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Midweek Latest 3rd September 2013: Nairn v Forres NoS Cup Semi-Final

A goal in each from Conor Gethins sent holders Nairn County through to the final of the AJG Parcels North of Scotland Cup, against nine-man Forres Mechanics.
Gethins struck just minutes before the interval to give County the half-time advantage. However, Forres were reduced to ten men on 57 minutes when Simon Allan was shown a straight red for appearing to obstruct a Nairn free-kick as it was being taken.
As Forres desperately tried to get back into the match, Nairn were given the perfect chance to double their lead two minutes from time when goalkeeper Stuart Knight brought down Stuart Leslie, resulting in a second yellow card for the Can-Cans' custodian.
Gethins stepped up to dispatch the spot-kick, meaning Les Fridge's side must now await tomorrow night's semi-final at Dudgeon Park before they know who stands in the way of their North Cup defence. 
AJG Parcels North of Scotland Cup Semi-Final: Full-time

 Nairn County


 Forres Mechanics

Goals Conor Gethins (43, 89 pen)  
Team  Callum Donaldson, Sean Webb, Michael Morrison, Martin MacDonald, Adam Naismith (Archie MacPhee 25), Glenn Main, Wayne MacKintosh, Stuart Leslie, Gregg Main, John Cameron (Robbie Duncanson 72), Conor Gethins.  Stuart Knight, Simon Allan, Paul Smith (Andrew Fraser 61), Graeme Grant, Steven Fraser, Ross MacPherson (Chris Stuart 88), Stuart Soane, Scott Moore (Ross Archibald 67), Lee Fraser, Kyle Scott, Craig McGovern.
Subs  Daniel Moore, Gary Kerr, Michael Maccallum.  Ryan MacKintosh, Duncan Jones, Chris Stuart.
 Wayne MacKintosh (63)  Stuart Knight (54), Stuart Knight (88)


 Simon Allan (58), Stuart Knight (88)
Referee  Andy Milne    

Midweek NoS Cup Preview Tuesday 3rd September 2013: Forres out to bounce back against holders Nairn

In the first of two derby AJG Parcels North of Scotland Cup semi-finals this week, Nairn County host Forres Mechanics at Station Park.

Forres are looking to bounce back from slow league start which has seen them approach tonight's tie on the back of two consecutive defeats. Their task is no mean feat, and with County having recorded four straight victories they are looking to take a major step towards defending the tournament they won last season.

In getting to the Grant Street Park showpiece, where they overcame Wick Academy 2-1 after extra-time, Les Fridge's outfit ran out 3-2 winners against Forres in last season's semi-final. 

The Can-Cans' recent record in the competition is also impressive however. In 2011 Forres were losing finalists to Inverness Caley Thistle, while they won the tournament a year before in 2010 with victory against Wick Academy.

Both sides are close to full strength, with Nairn without David Watson, and Forres still minus the suspended Graham Fraser.

Mechanics boss Charlie Rowley is eager to see a response from his side, after Saturday's 2-0 defeat at home to Buckie Thistle.

"I am really hopeful the players shouldn't need lifting for this game, it's a chance to get to a cup final against a really good Nairn side. It's a one-off game in which the winner takes all, with nothing to lose.

"I said to the players after the game I'm convinced it'll take something minute to turn the last two or three weeks around in terms of our points gained. Something as small as a bit of good luck or some good defending can turn last two weeks round. I'm hoping that's the case against Nairn."

"We've got the personnel to do it, we just need to get them firing together. On Saturday eight or nine of them had an off day, and I don't care what team it is or what level, if you have that you are going to struggle."

Matchday Stats: Saturday 31st August 2013

This was a relatively low-scoring weekend, with the number of goals down by ten - an average of three per game. Within this there was very much a theme of late goals, with eight of them coming after the 75th minute. It is fitting that the record for the latest goal of the season was broken by Clach's Scott Graham who netted in the sixth minute of injury time at Kynoch Park.

On a disciplinary note, Rothes have been involved in both of the games which have produced the most red cards this season (eight), and notably both of these matches have also seen two red cards. 

Formartine United's eight victories for the season has created a winning streak of eight games, while Fort William and Strathspey Thistle have now lost six on the bounce - the Jags as yet still to open their league goals account.

One fifth of the season's penalties have been scored by Cammy Keith, who moves ahead on to three for the season. Brora and Formartine meanwhile have also caught up with Wick on the clean sheets front, all three having recorded four shut-outs.

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Rattray Review - August: An incredible start

It has been a simply incredible start to the Highland League season with four teams coming flying out of the blocks, winning all five league games and maintaining that 100% record on cup duty too. Hats off to Wick Academy, Brora Rangers, Formartine United and Inverurie Locos on what has been a stunning start.

Wick have been scintillating, Brora have produced the most impressive set of league results given they have already won away from home against two teams who finished in the top three over the past two seasons, Inverurie Locos have stuck their noses up at the pundits and shown an impressive fighting spirit to pick up the points regardless of the circumstances.

However the Team of the Month for August has to be Formartine United. Having comfortably disposed of East Stirlingshire in the first round they went on to humble Elgin with a thumping 5-1 win at North Lodge Park. That, added to the 5 league wins and the Aberdeenshire Cup victories gives them the edge over the other members of the fantastic four.

