Match Preview: St Duthus v Alness

Game: St Duthus FC v Alness United FC (North Caledonian League)
Date: Saturday, January 5th, 2019
Kick-off: 1pm
Venue: Grant Park, Tain
Weather: Cloudy (4°)
Referee: Stephen McDade
Assistant referees: TBC

A NEW year awaits - and a new home - as St Duthus FC look to begin 2019 with a win against in-form Easter Ross rivals Alness United. The game will be played "across the bridge" at Grant Park as the Saints return to their "Second Eleven" home for the first time since 2005.

Saints will go into the match against the North Caley's pacesetters with a near full squad to choose from. Lewis Ross and Barry Kenny are the most notable absentees, as both will miss out due to work commitments while Ben Bruce still faces a short term recovery from injury before he can make his debut. It is expected that a new trialist will also be available for selection.

St Duthus will welcome an Alness United side who have been playing well despite ending the year in defeat to Inverness Athletic. Winners of the Football Times Cup and finalists in the North Caledonian Cup, United have lost just one game all season and will take some toppling tomorrow. Recent discipline hasn't been great though, with messrs Kraig Vass, Scott Macangus and Mikey Rae all set to serve suspensions in tomorrow's match. Rae will be a particularly big miss for Alness having netted eight goals for his side this season.

Manager Stuart Ross is aiming to start 2019 on a high following an up-tempo festive break.

"The lengthy break over Christmas has been a break from competitive matches, but the boys have been kept active with a friendly and regular training to keep everyone ticking over and we're happy with the fitness levels. We will be looking to continue our good form in this game. We have the belief that if we turn up with the right attitude and fight for each other, playing the same football we ended 2018 playing, then we should be capable of matching Alness, if not more."

The game kicks off at 1pm and will be preceded by the teams being played onto the park by highly regarded local piper Daniel Murray. As we await a temporary facility being installed, there will be unfortunately be no refreshments available at tomorrow's game - however the match day programme will still be on sale, and raffle tickets wil be available.

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