Match Preview: Alness v St Duthus

Game: Alness United FC v St Duthus FC (Macleod & MacCallum North Caledonian League)
Saturday, September 15th, 2018
Culbokie Park, Culbokie
Molly Alexander
Assistant referees:
Paul Grant & Barry Stuart

CULBOKIE is the venue for tomorrow's Macleod & MacCallum league meeting between Alness United and St Duthus in what will go down in the fixture list as a home game for Alness. The Saints will have their entire focus on bouncing back from last weekend's defeat to Invergordon, but a stern test is expected from a much changed Alness United.

Manager Stuart Ross is acutely aware of the team's performances this season thus far, as defensive frailties showed last week in particular.

The results have been a mixed bag in our two opening games of the new season. Although we were disappointed to exit the Football Times Cup at the first hurdle we were really encouraged by the performance, certainly offensively, where we looked so dangerous going forward. On to last week, our first meeting with our neighbours Invergordon was forgettable and for large parts I thought we were poor. This weekend we will be looking to improve the performance levels and certainly shore things up at the back. We go to Culbokie in high spirits and on the back of a high tempo physical training session on Wednesday, the boys have flushed the derby defeat right out the systems, have dusted themselves down and are ready for the challenge ahead.

Making his debut in goal for St Duthus will be former Strathspey Thistle goalkeeper Alister Matheson who signed for the club last week, while messrs Paul Beaton and Sam Beeston are also expected to return to the squad following absence. Saints shall be without Rory Patience (ankle) and Kyle Stewart (hand) who are still recovering from injury, while Adam MacDonald's long term recovery is still ongoing. The returns of experienced players Liam Rostock and Lewis Ross will also no doubt be a boost.

Alness United are expected to be a formidable prospect, having already secured a comfortable win this season against Halkirk United on opening day. Under the management of Kraig Vass, United have strengthened considerably and will no doubt have designs on success this season.

The game kicks off at 2.30pm at Culbokie Park.

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