NoS Cup Semi-Final Wick Acad. v Nairn County

Nairn march into the UMAX NoS Cup Final.
With a place in the final of the UMAX North of Scotland Cup up for grabs both teams knew this was arguable the best chance they had of picking up some silverware. Wick Academy started with the wind behind them and playing down the slope and it only took them 9 minutes to get their noses in front.
Ironically the goal came from a Nairn County free kick, which was taken short and wasted. Andy Macleod belted the loose ball down the park with the aid of a strong Easterly wind finding Jamie Mackenzie in behind the Nairn defence, Wick's leading goalscorer was caught by a Nairn defender but he turned his man before drilling a low shot inside Jim Calder’s right hand post.
Wick 1 v 0 Nairn
Tony Low, the most dangerous player in the first half and a constant threat to Wick, was the first to threaten halfway through the period when he found space in behind the defence on the left hand side but his drilled, angled effort from 16 yards out found the side netting.
At the other end Andy Macleod drove down the left, making it all the way to the byeline before cutting it back to just outside the six yard box but there were no takers.

Gary Manson then drove down the left and picked out Nigel Mackenzie who's turn and shot from 18yds flew high over Calder's bar.
In the dying moments of the first half Nairn went close when Ian Brooks 14 yard effort was charged down, however  it fell to Steve Sanderson whose 12 yard snap shot was saved by the diving Don MacMillan.
Half-Time: Wick 1 v 0 Nairn
With the wind it had to be a game of two halves and apart from the last five minutes of the second half it was all Nairn and they fought their way back into the game as a result of that.

The leveller came a minute before the hour mark in spectacular fashion. Brian Macleod drove forward into the Wick half before unleashing a thunderbolt from 30 yards that flew high beyond Don MacMillan and into the right hand roof of the net.
Wick 1 v 1 Nairn
Ten minutes later and the visitors went ahead. Full back Graeme Reid was dispossessed by Tony Low who raced away down the left wing before cutting the ball back to Willie Barron who sidefooted the ball inside Don MacMillan’s righthand post.

Wick 1 v 2 Nairn
It seemed that it was going to finish that way until a last minute goal for the Scorries forced a further 30 minutes of action. There seemed to be little danger when Johnny Seaton took control of the ball in his own penalty area after a long punt into the box however Nigel Mackenzie robbed Seaton before lobbing the ball over Jim Calder and into the net from 12yds much to the delight of the home support.

Wick 2 v 2 Nairn
 Nigel Mackenzie very nearly went on to grab a winner when he turned two Nairn defenders inside the Nairn penalty area and with only Calder to beat he elected to pass the ball across goal to a team mate which gave the Nairn defence an opportunity to clear and the chance was gone.
After that it seemed this one was destined to keep running and so extra time ensued.

There was little in the way of goalmouth incident for the first fourteen minutes of the opening period of extra time however just before the break Nairn playing with the wind at their backs retook the lead.

A ball into the box was knocked down to Martin Macdonald who saw his initial effort charged down by Andy Macleod. Macdonald was first onto the rebound only to see Macleod make the block again however it was third time lucky for the striker as he drilled his third attempt through a ruck of players and inside MacMillan's righthand post.

Wick 2 v 3 Nairn
Wick pressed forward in search of another equaliser, however they paid the price in 112 minutes when Martin Macdonald got in behind the home defence outwide and fired the ball across to Davie MacRae on the right, he controlled the ball inside the box before rifling a tremendous right foot shot beyond MacMillan from 14yds to put Nairn 4-2 up effectively sealing the victory.
Wick 2 v 4 Nairn.

After Extra Time: Wick Academy 2 Nairn County 4

Reporter: Alan Farquhar

Wick: MacMillan, Reid (M.MacGregor (71), Shearer, Lamb (Henderson 88), MacLeod, Cowie, Gunn, Manson, N.MacKenzie, Jamie MacKenzie, Farquhar (M.Coghill 62)
Subs not used: M.Michol, S. Sinclair
Nairn:  Calder, MacLeod (Nicholl 94), MacAskill, M.Sanderson, Seaton, Low, Kellacher, MacRae, Barron (Robertson 86), Brooks, S.Sanderson (M.MacDonald 60).
Subs not used: Marc MacDonald, Donaldson.
MoM: Tony Low

N.MacKenzie 67, G.Manson 69.
Nairn: S.Sanderson 41, J.MacAskill 82, S. Nicholl 116.