Game: Alness United FC v St Duthus FC (Macleod & MacCallum North Caledonian League)
Date: Wednesday, December 20th, 2017
Venue: Highland Football Academy 3G, Dingwall
Referee: Gordon Seago
Assistant referees: Edward Nichol & Andrew Bannerman
THE FINAL Macleod & MacCallum North Caledonian League game of 2017 will be played this evening at the Highland Football Academy in Dingwall, as the Saints lock horns with Alness United in a bid to record a winning end to the year.
Postponements have played havoc with the fixture schedule of late, meaning that gametime and any momentum to be achieved has been at a premium. The Saints will look to reshape tonight, with several personnel changes likely due to absences, following their 2-0 defeat to Orkney over a fortnight ago. The winter weather and the colds and bugs that come with it have left a handful unavailable for tonight's game, although the Saints will be pleased that Jon Campbell is once again available following a lengthy layoff due to injury.
Manager Stuart Ross is keen to the end 2017 on a high.
We were delighted to accept the offer made by Tommy Regan to get this game played. We've suffered a few cancellations recently and it would be good to get a game, albeit on the astro surface in Dingwall. Alness will be a stern test. They're always well organised and well drilled - but we've got guys ourselves who are hungry for game time and looking to get back to winning ways. Although it's very close to Christmas, they're all buzzing for a game. Hopefully this match will give us the platform we need to end the year on a high note and put us on a good footing for our return in the new year.
Alness United have suffered mixed fortunes so far this season, not having travelled well, and most notably have been on the receiving end of two 10-0 defeats, at the hands of both Orkney and Golspie Sutherland. They have, however, been otherwise consistent and in doing so Tommy Regan's men have recorded key victories over Halkirk United, Invergordon and Bunillidh Thistle, while avoiding defeat to every team in the bottom half of the table -- in the league campaign at least. A notable absentee for Alness will be midfielder Craig Munro, who is serving the remainder a two game suspension.
When last the teams met, a penalty shoot-out was required for St Duthus to emerge as the victors, following a closely fought 1-1 draw at Dalmore Park in the Quarter Final of the Football Times Cup. The Saints will be hoping they can take the spoils in 90 minutes this time around.
The game kicks off under the lights at the Highland Football Academy all-weather pitch in Dingwall at 8:10pm.