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Wood targets the trophy he believes Formartine deserve

If Formartine United are to emerge triumphant from Saturday’s Breedon Highland League Cup Final against Cove Rangers at Bellslea it’s expected their most experienced players will have played a huge contribution.

One of their most consistent performers since he joined the club in May 2015 has been Garry Wood, who arrived with the reputation as a top goalscorer having bagged 133 goals in two spells at Montrose.

He started his career with Elgin City before scoring an SPL goal for Inverness Caley Thistle in October 2008 and also netting 14 goals for Ross County.

However, Formartine boss Kris Hunter eventually converted Wood to a centre-back role where he has shone alongside a number of different partners, most recently Russell McBride on his old stomping ground in their 1-0 win last weekend.

That result sets Formartine up for trying to get the better of a Cove side who have been a bogey team for them as Wood notes.

He said: “Cove are a good consistent side, there’s no getting away that they’ve been probably the best Highland League side over the past two years.

“They have match winners so we know it will be a tough game and all about who turns up on the day.

“Ideally we want to win it in regulation time but if it goes to extra-time and penalties we’ll want to achieve the win however it comes. We already went to extra-time earlier in the competition against Turriff.”

Wood believes Saturday’s dress rehearsal at the Fraserburgh ground may well prove to be important, as will keeping it tight at the back again.

He said: “It was good to get a big league game there ahead of the final as it got us used to the pitch, having picked up a hard-earned win is a good result for us and excellent preparation.

“I’ve played at the back for quite a few games now since returning from injury and we’ve had several clean sheets.

“That’s not just down to me, it’s due to the team as a whole. We have been really solid defensively with the exception of the five-goal defeat away at Brora. That in my opinion was a freak result.

“Saturday is a chance for us to get our hands on silverware which is what this club deserves.”

Full Time scores and scorers: Saturday 1st April

Highland League 

Buckie Thistle 6-0 Keith 

Buckie: Chris Angus (29), John Macleod (52, 82), Sam Urquhart (69), Kevin Fraser (80), Lewis Mackinnon (90) 

Keith: 

Cove Rangers 0-0 Turriff Utd 

Deveronvale 5-1 Clach 

Vale: James McLaren (4, 15, 32), Paul Sutherland (72), Robert Scott (78)  

Clach: Liam Shewan (65) 

Forres Mechanics 4-2 Lossiemouth 

Forres: Graham Fraser (14, 45, 50), Alan Pollock (17) 

Lossie: Martin Charlesworth (22), Graeme Grant (30 og) 

Fort William 1-4 Inverurie Locos 

Fort: Scott Davidson (35) 

Locos: Andy Hunter (26, 62, 68, 78) 

Fraserburgh 0-1 Formartine Utd 

Fraserburgh: 

Formartine: Jamie Masson (20) 

Nairn County 2-1 Huntly 

Nairn: Gary Kerr (4), Wayne Mackintosh (56)  

Huntly: Glenn Murison (52) 

Wick Academy 1-1 Rothes  

Wick: James Pickles (67) 

Rothes: Gordon McNab (29)  

North of Scotland Cup First Round 

Tain St Duthus 0-9 Brora Rangers  

Brora: Kyle Macleod (26), Steven Ross (52, 56, 89), Andrew Greig (54, 62), Scott Graham (72), John Skinner (77 og), Zander Sutherland (87)

North of Scotland fixture times confirmed

The first round ties of this season's Menzies Distribution North of Scotland Cup will be played on the following dates:

Saturday 1st April: Tain St Duthus v Brora Rangers (3pm)

Saturday 8th April: Fort William v Lossiemouth (3pm)

Saturday 8th April: Strathspey Thistle v Nairn (3pm)

Wednesday 19th April: Rothes v Wick Academy (8pm)

Saturday 22nd April: Forres Mechancis V Clachnacuddin (3pm)

Team news for matches on Saturday 1st April

Highland League

Buckie Thistle v Keith

Buckie will need to return to winning ways against Keith tomorrow to get their title challenge back on track. Kai Ross won't feature as he's on loan to Buckie Rovers, while Craig Dorrat and Andrew Skinner are both out injured.

Keith were hit for six against Fraserburgh a fortnight ago, new signing Ross Anderson could feature after signing for the club in a three-year deal during the week.

Cove Rangers v Turriff Utd
Cove are now in pole position at the top and four wins from their last four games will see them retain their title. Johnny Smith and Dean Lawrie are their only absentees for the visit of Turriff to Harlaw Park.

