Football: Brandanes hope to build on promising start

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Rothesay Brandane AFC will look to build on their encouraging start to the 2012-13 Caledonian League campaign this Saturday when they welcome Weir Recreation to Bute for the island club’s first home league game of the season.

Stuart McKechnie’s late leveller secured a 1-1 draw for the Brandanes in their opening fixture away to Strathclyde University on August 11 – and though their opponents that day, newly relegated from the Caledonian League’s top flight, were under-strength due to the university summer holiday, the Rothesay men, too, were without key personnel, most notably the suspended trio of player-coach Neil Whitelaw, top scorer Wes Pattison and full-back James Sprowl.

Sprowl’s ban is now complete, although Pattison – who scored all the goals in the Brandanes’ 5-0 win when Weir last visited Rothesay in November – will have to sit out two more games, having been given an eight-match suspension after a red card for violent conduct picked up against Balmore in February; Whitelaw, likewise, faces two more matches on the sidelines.

Weir, meanwhile, got their league campaign off to the perfect start with a 3-0 win away to Symington Tinto last Saturday, when the Brandanes had no fixture because of the Bute Highland Games.

This Saturday’s league fixture, at the public stadium in High Street, kicks off at 2.30pm.