Published: 21/02/2013 02:00 - Updated: 21/02/2013 07:28

Nairn injury fears as Keith double looms

NAIRN County could be missing a number of important players for the first of two consecutive Highland League games against Keith.

The division's fourth-placed team's home fixture against Strathspey Thistle last night (Wednesday) was called off due to a frozen pitch.

Now, this Saturday sees the first of two meetings with the Maroons.

Injuries have been piling up within the Station Park squad, with Paul MacLeod and Wayne Mackintosh called in for their first starts for a while in County's thrilling 3-2 derby win against Clach at Station Park at the weekend.

John Cameron's double, along with a goal from Robbie Duncanson, who passed a late fitness test, had Nairn cruising at 3-0. Scott Graham then hauled the Lilywhites back into the contest before the break. But despite their second half pressure, a goal from Clach's Gordon Morrison came too late for the Inverness team to make a winning impression.

Nairn manager Les Fridge feels that his side were far from at their strongest, so he was happy to take the win.

He said: "We'll play a lot better and lose so I was delighted to get a win against a side who were fourth in the table on Saturday morning on merit.

"We were without Michael Morrison, Gregg Main and Steven Ellis. Robbie Duncanson only just passed a late fitness test and he was replaced later on with Craig MacMillan, so he's now a doubt.

"Paul MacLeod and Wayne Mackintosh made their returns to the team after being on the sidelines, but (keeper) Callum Donaldson picked up an injury.

"So, we have a number of players out at a time when we're playing two games per week, which is not ideal, but it gives others a chance to come in and stake their claims. Those injured last weekend could be doubts for Saturday.

He added: "We got ourselves into a comfortable position against Clach, but then took the foot off the pedal and conceded a soft goal before half-time.

"That gave them a bit of momentum, but we dug in and showed a different side to our game and their second goal came too late on to make a difference. It was a good three points for us."

Despite their lofty league position, the Nairn boss added: "We've not even played half our fixtures yet, so all it takes is for any team positioned in the top 10 to win three or four games then they'll be in the mix.

"Saturday's game at Keith is the first of a double header. We have yet to play them (as their earlier game was postponed), but they had a fine 3-2 win at Fraserburgh, so that's another really tough one for us, especially with several players struggling."

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