6 - 2
6 - 2
Andrew Hardwick (27)
Marc MacGregor (36)
Jack Henry (60)
Gordon MacNab (62)
David Allan (82)
Marc MacGregor (85)
Neil Gauld (75)
Thomas Reid (90)
Grant MacNab for David Allan (86)
Grant Aitkenhead for Sam Mackay (86)
Craig Gunn for Gordon MacNab (86)
Thomas Reid for Jamie Michie (73)
Josh Bolton for Neil Gauld (76)
Jack Henry (88)
Christopher Herd (52)
Jordan Leyden (59)
Harry Bruce (Referee)
In conditions I'm not sure even the proverbial duck would have relished the Harmsworth Park faithful were treated to what was surely their team's best performance of the season.
Academy took the game to Inverurie from the whistle - with Jack Henry breaking into the 18 yard box as early as the 3rd minute. Fortunately for Locos, Greg Mitchell was on hand to avert the danger. 5 minutes later Gordy MacNab had his first sight of goal after a one two with Marc Macgregor but his shot flew high over the bar. Ten minutes in and Inverurie went close when a cross in from the left found Neil Gaul near the corner of the 6 yard box, Grant Steven was alert to the danger and did enough to ensure Gauld's shot hit the side netting.
Academy's next move was more productive - after a strong run down the left, Marc MacGregor's pass found Gordy MacNab, he in turn found Richard Macadie who unleashed a shot from just inside the 18 yard box, forcing the Locos keeper to save at full stretch. Up the field and the Academy fans must have had hearts in mouths when a cross in from the left squirmed out the hands of Wick keeper Sean McCarthy dropping almost on the goal line - McCarthy recovered quickly and smothered the ball before any Loco players could react.
End to end stuff and a minute later Wick were back on the attack - A Davie Allan drive through the middle and a pass laid on to Gordy MacNab, MacNab's shot deflecting off the outstretched leg of Jamie Michie passed the keeper but out for a corner. Academy thought they had taken the lead from the resulting corner, but Davie Allan was adjudged to have bundled both ball and keeper into the net at the far post.
A foul by Jamie Michie on Marc Macgregor gave Wick their next chance: Andrew Hardwick producing a powerful header from Sam Mackay's fizzing free kick but once again Andrew Reid, at full stretch, managed to turn the ball away.
It was Sean McCarthy's turn to show his agility a minute later, when Neil Gauld broke away from the Wick defence and hammered a shot from the corner of the 6 yard box, McCarthy diving low to his left, managed to get fingertips to the ball to turn it around the post.
Wick finally made the breakthrough in the 27th minute when Inverurie keeper Andy Reid could not hold on to a shot from Grant Steven and Andrew Hardwick, quickest to the loose ball, fired it into the net from 3 yards.
8 minutes later Wick had their second - Davie Allan running onto a ball inside the left corner of the 18 yard box looked to have been barged off the ball by Locos Mark Souter but, recovering quickly, swivelled to lay the ball into the path of the oncoming Marc Macgregor and the Wick forward wasted no time in lashing the ball past the Inverurie keeper.
Looking to be heading safely to half time Wick had the bit of luck that had been evading them all season - A shot from the left by Inverurie's Greg Mitchell forced Sean McCarthy into a low diving save to his left, pushing the ball across the full length of the Wick goal line - just fast enough to keep ahead of the sprinting Neil Gauld. Gauld eventually gathered the ball 2 yards past the far post but in the time it took to turn and shoot, Gary Manson had positioned himself on the goal line and managed to block the Locos man' s effort.
Half time: Wick 2 v Inverurie 0
Locos had the first chance of the second half - a 20 yard shot from Greg Mitchell once again bringing out a superb save from McCarthy and in the 58th minute Wick once again had luck on their side when a bullet header from Grant Steven looked destined for the bottom corner of his own net until Sam Mackay cleared off the line.
Goal number 3 for Wick was a beauty to watch: A Davie Allan pass to Gordy MacNab, who slipped the ball to Marc Macgregor on the penalty spot - unable to turn due to the attentions of Inverurie's Souter, Macgregor held the ball up long enough for Jack Henry to run in and with a deft backheel set up Henry to smash the ball past Reid into the bottom left corner.
