Highland League Cup semi final - Wick Academy 2 Nairn County 1
22nd March 2015
Reporter Noel Donaldson
Nairn counts the cost after Academy late show.
I have a message for the Wick team heading for an historic encounter with Cove in the Cup final...please don't leave it to the dying minutes to find the net.
The jangling of the Scorrie nerves was almost tangible as the the clock ticked all-too-quickly down at a packed Harmsworth Park, yesterday and it looked as if their Highland League Cup dream was slipping away.
WHEN....up popped goal-getting regular, Steven Anderson, to dispel the apprehensive mood and give the fans something to shout about and cling to the hope, that, with extra time beckoning, perhaps, just maybe, it wasn't all over yet.
Davie Allan didn't think so and decided to dispense with the extension to the 90 minutes, as he grabbed, arguably, one of the most important goals of his Academy career.
I was confident about Wick's chances, particularly when I overheard some Nairn fans chatting behind me, about their team's prospect, before the match got underway. Apparently, County were "down to the bones" team-wise, with a number of players unavailable, but there was no evidence of a sub-standard performance, quite the opposite.
There were chances for both sides in the the first half with neither reaping a reward, until an unmarked Paul Macleod nodded home a corner. County seemed determined to double their tally and put the coveted cup final out of Academy's reach.
Thankfully, Wick upped their game in the second period but frustratingly couldn't net any reward for their efforts until Steven Anderson brought welcome relief to the Harmsworth Park faithful in the 78th minute. Game on!... Academy could breathe again. Could they pull a scorrie out of the hat in extra time?
No need. Sparing the fans further nail-biting, Davie Allan drove home the crucial decider, a mere four minutes from time to the sound of the Harmsworth roar, to take Academy to a mouth-watering final at Clach's Grant Street Park ground on 11 April 2015.
The barmy army is coming, Cove!.
Wick Academy 0 Turriff United 1 Reporter Noel Donaldson. IT was one of those days....no matter how hard you try, you don't get the breaks.
Wick Academy 2 Forres Mechanics 2 Reporter Noel Donaldson THIS was a day more suited to those with webbed feet rather than footballers but both sides defied the elements and gave their fans their money's-worth. The Scorries, building on their return to form, but without key personnel, Alan Farquhar and Davie Allan, drew first blood early in the uncompromising wind and rain...
Wick Academy 1 Nairn County 5 Reporter Noel Donaldson. WICK Academy's rich vein of success ran out on Saturday but few fans would have anticipated the result being a rout.
Wick Academy 3 Clach 1 Reporter Noel Donaldson BOTH sides were clearly up for it in the first half but neither team was able to beat their respective defences and keepers who were very much on their game. While it made for an entertaining first half, supporters could have been forgiven for starting to fear things might play out for a goal-less draw..
Reporter Noel Donaldson Wick Academy 3 Keith 1 A SECOND, consecutive match hat-trick from Sam Mackay secured all three points for the Scorries and was a further step forward in recovering their home form. Keith were no pushovers, however, and stuck to their task right to the final whistle.
Wick Academy 0 Fraserburgh 1 Reporter Noel Donaldson ACADEMY supporters' hopes were doubtless high that the miracle mid-week comeback by their team against Forres Mechanics, would be the catalyst to getting to grips with their home results jinx. In the event, the encounter with a well-marshalled Broch outfit was something of an anti-climax, Academy unable to replicate anything close to that scintillating 5-3 performance - underlining their inherent lack of consistency and failing to secure a draw even, in a game that was no classic.
Reporter Noel Donaldson Wick Academy 2 Deveronvale 2 A LATE goal, ruled offside, prevented Academy taking all three points and hopefully sparking some home wins. Given the effort put in by the two sides, though, a draw was probably a fair result.
Wick Academy l Inverurie Locos 1 Reporter Noel Donaldson THIS certainly fell far short of Academy's best performance and Locos, on the other hand, will have rightfully felt cheated at not taking all three points, given the efforts they put in. Failure to capitalise on their equaliser during repeated onslaughts on the Scorries defence and some sharp keeping by Sean McCarthy denied the visitors the spoils.
Wick Academy 2 Turriff United 0 Reporter Noel Donaldson A FIRST-HALF brace gave Academy the perfect start to their title challenge. Stephen Anderson stunned the visitors in opening minutes with a well-placed header but despite pressing for their second, it didn't come until the dying seconds of the first period.
Wick Academy 2 Brora Rangers 2 Reporter Noel Donaldson THE Scorries reversed a two-goal deficit, to grab a share of the spoils in a gutsy second half comeback. Apart from displaying a never-say-die commitment, the draw demonstrated that Academy are closing the gap on their derby rivals, no small achievement when you consider Dudgeon Parks quality and expensive outfit.
[Printer Friendly Version]