Fraserburgh Football Club will, this Saturday, play host to Rothes when the sides meet in the Highland League for the first time this season.
Having yet to play each other this campaign, the fixture will perhaps throw an unknown at a Broch side that is missing the likes of Marc Dickson and Ryan Christie in the heart of its defence.
For Rothes, it will be a chance to gain ground on fellow strugglers Lossiemouth. Having the worst goal difference in the Highland League this season, -80, the visitors will be hoping that the impressive form of Scott Barbour and PA Bruce, respectively, will cool - if only for 90 minutes.
Rothes have been on a sorry run of form since their last recorded win, a 5-2 demolition of Strathspey Thistle on January 4.
Since then, the Speysiders have not won a point and, in the process, shipped 25 goals in six games, their biggest defeat from those games coming against Huntly on February 8: a 6-0 loss.
In contrast, Fraserburgh have only conceded 10 goals since January 4. Supporters will take heart, then, that, should the game come down to who has the strongest defence, at least on paper, the Burgh will come out on top.
Seasoned fans, however, will know that ties against the League’s supposed ‘bottom clubs’ are rarely easy.
In February, a game against Strathspey Thistle looked likely to see the Burgh drop points until a second-half winner from Willie West finally finished off the second-bottom club.
Last season, however, Fraserburgh recorded two solid wins against this Saturday’s opposition, beating them 5-1 at home through Bryan Hay, Ryan Christie, Graham Johnston, Barbour, and West goals before, again, securing a win with a Barbour brace at Mackessack Park.
Should the weather hold, Rothes are scheduled to make the trip to Fraserburgh on Saturday, March 8.
Kick-off for the game, at Bellslea Park, is 3pm. Mid-week fixtures will break up the calendar until Fraserburgh’s next Saturday game on March 15. On March 12, Fraserburgh will host Buckie Thistle at 8pm.