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Skinner's Predictions Panel (2013-14) 7th: Forres Mechanics

The pre-season predictions have now firmly reached the top half of the table, and as we close in on Saturday's kick-off a full table of predictions from our pundits is nearing. reporter Andy Skinner is first to put forward his tip for 7th place.

7th Place: Forres Mechanics 

Last Season: Prediction: 4th Actual: 9th     

P 34 W 16 D 7 L 11 GD 29 Pts 55   

Post Season Positives: 
Stability. Forres have retained the bulk of their squad, just as they did last summer, meaning their side still has the same face as that which won the title a year ago. The return from injury of Lee Fraser to that comes as a huge morale boost to everyone at the club. 

Post Season Negatives: 
The drop in the table from the championship-winning campaign. There were reasons for it, with Mechanics having several injuries throughout the campaign, but Charlie Rowley will be aiming to prove that the squad he has is still capable of being right in amongst it. 

Key Man: 
Lee Fraser. While it's important not to put too much pressure on his young shoulders upon return, the difference he was making to the side in the final few games of last season was telling. He'll be more hungry than ever to make up for lost time, and comes into the side well prepared after a run in the team at the tail end of last campaign coming before a full pre-season. 

Prediction 2013-2014: 
Forres can rightfully lay claim to one of the strongest starting elevens' in the league when everybody is fit. Charlie has added carefully to his squad, with two promising Inverness City players coming in to increase his options. There will be a huge desire at Mosset Park to improve upon last season. While I think they will, the fierce competition for places in and around the top half of the table can mean improvement isn't always rewarded as hoped. A rise by two places, and edged out by the narrowest margins by the side directly above them. 7th 


AJG Parcels North of Scotland Cup: 30th July 2013

Brora Rangers defeated Inverness Caley Thistle 3-0 on spot-kicks, following a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes at Dudgeon Park.

Davie Kirkwood's men now face a trip to face Thurso in the second round.

The Cattachs took the lead on 40 minutes, as Zander Sutherland's drilled low shot beat Caley Jags stopper Cameron Mackay.

However the lead lasted just three minutes, as Norwegian U21 internationalist Torbjørn Agdestein knocked the ball past Joe Malin.


Skinner's Predictions Panel (2013-14) 8th: Deveronvale

Moving into 8th place, there is an uncharacteristic sense of agreement between our pundits as three of the four tip Deveronvale for the position. It all begins with reporter Andy Skinner. 

8th Place: Deveronvale  

Last Season: Prediction: 11th Actual: 7th     

P 34 W 17 D 7 L 10 GD 21 Pts 58   

Post Season Positives: 
Vale have added a good blend of players, with youngsters Ross Aitken and Craig Simpson arriving alongside the experience of Shawn Scott and Kevin Duguid. Overall, for the players to have a settled summer without the uncertainty of managerial change should be considered a positive. A year down the line, Charlie Charlesworth will have a good idea of how the club's targets can be met.   

Post Season Negatives: 
After an excellent start under Charlie last season, Vale fell away somewhat after the new year. Charlie may have preferred it to be the other way round in order to carry momentum into the new season. However, the period of reflection may be just what Charlie needed.   

Key Man: 
Graeme Watt. A hugely reliable player for Charlie. He contributed a great deal for Charlie in his first season as both a scorer and a provider for others, as well as being carrying out his duties as vice-captain.    

Prediction 2013-2014: 
We are now at the stage in the table where small margins can separate several teams. Although Vale have a few players who have tasted Highland League title success before, comparatively I think they're still in the early stages of manufacturing a side capable of winning the title. As Cove showed last season, and Forres before them, it takes a number of years to get to that stage. While I think the long-term signs are definitely there for Vale under Charlie, perseverance will be the key as they continue to build. 8th 


Skinner's Predictions Panel (2013-14) 9th: Inverurie Locos

As the pundits move into the top half of the league, reporter Andy Skinner re-positions a side both he and John Innes had tipped to be title winners last season. 

