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Nairn County were happy to keep playing during lockdown

By Will Clark

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NAIRN County say they would have been happy to continue playing this season, if the Highland League and Scottish Cup was not stopped due to lockdown.

Nairn County v Inverurie Locos Jan 2020..Glenn Main getting the ball away from the Nairn side of the pitch..Picture: James MacKenzie..
Nairn County v Inverurie Locos Jan 2020..Glenn Main getting the ball away from the Nairn side of the pitch..Picture: James MacKenzie..

However, they have accepted the decision by the Scottish Football Association to suspend both competitions during January.

The Scottish FA confirmed yesterday that all football competitions in Scotland, with the exception of the Premiership and Championship, have been suspended for three weeks.

It means all football below the second tier in Scotland will not take place until at least February.

Nairn County were due to face Montrose in the Scottish Cup second round at Station Park last Wendnesday, with the winners facing Highland League outfit Fraserburgh in the third round.

But all Scottish Cup matches have been postponed until further notice as talks will take place regarding the rest of the season in the next few weeks.

Nairn County chairman Donald Matheson said manager Ronnie Sharp and his players told the club before the announcement they would be happy to continue playing this season.

However, the club says they accepted the decision made by the Scottish Football Association and will take part in discussions with the Highland League about what happens for the rest of the campaign.

“Our manager was happy to continue playing and the players were relatively happy to continue playing football as well,” Mr Matheson said.

“If the players were happy and the management were happy to play on, then I was happy. But we have accepted the decision to suspend the Highland League and Scottish Cup due to the national lockdown.

“It is official now and there is nothing we can do about it. It has come from the highest level of our game. We have to do what they say and move on in three weeks.“

The Highland League started on November 28, after a six-week delay due to coronavirus restrictions on fans entering grounds.

Nairn were one of 10 clubs in the Highland and Moray region which was previously in tier one and permitted to allow 300 fans in to stadiums.

But the club had a false start to their campaign when 15 people at their club were forced to go into self isolation after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

It resulted in their opening two matches with Clachnacuddin and Keith being postponed.

Nairn County only managed to play two Highland League matches this season as well as playing two matches in the Scottish Cup.

In the Highland League they have lost both matches, suffering a 1–0 home defeat to Fraserburgh before a 2–1 defeat away at Formartine United.

But in the Scottish Cup they defeated Threave Rovers 4–0 in the second preliminary round before a penalty shoot-out first -round win against Broxburn Athletic at Station Park.

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