Brora Rangers 4
Wick Academy 1

Brora Rangers 

4 - 1

Wick Academy

Saturday, March 7th, 2020
Dudgeon Park
3:00 PM Kick-off

Greg Morrison (10)
Greg Morrison (32)
Greg Morrison (74)
Alan Farquhar (OG) (79)
Sam Mackay (60)

Team Managers
Steven Mackay Gary Manson & Stewart Ross

Starting Eleven
Joe Malin
Tom Kelly
John Pickles
Colin Williamson
Mark Nicolson
Dale Gillsepie
Greg Morrison
Martin Maclean
Jordan Macrae
James Wallace
Paul Brindle
Gordon Clark
Alan Hughes
Ross Allan
Alan Farquhar
Danny Mackay
Sam Mackay
Ryan Campbell
Jack Henry
Jack Halliday
David Allan
Craig Gunn

Bjorn Wagenaar
Andrew Macrae
Steven Mackay
Neil Macdonald
Ben Sinclair
Richard Macadie
Mark Macadie
Grant Aitkenhead
Gordon MacNab
Jonah Martens
James More

Andrew Macrae for Jordan Macrae (15)
Bjorn Wagenaar for James Wallace (75)
Neil Macdonald for Martin Maclean (83)
Richard Macadie for Jack Henry (65)
Mark Macadie for Craig Gunn (65)
Ben Sinclair for Sam Mackay (80)

Martin Maclean (26)
John Pickles (85)
Craig Gunn (26)
Ross Allan (88)

Red Cards
None. Jack Halliday (73)

Match Officials

Scott Leslie (Referee)
Molly Alexander & Rhys Jones (Assistants)

Match Report

Gary Manson and Stewart Ross took charge of their first game today following a run of four games that have been postponed due to the bad weather. Brora kept their title challenge on course with a 4-1 win.

Greg Morrison had the home side 2-0 up going in at half time, his second was a 20 yard screamer, before Sam Mackay pulled one back on the hour mark with a fine strike from 18 yards.

With Academy still in the game at that point Jack Halliday got a straight red card when he took out Morrison on the edge of the Academy box whilst trying to recover from a bad cross-field pass.

Morrison went on to claim a hattrick and Academy were unlucky with an attempt coming off the woodwork.

Brora's 4th was an own-goal off the head of Alan Farquhar from a corner kick.

Wick’s new management duo, Gary Manson and Stewart Ross, would have wanted to keep Brora at bay for as long as possible but the opener came after nine minutes. Jordan Macrae slipped a clever ball through the Wick defence and Morrison poked it first-time past Gordon Clark.

Macrae’s involvement was cut short six minutes later when he fell awkwardly and went over an ankle.

Morrison doubled his tally on 33 minutes with a screamer from outside the right edge of the penalty area.

Half Time - Brora Rangers 2 - Wick Academy 0

The second period began with Academy showing more urgency and Davie Allan was typically proving to be a handful as he ran at the Brora defence.

Most of the action was happening in the Brora half and Academy earned a succession of corners. It was from one of these, on 59 minutes, that they deservedly pulled a goal back.

Brora couldn’t clear properly from another Ross Allan delivery and when the ball fell to Sam Mackay on the edge of the box he fired a left-foot shot into the corner of the net.

Danny Mackay tried a speculative effort from long range which was deflected over for yet another Academy corner.

Then, after 73 minutes, Jack Halliday misjudged a cross-field ball which was instantly picked up by Morrison. As the Brora forward charged towards goal, the backtracking Halliday was over-zealous in seeking to atone for his error and his foul on Morrison just outside the box brought a red card from referee Scott Leslie.

Brora put the outcome beyond any doubt on 75 minutes. Substitute Andrew Macrae played the ball across the box to Morrison, who had time to steady himself before sending a low drive beyond Clark.

Brora’s fourth arrived with 10 minutes to go when Alan Farquhar diverted a header into his own net from a corner.

Wick came close on 87 minutes when substitute Richard Macadie sent a free kick into the box. It looked net-bound until Joe Malin produced a superb reflex save to tip the ball onto the underside of the bar.

Full Time - Brora Rangers 4 - Wick Academy 1

This turned out to be the last game played in the 2019-20 season. The Covid-19 pandemic caused a suspension of all Highland League football on the 13th March with the League finally deemed to be concluded on the 21st March with Brora Rangers declared as the league champions.