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Matchday Summaries Saturday 31st August 2013

Just when it looked as if the top four were going to disband for the first time this season, Wick Academy and Inverurie Locos struck in the nick of time to both complete remarkable turnarounds and keep the pack of four at the top of the table six points clear on 15 points.

Locos and Wick both trailed against Huntly and Turriff United respectively, going into the last eight minutes. However, Sam Mackay and Lucasz Geruzel struck for the Scorries within two minutes, to take all three points back from the long trip home.

Meanwhile Locos' comeback was even later, with Neil Gauld cancelling out Andrzej Kleczkowski's early opener on 89 minutes, before substitute David Ross won the game for his side two minutes into stoppage time. Huntly defender Craig Dorrat was sent-off after the final whistle.

Meanwhile Brora Rangers recorded a stunning 3-0 win against the champions at Allan Park, with first-half goals from Andrew Greig, Richie Hart and Zander Sutherland maintaining their excellent start to the season. Formartine United beat Strathspey Thistle 3-0 with late goals from Craig McKeown and Joe Hamill.

Connor Gethins was Nairn's hat-trick hero in a 5-1 defeat of Fort William. Meanwhile nine-man Rothes were defeated 3-0 by Deveronvale at Princess Royal Park. 

Fraserburgh ended a run of three straight league defeats, coming back from behind to earn a point against Lossiemouth thanks to Graham Johnston's second-half goal. Keith and Clach also drew 1-1 at Kynoch Park, with Scott Graham's goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time cancelling out Calum Dingwall's opener, while Buckie Thistle defeated Forres Mechanics 2-0.

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Weekend Preview 31st August 2013: Bain returns to Cove on loan deal

 Cove Rangers have re-signed midfielder Clark Bain on a short-term loan deal from Inverurie Loco Works.

Bain originally left Allan Park to join Locos in 2010 having twice consecutively won the Highland League title with the Aberdeen outfit under John Sheran in 2008 and 2009.

However the 28 year-old handed in a transfer request at Harlaw Park earlier in the summer after three years with Locos, and Kevin Tindal has moved to secure his former player on a temporary basis.

Tindal believes Bain's title-winning experience will prove invaluable to his young side.

"He will certainly bring something to our squad, he will bring more experience than we have just now. Something we maybe need is an extra body with that experience.

"We have a few guys who have been over the course before, such as Roy McBain, Alan Redford and Eric Watson, but adding Clark to that will now hopefully take a bit more of the pressure off the young guys in the squad."

Starting at Allan Park, the weekend's team news is as follows.

Cove Rangers v Brora Rangers

Bain goes straight into Cove's squad for the visit of high-flying Brora. However Eric Watson will miss out after his red card against Buckie Thistle, Ryan Stott is out for a month with a cracked shin, while Scott Webster will also miss out.

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League Table

Rank Teams Played Points Current form
1 Cove Rangers 34 90 WWLWL
2 Formartine United 34 79 WWWWW
3 Inverurie Locos 34 78 WLWWW
4 Fraserburgh 34 73 LLWWW
5 Forres Mechanics 34 73 WWWWW
6 Brora Rangers 34 63 LWLWW
7 Buckie Thistle 34 51 LDDLW
8 Deveronvale 34 51 LWDWW
9 Nairn County 34 51 DWWLW
10 Rothes 34 49 LLWLW
11 Huntly 34 49 LLDWL
12 Wick Academy 34 46 DLLLL
13 Clachnacuddin 34 41 LLWLD
14 Turriff United 34 37 WLLWL
15 Keith 34 16 LDWLD
16 Lossiemouth 34 15 LLDLL
17 Strathspey Thistle 34 14 LLDLL
18 Fort William 34 5 DLLLD

Recent Results

12-05-2018 14:00 - SPFL Pyramid Play-off Final
Cowdenbeath 3 : 2 Cove Rangers
05-05-2018 15:00 - SHFL Week 39
Turriff United 0 : 2 Brora Rangers
05-05-2018 15:00 - SPFL Pyramid Play-off Final
Cove Rangers 0 : 0 Cowdenbeath
02-05-2018 20:00 - SHFL Week 38
Fort William 3 : 3 Keith
01-05-2018 19:45 - SPFL Pyramid Play-Off
Spartans 2 : 1 Cove Rangers
28-04-2018 15:00 - SHFL Week 38
Strathspey Thistle 0 : 7 Brora Rangers
Formartine United 2 : 1 Wick Academy
Fort William 3 : 7 Turriff United
28-04-2018 15:00 - SPFL Pyramid Play-Off
Cove Rangers 4 : 0 Spartans
25-04-2018 20:00 - SHFL Week 37
Deveronvale 5 : 0 Fort William
Rothes 3 : 1 Brora Rangers
24-04-2018 20:00 - SHFL Week 37
Strathspey Thistle 1 : 4 Fraserburgh
Cove Rangers 0 : 3 Nairn County
21-04-2018 15:00 - SHFL Week 37
Forres Mechanics 5 : 0 Lossiemouth
Rothes 0 : 1 Fraserburgh
Wick Academy 1 : 3 Cove Rangers
Brora Rangers 1 : 0 Huntly
Deveronvale 2 : 1 Nairn County

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