Turriff will be without David Ross due to work commitments, while Chris Herd and Cammy Bowden are both doubtful and will have late fitness tests.

Deveronvale v Clach
Steven Davidson is suspended and misses the visit of Clach to Princess Royal Park. New signings Kyle Gauld and Robert Scott could be involved after joining the club from Buckie this week.

Clach played well in defeat to Cove in midweek and they remain without Martin Callum, Ian Penwright, Colin Maclean, Ryan Macdonald, Paul Smith, Stuart Leslie and John Campbell for the trip to Banff. Blair Lawrie and Ross MacKillop return to the squad.

Forres Mechanics v Lossiemouth
Forres are on a superb run of form and will hope to continue that at home to Lossiemouth. Martin Groat misses out through suspension and goalkeeper Stuart Knight is away to Sweden with work. Alan Pollock returns to the squad.

Lossie have only 13 first team players available for various reasons, so have called in three youngsters from their under-20 and under-17 squads.

Read more ...

Audio Inverviews: Cove, Clach, Formartine, Turriff

Cove fought back from 2-0 down to beat Clach 3-2 and go top of the Highland League for the first time this season.

After the game, reporter John Innes spoke to managers from both sides. Listen to the interviews below.

Cove boss John Sheran

 

Clach manager Iain Polworth

 

There was another five-goal thriller at North Lodge Park as Formartine beat Turriff 3-2.

After the game, reporter Lewis Gordon was on hand to conduct interviews with representatives from both sides. Listen to the interviews below.

Formartine coach Jerry O'Driscoll

 

Turriff manager Ross Jack

 

Formartine forward Jamie Masson

 

Cowie, Gauld and Scott among Highland League players on move

There has been a flurry of transfer activity in the Highland League this week, including Craig Cowie moving to Buckie from Deveronvale on a three-year deal.

The midfielder has been on-loan at Victoria Park for part of this season.

Heading in the opposite direction are Kyle Gauld and Robert Scott.

Elsewhere, Keith have signed Ross Anderson from Inverurie Locos on a three-year deal.

Rothes have secured the services of Cameron Lisle on-loan from Brora for the rest of the season.

Scott Maclean has moved to the Speysiders from Clach on a one-year deal.

Scott Davidson has left Mackessack Park and decided to play for junior team Islavale.

Meanwhile, having turned 40 last week, Huntly forward Dennis Wyness isn’t planning on hanging up his boots just yet. 

After finalising a one-year contract extension, the former Aberdeen, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Hearts forward is pleased to extend his stay at Christie Park until 2018.

He said: “I’ve signed another year and next season could possibly be my last. You take it season by season as you get to this age.”

Lastly, Scott Miller will move to Turriff United when his deal with Lossiemouth expires in the summer.

Full Time scores and scorers: Wednesday 29th March

Cove Rangers 3-2 Clach 

Cove: Blair Yule (45+1, 52), Connor Scully (47) 

Clach: James Beeston (20), Fraser Robertson (23) 

Formartine Utd 3-2 Turriff Utd 

Formartine: Jamie Masson (9, 26), Neil Gauld (83) 

Turriff: Lewis Davidson (17), Cammy Bowden (47) 

Wick Academy 3-0 Strathspey Thistle 

Wick: Steven Anderson (49, 90+2), Andrew Hardwick (62)

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Latest Results

19-08-2017 15:00 - SHFL Week 4
Lossiemouth 3 : 2 Strathspey Thistle
Buckie Thistle 3 : 0 Formartine United
Rothes 2 : 2 Forres Mechanics
Clachnacuddin 0 : 0 Wick Academy
Turriff United 1 : 2 Nairn County
Cove Rangers 1 : 1 Fraserburgh
Deveronvale 4 : 1 Keith
Huntly 4 : 0 Fort William
Brora Rangers 1 : 2 Inverurie Locos
15-08-2017 20:00 - IRN-BRU Cup 1st Round North
Buckie Thistle 2 : 1 Brechin City
15-08-2017 19:45 - IRN-BRU Cup 1st Round North
Formartine United 2 : 3 Hearts U20
Raith Rovers 3 : 0 Brora Rangers
Stenhousemuir 0 : 2 Cove Rangers
12-08-2017 15:00 - SHFL Week 3
Inverurie Locos 1 : 2 Cove Rangers
Keith 3 : 5 Forres Mechanics

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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