Game: Halkirk United FC v St Duthus FC (League)
Date: Saturday, November 19th, 2016
Venue: Morrison Park, Halkirk
CLOSE to three weeks have passed since St Duthus last kicked a ball in a competitive game. This weekend, Stuart and the boys will travel to Morrison Park in Halkirk for a match with the North Caledonian League champions, in what will be the first of the Saints' return fixtures, as they begin the second half of their league campaign.
Despite the long break, the squad hasn't been without setbacks. The ever present John Skinner has suffered an injury and will be a major doubt for Saturday, and Jamie Skinner also remains sidelined with a back injury. That said, the addition of trialist Alan Davis, who signed this week, gives Stuart and his coaching staff some new options for the trip to Caithness.
Now seven games into the league campaign, manager Stuart Ross is looking for a change of pace.
The squad is buzzing to get back at it. The boys have been training hard and continue to turn out in great numbers which is always encouraging. Now in the second half of the season, we will set some new targets - one being that we're looking for consistency in team selection and that will hopefully make a difference on the park. It's been very hard to get the same team out on the park from one game to the next during this first half of the season, although given it's our first season we aren't too disheartened with the points we have on the board.
As far as Halkirk go, we've beaten them down here on our own patch, but they are still the league champions at the end of the day, and league champions for a reason, so we fully expect a stern test up the road. We're all very much looking forward to it. It's in the second half of the season where we must aim for continuity and look to put some more points on the board.
Halkirk, too, will be looking for an upturn in form, having stuttered during their opening six league games, and sitting on equal points with St Duthus, they will surely look to a game on their home turf as a chance to avenge their 3-0 loss in October. The Saints, if they win, will go three clear of Halkirk and return to the top half of the table.