9th Place: Inverurie Loco Works 

Last Season: Prediction: 2nd Actual: 10th     

P 34 W 16 D 5 L 13 GD 11 Pts 53   

Post Season Positives: 
The prospect of the vastly experienced Martin Bavidge teaming up with Neil Gauld, who himself is fresh from his most successful season on a personal level. It's a strikeforce that will excite Locos fans, on paper it is certainly among the best in the league. 

Post Season Negatives: 
The potential loss of Clark Bain will be hugely felt, with the former Cove Rangers midfielder and two-time Highland League title winner requesting a transfer from Harlaw Park. Bain is undoubtedly one of the best midfield players in the Highland League.

Key Man: 
Martin Bavidge. His presence and experience and up front could help bring on Neil Gauld even more, while the former Peterhead is unlikely to be far from the goal trail himself.    

Prediction 2013-2014: 
Last season was a disappointing one for Locos, without being disastrous by any means. Things would have looked entirely different had the Breedon Aggregates Highland League Cup Final gone the other way in spite of the league position being lower than had been predicted through these channels - two of our pundits (myself included) tipped Locos to break their Highland League duck last season. While I think Locos will improve, I think as with many sides with a heavy flow of youth coming through they will need to be patient. It's customary to predict which sides will win silverware outside of the domestic league campaign, and I think Locos may just come good in this area. 9th


Skinner's Predictions Panel (2013-14) 10th: Clachnacuddin

The pre-season predictions continue as the pundits now assess who will finish in 10th place, starting with reporter Andy Skinner.

10th Place: Clachnacuddin 

Last Season: Prediction: 12th Actual: 5th     

P 34 W 21 D 3 L 10 GD 19 Pts 66   

Post Season Positives:
Ian Polworth was commended for his achievements with the Manager of the Year prize, as voted for by his fellow managers. Clach were genuine title contenders until the last few weeks of the season, which is a tremendous achievement given where Clach have come from in such a short time. The reason for it was Polworth building up a young, hard-working side, and so the recognition he earned was deserved and the culmination of his efforts in galvanising the club. 

Post Season Negatives:      

Quite a bare category for the Lilywhites. Potentially their dip in form towards the end of last season was a sign that teams had finally gotten to grips with just how serious a threat Clach were.

Key Man:
Scott Graham. Has proven to be a real livewire up front. Will be worth plenty goals while also aiming to bring new striker Kyle White into play.

Prediction 2013-2014:
While not expecting much to drop in Clach's performances, there's a consideration that other teams could be more alert to the danger Clach pose. The addition of three promising youngsters from Caley Thistle offers hope of Clach expanding on the eye-pleasing product they have already established at Grant Street Park. They will continue to consolidate stability, but might just get caught up in that congested mid-table area. 10th


Vale beaten by young Arabs

It was to be Dundee United's youngsters that came out on top against Vale winning 4-1, their third win over Highland League opposition after beating Buckie Thistle and Fraserburgh beforehand.

United took the lead in the 8th minute after Aiden Connolly's through ball opened up the Vale defence and found Dale Hilson who produced a wonderful chip over Darren McConnachie.


Fort William 1-0 Muir of Ord Rovers

Fort William will face the winner of Tuesday’s tie between Nairn County and Strathspey Thistle, after Darren Quigg’s winner gave them a 1-0 success at home to Muir of Ord Rovers.

The first chance arrived for the hosts on 23 minutes, as Sandy Stephen in the Muir of Ord goal got down well to his right to deny Andy Maclean’s 18 yard effort.


Played Wins Draw Lost GD Points
Brora Rangers
Brora Rangers 31 28 2 1 102 86
Inverurie Locos
Inverurie Locos 31 23 4 4 59 73
Nairn County
Nairn County 32 22 3 7 43 69
Formartine United
Formartine United 30 21 4 5 51 67
Fraserburgh 32 21 2 9 40 65
Deveronvale 32 18 5 9 19 59
Forres Mechanics
Forres Mechanics 32 15 5 12 18 50
Buckie Thistle
Buckie Thistle 31 13 9 9 8 48
Wick Academy
Wick Academy 30 13 7 10 25 46
Cove Rangers
Cove Rangers 29 12 6 11 19 42
Clachnacuddin 31 12 6 13 1 42
Turriff United
Turriff United 31 12 4 15 2 40
Huntly 33 9 7 17 -27 34
Keith 31 8 2 21 -47 26
Lossiemouth 33 4 8 21 -56 20
Strathspey Thistle
Strathspey Thistle 32 3 3 26 -79 12
Rothes 32 3 3 26 -96 12
Fort William
Fort William 27 1 4 22 -82 7

