Rivals ready for Deeside derby

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Deeside rivals Banchory St Ternan and Culter will battle it out this Saturday to decide who will end the year with the local bragging rights,

There is sure to be a big crowd for the Hogmany Superleague clash which will take place at Saints’ Milton Park at 1.30pm.

The home side have failed to be on the winning side against Culter since August 2008, when a late Keith Horne penalty sealed a 1-0 win at Crombie Park.

Since then, the sides have met a total of eight times with Culter winning six and two draws.

Three of those wins came last season as Culter scored 19 times against a transitional Saints side, who scored only twice in return.

Saints manager Sandy Carrol, who became the third different Saints boss to face Culter at the end of last season, is confident his side will be more confident this time around.

He said: “Myself and Tom McPherson arrived at the tail end of last season and the night games came thick and fast.

“We did not have much time to work with the players and I am sure we will be a lot better prepared for this game.”

Carrol says he will treat the game like any other match but understands the importance to both sets of fans.

“I look forward to every game and I give every team we play the utmost respect,” he said.

“It does mean a bit more for the supporters of both teams but like Culter we go into every game determined to win.

“Home advantage will be very important. My players love playing on the surface at Milton Park, probably one, if not the best surfaces in Junior football.”

The Saints manager believes that if his side are to be successful on Saturday the whole squad will have to stick together.

Carrol said: “The entire squad, from the starting eleven to the guys sitting on the bench, are all key players. I have faith in every one of them.

“We have a young squad but on their day we are more than a match for anyone.”

Culter co-manager Andy Gibson says the Deeside derby is one of the matches he looks out for on the fixture list.

“The Banchory games are always good games and usually have a few goals,” he said.

“The surface is very good at Milton so it suits the way we try. Fingers crossed the weather is okay and we can get the game on.”

Gibson agrees with the Saints boss that last season’s wins will have little effect on the match.

He said: “I think there have been quite a few changes since we last played them, and their form has been good recently so we are expecting a very tough game.

“We try to win every game and we always aim to keep things in perspective - don’t get too down if we lose and don’t get carried away with a good win.”

The Culter boss is wary of Saints’ attacking options but also believes he has a number of players who have the ability to cause the home defence problems.

“Banchory have a few dangerous players,” Gibson said. “Stainer and Garrett have to be watched as they can cause problems for any defence.

“Looking at us, we have four options for striking positions - Chris Mountford, George Mcbain, Lewis Mckimmie and Ross Mcwilliam so it is up to the guys who we pick on the day to try and get amongst the goals.

“We are going to have to rotate players in the coming months as we still have 21 league games left to play and are still in three cups, so again our squad will be tested to the limit. With this in mind, we may try and add a player to the squad.”

The match kicks off at 1.30pm on Saturday (December 31) at Milton Park, Crathes.