Christmas cracker turned out to be a damp squip for Wick fans
Submitted by Noel Donaldson
22nd December 2013
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.
Wick Academy 2 Formartine United 2 ACADEMY shook off their recent poor form to grab a well-earned share of the points on home turf against one of the Highland League's strongest sides, in the final of the season at Harmsworth Park, on Saturday. Quick- moving United monopolised the early play and were rewarded with a lucky Scott Ferries strike in the 10th minute which crept over the line after a deflection.
Wick Academy 1 Rothes 1 Reporter Noel Donaldson. James Pickles saved Academy's blushes after a game that they will want to forget.
Wick Academy 2. Cove Rangers 3.
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.
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