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League Cup SF - 19-04-2014 15:00
Clachnacuddin - : - Lossiemouth
Inverurie Locos - : - Buckie Thistle
SHFL Week 38 - 19-04-2014 15:00
Formartine United - : - Wick Academy
Fort William - : - Cove Rangers
Keith - : - Fraserburgh
Rothes - : - Nairn County
SHFL Week 39 - 23-04-2014 20:00
Forres Mechanics - : - Formartine United
Fort William - : - Brora Rangers
Inverurie Locos - : - Cove Rangers
Turriff United - : - Buckie Thistle
SHFL Week 39 - 26-04-2014 14:00
Inverurie Locos - : - Forres Mechanics
SHFL Week 39 - 26-04-2014 15:00
Buckie Thistle - : - Deveronvale
Cove Rangers - : - Clachnacuddin
Formartine United - : - Nairn County
Fort William - : - Huntly
Fraserburgh - : - Strathspey Thistle
Turriff United - : - Brora Rangers
Wick Academy - : - Rothes
SHFL Week 40 - 30-04-2014 20:00
Fort William - : - Keith
SHFL Week 40 - 03-05-2014 15:00
Brora Rangers - : - Inverurie Locos
Clachnacuddin - : - Formartine United
Cove Rangers - : - Lossiemouth
Deveronvale - : - Buckie Thistle
Fort William - : - Wick Academy
Keith - : - Turriff United
League Cup Final - 10-05-2014 15:00
TBC - : - TBC 2
SHFL Week 41 - 10-05-2014 15:00
Cove Rangers - : - Fort William
Wick Academy - : - Strathspey Thistle

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Recent Results

SHFL Week 38 - 16-04-2014 20:00
Buckie Thistle 5 : 0 Keith
Inverurie Locos 3 : 1 Deveronvale
SHFL Week 37 - 12-04-2014 15:00
Strathspey Thistle 0 : 1 Keith
Formartine United 2 : 1 Cove Rangers
Turriff United 0 : 0 Forres Mechanics
Huntly 0 : 6 Brora Rangers
Inverurie Locos 7 : 0 Wick Academy
Nairn County 1 : 0 Buckie Thistle
Clachnacuddin 1 : 1 Fraserburgh
Deveronvale 2 : 0 Fort William
SHFL Week 37 - 12-04-2014 14:00
Rothes 1 : 1 Lossiemouth
SHFL Week 37 - 09-04-2014 20:00
Forres Mechanics 1 : 2 Inverurie Locos
Keith 4 : 1 Cove Rangers
Nairn County 2 : 3 Fraserburgh
Rothes 1 : 2 Deveronvale

Press and Journal Highland League Table (2013-14)

Played Wins Draw Lost GD Points
1 Brora Rangers 31 28 2 1 102 86
2 Inverurie Locos 31 23 4 4 59 73
3 Nairn County 32 22 3 7 43 69
4 Formartine United 30 21 4 5 51 67
5 Fraserburgh 32 21 2 9 40 65
6 Deveronvale 32 18 5 9 19 59
7 Forres Mechanics 32 15 5 12 18 50
8 Buckie Thistle 31 13 9 9 8 48
9 Wick Academy 30 13 7 10 25 46
10 Cove Rangers 29 12 6 11 19 42
11 Clachnacuddin 31 12 6 13 1 42
12 Turriff United 31 12 4 15 2 40
13 Huntly 33 9 7 17 -27 34
14 Keith 31 8 2 21 -47 26
15 Lossiemouth 33 4 8 21 -56 20
16 Strathspey Thistle 32 3 3 26 -79 12
17 Rothes 32 3 3 26 -96 12
18 Fort William 27 1 4 22 -82 7

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