Game: St Duthus FC v Halkirk United FC (North Caledonian Cup Semi Final)
Date: Saturday, February 3rd, 2018
Venue: The Links Playing Fields, Tain
Referee: Stephen McDade
Assistant referees: Daniel Jack & James McMillan
AT the third time of asking, St Duthus will welcome Halkirk United to the Links tomorrow, to contest the semi final of the North Caledonian Cup. A place in the final awaits the winner, to meet the victor in the other semi final between Thurso and Golspie.
It's been a busy week for the Saints on the back of their derby game against Invergordon last week. A bounce game on Monday night saw them play the first team of Highland Football League side Brora Rangers, netting two goals through Will Ross and Scott Miller while the Cattachs offered six in reply. They then trained again on Thursday in good numbers, rounding off their preparation for Saturday's game.
Manager Stuart Ross confirmed a handful of absences for the Saints ahead of the game, with Martyn Farquhar, Glenn Fell and Barry Kenny all expected to miss out due to work commitments. Ewan Ross though, who has recovered from a skull fracture, could be back in contention. The gaffer was in bouyant mood today.
We've been waiting for this one for a few weeks now, and as you'd expect the boys are buzzing for it. It's a good opportunity with home advantage to hopefully make a cup final and turn our season around. Halkirk can't be taken lightly and we have made sure we've put in the necessary preparation. Come 1pm on Saturday, we'll be ready to go.
Not much is known about the availability of the Halkirk squad. A brief upturn in form occurred for the Anglers towards the end of 2017, but poor weather has seen them play just three games in the last two months. Most recently, they suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to Inverness Athletic in the league, having rounded off 2017 with a 5-2 win over Nairn's U20s.
The game kicks off at 1pm and as ever we will have our tea hut open for business, selling hot food, teas, coffees, snacks and a full colour match programme.