Vikings will look to shake off slow start as they take on revitalised Bonar
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Thurso manager Stevie Reid is hoping his team can shake off their slow start to the season when they meet Bonar Bridge in a Football Times Cup first-round tie at the Dammies this weekend.
The Vikings lost to Halkirk United and Loch Ness in their opening two North Caledonian League fixtures and have been short of numbers – but some key players are close to returning.
Bonar have been revitalised this term. The Sutherland outfit twice came from behind to beat St Duthus 3-2 last Saturday, following a remarkable fightback from four goals down to draw 4-4 at Alness the previous weekend.
“They had a great result last week," Reid said. "We don't know much about them but we'd like to get a win under our belts.
“It has been a disappointing start to the season for us and we've still got a few injury concerns. Innes Mackintosh is struggling – he's got a bit of an Achilles problem. He didn't train last week and he's not training again this week.
"It totally upsets the balance because we're short of numbers, and left-sided players especially. Obviously Shane Kennedy is out for the foreseeable future.
“But we've got Scott Bell coming back to training now, and a few other bodies. I'm hoping James McLean will come through training, and hopefully Luke Manson and Marc Macgregor will be back this week as well.
"Luke will play anywhere for us – he will slot in and do whatever he's asked. He is just a good lad to have.
"It's just a matter of building and keeping going. We are unfortunately slow starters. I don't know why that is, but we are.
“No games are easy. If you're not up and at it properly you're going to pay the price, and that has definitely been the case with us in the first two games. It's onwards and upwards.”
Meanwhile, Loch Ness will be leaving Inverness and relocating to Fortrose later this month after being unable to secure a ground in the Highland capital.
Fixtures for Saturday (2pm) – Football Times Cup, first round: Golspie v Inverness Athletic; Invergordon v Alness United; St Duthus v Halkirk United; Thurso v Bonar Bridge. North Caledonian League: Loch Ness v Orkney.