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Christmas cracker turned out to be a damp squip for Wick fans

Submitted by Noel Donaldson

22nd December 2013

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Photograph of Christmas cracker turned out to be a damp squip for Wick fans

Wick Academy 2 Deveronvale 3.

THESE festive fans dreaming of "a black and white" Christmas had their hopes dashed at a chilly Harmsworth Park when they saw their team beaten by a hungry, fast-moving Deveronvale.

The badly-needed win that would have checked the Scorries slide down the snakes and ladders board that is the Highland League table, and set them up for the biggest challenge of the season, a back-to-back encounter with title favourites, Brora Rangers, never materialised.

The 3-2 scoreline flattered Wick who, despite their best efforts couldn't squeeze a draw out of the 90 minutes. The sharp Princess Royal Parkers controlled spells of the first half having unsettled Wick from the word go. Craig Cowie intervened in a pass-back clearance and wasn't going to pass up the gift.

Academy replied, Alan Farquhar heading home a Cunningham free kick but Vale restored their lead through Graeme Rodger after some defensive uncertainty and went on to extend it courtesy of Ross Aitken's, wind-assisted free kick, in the second half.

Second-half substitions failed to produce the draw that Academy supporters would probably have settled for, and the painful outcome extended the side's, unenviable, no-win tally to five consecutive outings and saw them slip to fifth place in the league table.

The slick, fast-moving, clockwork side that made many-a-team tremble at the thought of visiting Harmsworth Park, seemed a distant memory. Wick gaffer, Barry Wilson and his sidekick, Richard Hughes, have their work cut out to motivate the Scorries for the first of the eagerly-awaited back-to-backers against derby rivals and title favourites, Brora Rangers, on Saturday.

Only crumb of comfort was that Fraserburgh spoiled the Dudgeon Park's perfect run with a 1-0 score. Rest assured, the second table place Cattachs will be out to re-assert themselves in front of their turnout at home.


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