Match report written by Caithness Courier - Wed, March 11, 2020.

Click here to view newspaper report.

Newspaper extract from Caithness Courier - 11th March 2020.

Squad Statistics (as at March 7th, 2020)

2019/2020 All Time
Gordon Clark (GK)25 5 - 13 -
Danny Mackay29 17 - 1535
Ross Allan26 21124212
Ryan Campbell21 211272
Alan Farquhar32 2413405
Jack Halliday25 2239314
Jack Henry28 154628
Alan Hughes24 25 - 1245
Sam Mackay30 244350144
David Allan30 224369149
Craig Gunn32 231210747
Richard Macadie (sub)32 276554201
Ben Sinclair (sub)18 5 - 7 -
Mark Macadie (sub)17 11 - 15 -

Team Sheet (Scanned Photo)

League Table (as at March 7th, 2020)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Brora Rangers 26 24 0 2 +82 72
2. Inverurie Locos 28 19 2 7 +40 59
3. Rothes 23 17 2 4 +31 53
4. Buckie Thistle 24 17 2 5 +29 53
5. Fraserburgh 22 16 4 2 +49 52
6. Formartine Utd 23 14 2 7 +41 44
7. Forres Mech 26 12 4 10 +17 40
8. Nairn County 22 12 3 7 -2 39
9. Keith 27 10 4 13 -15 34
10. WICK 25 9 5 11 -9 32
11. Deveronvale 27 9 4 14 -14 31
12. Huntly 26 6 6 14 -31 24
13. Strathspey 22 6 1 15 -25 19
14. Turriff United 27 5 3 19 -50 18
15. Clachnacuddin 27 4 4 19 -36 16
16. Lossiemouth 28 4 1 23 -65 13
17. Fort William 19 3 1 15 -42 10

Manager's Programme Notes

Interviews by Alan Hendry, Caithness Courier

Co-Manager Gary Manson wants his Wick Academy players to maintain the performance levels they showed at Brora on Saturday during the remainder of the Highland League campaign.
The Scorries went down 4-1 at Dudgeon Park as Greg Morrison’s treble took Brora another step closer to the title. However, Manson and fellow co-manager Stewart Ross were encouraged by the way Academy controlled the game for much of the second half after going in two goals down at the break.
Sam Mackay reduced the deficit and it was only after Jack Halliday was red-carded with just over a quarter of an hour to go that Brora were able to make the points safe.

“Before the sending off, when we got it back to 2-1, I thought at that stage we would score the next goal,” Manson said. “We were well on top, we were pinning them back, we were winning corner after corner after corner, but the sending off kind of took the wind out of our sails.”
Academy signalled their intentions when they brought on the attack-minded Macadie brothers, Richard and Mark, midway through the second period.
“We were going for it,” Manson said. “We told the boys at that start that it was going to be tough but there was no reason why we couldn’t win the game.
“As I say, at 2-1 I thought were going to get the next goal and hopefully kick on and win the game. That’s why we made the double substitution when we did.
“They were on the rack and if we’d kicked on we could have won the game. It was just unfortunate with the sending off.
“I think the wind played a big part. Joe Malin [Brora’s keeper] has a big kick on him and in the second half you could see that he was struggling to get it over the halfway line.
“In the first half it wasn’t one-sided in terms of chances. Maybe in terms of territory it was, but that was down to the wind. In the second half it changed.”

Co-manager Stewart Ross echoed Manson’s sentiments. “We felt we were on top and the game was only going one way,” he said, reflecting on that spell in the second half.
“Everything we asked the boys to do at half-time, they did. We asked them to impose themselves, we asked them to start taking shots.
“We got the goal and Brora were toiling, they were on the ropes. It was just a shame it happened the way it did.”
Manson added: “We asked for a reaction and I think we got it. We weren’t getting that sort of performance two, three, four months ago.
“That sets the standard for the last seven games in terms of work rate, application and quality – in the second half I thought the quality was really good.
“We want to win every game. But just to get the performance levels up, that’s what we are looking for first and foremost, because performances of late haven’t been good enough. If we can get the performance levels up, the points will come on the back of that. That’s what I’m looking for.”