3 - 2
Scottish Cup (First Round)
Chris Angus (55)
Chris Angus (67)
Chris Angus (71)
Craig Gunn (6)
Craig Gunn (32)
Eric Watson (C)
Neil Gauld for Andrew Watt (66)
Neil MacLean for Chris Angus (88)
Richard Macadie for Gordon MacNab (57)
Ben Sinclair for Ryan Campbell (75)
Mark Souter (64)
Andy Hunter (90)
Ross Allan (80)
Jack Halliday (90)
George Calder (Referee)
Wick Academy suffered a heartbreaking first-round Scottish Cup defeat to Inverurie at Harlaw Park on Saturday.
Going in at the break two goals up only to lose 3-2 could easily be described as the archetypal “game of two halves”. More accurately it was a tale of two strikers.
Wick’s Craig Gunn netted two superb goals and saw a spectacular net-bound volley repelled by an even more spectacular one-handed save from Inverurie keeper Andy Reid just before the end.
Meanwhile, Inverurie’s Chris Angus had turned the contest on its head with a second-half hat-trick.
Gunn gave Academy a dream start with a seventh-minute goal. Gordon MacNab, Davie Allan and Alan Hughes built up an attack on the right and a speculative cross landed 25 yards in front of the Inverurie goal.
As two defenders hesitated, Gunn nipped between them. The wind-assisted bounce deceived the keeper as Gunn caught up with the ball to the left of the goal and deftly lofted it over Reid’s head with the outside of his right foot.
Wick keeper Sean McCarthy was soon in action, saving from Ryan Stott and watching carefully as Andrew Watt poked a close-range effort just wide.
Academy counter-attacks saw Allan shoot only inches wide and Hughes cut in from the left to fire into the side netting.
McCarthy saved two efforts from Angus and pushed an Andy Hunter free kick round the post.
The resultant corner was cleared upfield and from 35 or possibly 40 yards Gunn rifled the ball in off a post, doubling the Wick lead after 32 minutes– surely a contender for goal of the round.
Allan went close with an early second-half effort but it was soon mostly one-way traffic.
McCarthy fielded a drive from Sam Burnett but had no chance in the 56th minute when a cross from the right fell to Angus, who turned it in from close range.
After repeated headed clearances by Alan Farquhar and Ryan Campbell, Angus netted a 68th-minute equaliser when he chased a through ball and steered it past McCarthy.
Wick’s attacks were limited to a couple of free kicks on the right by Gunn and a shot into the side net from substitute Richard Macadie.
Locos went ahead after 76 minutes when a long ball came over Angus’s shoulder and the striker smashed it first-time into the net.
Gunn’s 88th-minute volley was worthy of an equaliser but it was not to be.
Any attempt to describe and analyse Academy’s second-half slump would probably sound patronising or a feeble excuse: a backs-to-the-wall battle by our brave boys against physically stronger, streetwise strikers as they faced up to an aerial bombardment, dazzled by the bright sun.
Whatever your interpretation of the action, it was a desperately disappointing way to exit the national cup competition.
Academy are away to Fort William this Saturday in a rearranged Highland League fixture.
An incident where Eric Watson took out Davie Allan with a headbutt was spotted on the match video footage by the SFA. Watson was cited by the SFA for violent conduct. A disciplinary hearing was called to hear the case but that was cancelled when Watson admitted the offence. Watson was given a two-match ban.
Match report written by John o Groat Journal (Ken Wood) - Sun, Sept 22, 2019.
|Sean McCarthy (GK)||26||11||-||179||-|
|Ben Sinclair (sub)||17||3||-||5||-|
|Richard Macadie (sub)||32||11||3||538||198|
Tom McKenna interview with Matt Leslie, Caithness Courier.
“GUTTED” was manager Tom McKenna’s verdict after Wick Academy were knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Inverurie Locos.
It was looking so good for the Scorries at Harlaw Park on Saturday as a Craig Gunn double put them in command and had some of the travelling fans wondering who Wick would pull out of the hat in round two.
As it happened, a trip to Rothes awaited the winners of this one – but it was Locos who went through thanks to a second-half hat-trick from Chris Angus.
So the quest for a good run in the national tournament is put on hold for an-other year.
“It was a classic game of two halves,” McKenna said. “The lads were all gutted in the dressing room afterwards.
“They were really down, having put in so much only not to come back up the road with at worst a replay.
“At half time, I told them the next goal would prove decisive.
“Had we got it then we could have seen the game out.
“However, it was Inverurie that got the goal and that seemed to inspire them.
“Don’t get me wrong, we were expecting a reaction from them after the first half. But the way in which we conceded the goals was poor.
“They played to their strengths by launching high balls into the box and we didn’t deal with them.
“Because of Grant Steven and Danny Mackay being unavailable, we had to move Sam Mackay into the centre of defence.
“I’m not going to criticise him as he was playing out of position but we as a team should have been able to handle their long, high balls a lot better than we did.
“Having played so well in the first half, this result is a difficult one to take. I don’t think the boys were complacent or could see the finishing line early.
“Give Locos their due. They played very well in the second half and were more clinical than we were after the half-time – not to mention their goalie pulled off a superb save late on to deny Craig his own hat-trick.”
One of the positives that McKenna can draw upon is the resurgent form of striker Gunn, who seems to be more like his old self having rejoined the club 18 months ago.
McKenna added: “It seems as if Craig has got his ‘mojo’ back and we’re chuffed for him.
“He had some criticism last year but he worked hard over the close season and he’s a different player this season compared to a year ago.
“Craig’s got his old sharpness back. He took his goals on Saturday very well and only a brilliant save stopped him getting a third.”