Published: 11/08/2017 13:00 - Updated: 09/08/2017 11:27

Ian Penwright hopes Clach find scoring touch for derby with Nairn County

Written byJamie Durent


Ian Penwright is urging Clach to find their scoring touch ahead of this weekend's derby with Nairn.
Ian Penwright is urging Clach to find their scoring touch ahead of this weekend's derby with Nairn. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

IAN Penwright hopes the importance of a local derby with Nairn County can help Clach find their scoring touch.

The Lilywhites have missed an abundance of opportunities in their opening three league games, with Penwright feeling they should have at least four more points than they have.

Narrow 1-0 defeats to Buckie Thistle and Turriff United a week ago leave Clach on three points, with their only win coming in a midweek victory over Lossiemouth.

Manager Iain Polworth is certainly not short of attacking options; outwith Penwright, he also has Daniel Maclennan, Stuart Leslie and Scott Morrison to choose from.

They are all capable of hitting the back of the net – it is now a case of actually doing it.

“We don’t have as many points as we feel we should have. We’re creating plenty of chances and not finishing them off,” said Penwright. “If we’re missing chances like we have done then the table is not going to lie.

“There’s boys champing at the bit to get on and I’m sure there could be a few changes on Saturday. There will be boys that won’t be happy and I could be one of them.”

Penwright was part of the Clach side that beat Nairn in both Highland League fixtures last year, winning 1-0 at Grant Street Park and 2-1 at Station Park.

However, it is the Wee County who have enjoyed the better start to the season, recording back-to-back wins which included an impressive 3-2 triumph at champions Buckie a week ago.

Penwright is impressed with their turnaround under manager Ronnie Sharp, considering the rebuilding job the club has had to undergo over the last 12 months.

Ian Penwright in action against Nairn's Gary Kerr in December last year.
Ian Penwright in action against Nairn's Gary Kerr in December last year.

“Last season I didn’t expect them to do so well, with the amount of boys that had left,” he said. “But they’ve taken good players in and come flying out of the blocks this year. They couldn’t have wished for a much better start.

“They were tight games last year and we managed to come out on top. If we can find our way to goal, I don’t think they can live with us.”

The former Caley Thistle youngster is also hoping the Merkinchers can bring an end to their woes from the penalty spot.

Clach had missed seven penalties by the turn of the year last season, including one from Duncan Jones in the game at Station Park.

They were given a spot-kick in the opening game of the season against Buckie which Penwright took but struck the crossbar, made worse by the fact Clach only lost 1-0.

Captain Michael Finnis is the regular taker but both he and Stuart Leslie turned down the chance to take the kick at Victoria Park, with Penwright assuming the responsibility.

Penwright netted in the midweek win over Fort William. Picture: ALBA.PHOTOS
Penwright missed a penalty in the opening-day defeat to Buckie Thistle. Picture: ALBA.PHOTOS

 

“Neither Michael or Stuart wanted to take in, so I felt like I could score,” said Penwright. “But I rattled the bar, so it wasn’t the best feeling.

“I expect Michael will be back on them again and to put away the next one.”

Clach expect to have the same team available to them as last week, with the only exception being Fraser Robertson who picked up a facial injury in the defeat to Turriff.

Midfielder John MacAskill has signed permanently after playing as a trialist.

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