Wick 3 - Strathspey 0
|14th October 2017 - Scottish Highland Football League
||Harmsworth Park, Wick|
|Wick Academy F.C.||
3 (Michael Macallum og 26, Danny Mackay 61, Steven Anderson 70)
Team: Sean McCarthy, Brandon Sinclair, Andrew Hardwick (Aidan Reid 79), Danny Mackay, Ross Allan, Richard Macadie (c) (Korbyn Cameron 79), Jack Halliday, Jack Henry, Sam Mackay (Alan Hughes 68), Steven Anderson, Marc Macgregor
Subs: Aidan Reid, Korbyn Cameron, Alan Hughes, Danny McCarthy.
|Strathspey F.C.|| 0
Team: Michael Macallum, Scott Hume (c), Euan Donaldson, Richard Finnis, Andrew Hay, David Ross, Nicolas Mochan, Cameron Lisle (Ashley Ballam 78), James Mcshane, Dominick Edwards (Andrew Reid 78), Adam Mcleod
Subs: Andrew Reid, Ashley Ballam, Lee Wilson, Jack Farren
|Referee:|| Billy Baxter
|Sponsors Man of the Match:|| Jack Henry
|Match Photos - Mel & Bob Roger:||Match photos to follow|
Wick went into this match missing 4 first team defensive and midfield regulars in Michael and Grant Steven, Gary Manson and Gordon McNab and for the first few minutes it looked like attack was going to be the new defence for the home team.
Within 3 minutes Ross Allan was allowed to drive down the left into the 18 yard box but his shot flew just over the bar. Within 3 minutes Sam Mackay found space at the left edge of the 6 yard box but his shot went just wide of the post and, a minute later, Steven Anderson beat Strathspey's Cameron Lisle down the left wing - switched play across the pitch to Andrew Hardwick who was about to shoot when flagged offside by the assistant referee.
The match then went through a battle of the midfield until, after 15 minutes Strathspey's Dominick Edwards broke down the left to the by-line and crossed the ball onto the penalty spot - Although the ball was initially cleared by Danny Mackay it was immediately returned into the box but as keeper Sean McCarthy came to collect the ball he was clattered in mid-air by Strathspey's Adam Mcleod. Free kick to Wick.
A minute later a free kick for Strathspey saw the ball crossed into the penalty spot and once again Wick keeper Sean McCarthy was taken out mid-air by Adam McLeod. A free kick to Wick and a word of warning by referee Billy Baxter to the Strathspey defender.
Academy reverted to attacking mode and after a move down the left by Steven Anderson his ball found Sam Mackay whose curling shot just shaved the wrong side of the left post. The next goal attempt for Wick came 5 minutes later when Danny Mackay met a Jack Halliday corner putting the ball just over the bar. Perhaps a sighter for what was to come in the second half.
Although Wick had had some good chances their first goal, when it came on 27 minutes, was more than a bit unfortunate for Strathspey - Marc Macgregor flicked the ball towards goal from a cross in from Steven Anderson, Strathspey keeper Michael Macallum kicked the ball clear but his clearance ricocheted of defender Euan Donaldson and keeper Macallum could do nothing to stop the ball from crossing the line.
The next good chance for Academy came after a free kick was awarded to Wick 22 yards out and Sam Mackay's strike crashed off the cross bar and cleared by Strathspey's Scott Hume. Sam Mackay looked to be warming to the task and a few minutes later had a header from the edge of the 6 yard box tipped over the bar by the Strathspey keeper.
There was still time at the end of the first half for Strathspey to mount another attack of their own with New Zealander Dominick Edwards driving down the left but Wick's Andrew Hardwick stood his ground and after a tussle between the two players came away with the ball.
Wick grew in confidence as the half progressed, Sam Mackay finding room to drive into the penalty box, only to be thwarted by Strathspey defenders Scott Hume and Euan Donaldson - and Scott Hume was called into action again when Ross Allan found Steven Anderson down the left but the Strathspey man managed to block the run before Anderson could reach the by-line.
A shout for penalty went unheeded by referee Billy Baxter in the 61st minute when Ross Allan appeared to be bundled over at the edge of the box by Cameron Lisle but that was quickly forgotten a minute later when Danny Mackay rose at the edge of the 18 yard box to thunder a header past Strathspey keeper Macallum.
The Strathspey keeper then came into his own, twice denying Steven Anderson within the space of a minute - the first, a block from close range as Anderson powered a shot from the edge of the 18 yard box and the second blocking at the feet of Anderson after he had made his way to the by-line and a couple of feet from the goal.
An immediate break up field by Strathspey followed and Adam Mcleod's shot from 10 yards out was goal bound until Wick keeper Sean McCarthy saved low to his left.
First substitution of the day saw Alan Hughes come for Sam Mackay and he was immediately in the thick of the action with a run down the right and a cross in that was cut by Strathspey's Richard Finnis for a throw to the home side. Wick pressurised from the throw in and Jack Henry found Steven Anderson with a through ball to the edge of the 18 yard box - Anderson drove to the right corner of the 6 yard box and the Strathspey keeper Michael Macallum could do nothing to stop the Academy man's low drive finding the net to the inside of the left post.
Steven Anderson's next notable action was to end up in the referee's book for a trip on Strathspey's Richard Finnis.
A flurry of substitutions came on 78 minutes: Cameron Lisle and Dominick Edwards off and Ashley Ballam and Andrew Reid on for Strathspey and Sam Mackay and Andrew Hardwick replaced by Aidan Reid and Korbyn Cameron for Wick.
In a game that had become very open by this stage Strathspey surged down the left and James McShane was only halted by the Wick defence as he neared keeper McCarthy's right post.
Strathspey's Richard Finnis was next to see Billy Baxter's yellow card for tripping Marc Macgregor as he was breaking down the right wing.
Wick came close to a 4th goal in the 81st minute when Marc Macgregor slipped a through ball to Korbyn Cameron whose shot from the left edge of the 6 yard box beat the oncoming Strathspey keeper but agonisingly rebounded off the bottom the keepers left post.