2 minutes later Inverurie were left stunned as Davie Allan weaved his way down the left, layed on a pass to Gordy MacNab and MacNab's swerving shot from 25 yards bounced just infront of the Inverurie keeper into the roof of the net. Cue sliding celebrations in front of the South Stand for MacNab.
By this time the crowd were revelling in the superb passing and link up play between Davie Allan, Richard Mcadie, Sam Mackay, Jack Henry and Marc Macgregor and were stunned into silence when Academy were pegged back in the 75th minute when Joe McCabe rose above the Wick defenders and keeper and directed his header into an empty net.
The Locos revival didn't last long and Wick restored their 4 goal advantage 5 minutes later when Davie Allan picked up a Marc Macgregor pass on the edge of the 18 yard line, turned Locos Mark Souter inside out before firing his shot towards goal. At this point Souter must have thought luck was with him as the ball clattered off his legs and the chance looked lost - Souter though could not get the ball under control and the persistant Allan pounced on the loose ball and knocked it past keeper Reid.
Marc Macgregor had his second goal of the afternoon 7 minutes later, powering past Locos defender Marc Souter and beating the oncoming Andy Reid from the right corner of the 6 yard box.
Locos had the last say in this match in the 90th minute when substitute Thomas Reid's header looped high into the air and dropped below the bar at the far post.
Both sides should be congratulated in producing an entertaining game of football in what were the dreichest of conditions.
Full time: Wick 6 v Inverurie 2
Match report written by John Briskham
|Sean McCarthy (GK)||25||16||-||152||-|
|Grant Aitkenhead (sub)||16||2||-||2||-|
|Grant MacNab (sub)||26||1||-||15||1|
|Craig Gunn (sub)||31||15||3||65||32|
Ross Suttar interviewed by Alan Hendry, Caithness Courier
Ross Suttar has praised Wick Academy’s rising stars for the way they are adapting to life in the Highland League and giving rival clubs plenty to think about.
Speaking after the Scorries’ stunning 6-2 win against Inverurie Locos on Saturday, the Wick co-assistant manager highlighted the contributions of Marc Macgregor and his strike partner Gordon MacNab who grabbed three goals between them.
“I think Marc Macgregor is vital to us,” Suttar said. “Everything he does is brilliant. He holds the ball up, he drops off, he’s scoring goals – it’s now four in the last three games.
“He was injured for a while as well and I think today you’ve seen that he’s nearly back at full fitness. He’s still only 23 so he’s got plenty of time left at this level of football.
“Gordon MacNab is looking really good as well and I think they are really starting to find their feet in the Highland League.
“I think a lot of people in Caithness forget how big a jump it is from summer football or even North Caledonian to Highland League – it’s a huge jump, and these players are really starting to make a mark on the league. Teams are now looking at these players and saying ‘we’ve got a problem here’. These boys are good players.”
Suttar felt that Academy were helped rather than hindered by the rain-soaked surface at Harmsworth Park. “It speeds the game up and the ball zips a lot faster,” he said.
“They played very well with the conditions. They kept the ball on the floor, they passed it with a lot of pace, everything was so quick and it was entertaining to watch.
“Obviously we got a good result away to Turriff last Saturday and that started the week off well. We went into training on Tuesday and Thursday, the boys worked as hard as they could, and to come and put six past a very good team like that is brilliant.”
Senior players such as Richard Macadie, Davie Allan and Sam Mackay laid the groundwork for Saturday’s result as they took the game by the scruff of the neck. It was Academy’s biggest ever victory against Locos and it made a mockery of a home record that had hitherto shown just one win all season.
Suttar said: “Sam Mackay has not been able to train much and has not been available much on Saturdays due to work commitments, so to give a performance like that just shows how good a professional he is and how good a footballer he is.
“Last week [at Turriff ] was only our second clean sheet of the season. All of a sudden you get a clean sheet and if you can build the confidence from the back I think it goes through the team. The front six can start to think ‘you know what, I’m safe with my back four, I can go and attack and I can do my job without having to worry’.”
The only minor disappointment for Academy was that they conceded two untidy goals from set-pieces. Suttar says this is something that will be looked at in training.
“Every day is a learning day,” he said. “We’ve got to be stronger in these set-piece areas.”