporter Andy Skinner is first to put forward his tip for 7th place.

7th Place: Forres Mechanics 

Last Season: Prediction: 4th Actual: 9th     

P 34 W 16 D 7 L 11 GD 29 Pts 55   

Post Season Positives: 
Stability. Forres have retained the bulk of their squad, just as they did last summer, meaning their side still has the same face as that which won the title a year ago. The return from injury of Lee Fraser to that comes as a huge morale boost to everyone at the club. 

Post Season Negatives: 
The drop in the table from the championship-winning campaign. There were reasons for it, with Mechanics having several injuries throughout the campaign, but Charlie Rowley will be aiming to prove that the squad he has is still capable of being right in amongst it. 

Key Man: 
Lee Fraser. While it's important not to put too much pressure on his young shoulders upon return, the difference he was making to the side in the final few games of last season was telling. He'll be more hungry than ever to make up for lost time, and comes into the side well prepared after a run in the team at the tail end of last campaign coming before a full pre-season. 

Prediction 2013-2014: 
Forres can rightfully lay claim to one of the strongest starting elevens' in the league when everybody is fit. Charlie has added carefully to his squad, with two promising Inverness City players coming in to increase his options. There will be a huge desire at Mosset Park to improve upon last season. While I think they will, the fierce competition for places in and around the top half of the table can mean improvement isn't always rewarded as hoped. A rise by two places, and edged out by the narrowest margins by the side directly above them. 7th 

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North of Scotland Cup: 31st July

Rothes 1: Sean McIntosh (55) Lossiemouth 3: Liam Archibald (42) Darren Bailey (78) Scott Wilson (88)

Lossiemouth struck twice within the last twelve minutes to book a second round trip to Forres Mechanics.

 There was an early chance for the hosts when Matthew Davidson played a one-two with Anthony Ross and from the return ball Davidson was denied by Ricky Horne on his Rothes return who kept the ball out with a low save.

A rare break upfield from Rothes should’ve resulted in a goal. A great through ball from Calum McIntosh to Lewis Forbes presented the forward with a scoring chance but Errol Watson still managed to save after being caught off his line. Forbes would then win the ball back and crossed for Sean McIntosh fifteen yards out who forced Watson into another save on the volley. Sean McIntosh came close again moments later volleying over from close range.

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AJG Parcels North of Scotland Cup: 30th July 2013

Brora Rangers defeated Inverness Caley Thistle 3-0 on spot-kicks, following a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes at Dudgeon Park.

Davie Kirkwood's men now face a trip to face Thurso in the second round.

The Cattachs took the lead on 40 minutes, as Zander Sutherland's drilled low shot beat Caley Jags stopper Cameron Mackay.

However the lead lasted just three minutes, as Norwegian U21 internationalist Torbjørn Agdestein knocked the ball past Joe Malin.

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Formartine land Elgin home tie in Ramsdens Cup

Formartine United will once again face SPFL League Two opposition in the Ramsdens Cup, after the Second Round draw handed them a home tie against former Highland League outfit Elgin City.

Steve Paterson will face his former side on either Tuesday 20th August or Wednesday 21st August.

Skinner's Predictions Panel (2013-14) 8th: Deveronvale

Moving into 8th place, there is an uncharacteristic sense of agreement between our pundits as three of the four tip Deveronvale for the position. It all begins with http://www.hflhub.co.uk reporter Andy Skinner. 

8th Place: Deveronvale  

Last Season: Prediction: 11th Actual: 7th     

P 34 W 17 D 7 L 10 GD 21 Pts 58   

Post Season Positives: 
Vale have added a good blend of players, with youngsters Ross Aitken and Craig Simpson arriving alongside the experience of Shawn Scott and Kevin Duguid. Overall, for the players to have a settled summer without the uncertainty of managerial change should be considered a positive. A year down the line, Charlie Charlesworth will have a good idea of how the club's targets can be met.   

Post Season Negatives: 
After an excellent start under Charlie last season, Vale fell away somewhat after the new year. Charlie may have preferred it to be the other way round in order to carry momentum into the new season. However, the period of reflection may be just what Charlie needed.   

Key Man: 
Graeme Watt. A hugely reliable player for Charlie. He contributed a great deal for Charlie in his first season as both a scorer and a provider for others, as well as being carrying out his duties as vice-captain.    

Prediction 2013-2014: 
We are now at the stage in the table where small margins can separate several teams. Although Vale have a few players who have tasted Highland League title success before, comparatively I think they're still in the early stages of manufacturing a side capable of winning the title. As Cove showed last season, and Forres before them, it takes a number of years to get to that stage. While I think the long-term signs are definitely there for Vale under Charlie, perseverance will be the key as they continue to build. 8th 

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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

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