2 - 3
2 - 3
Richard Macadie (10)
Alex Lamb (20)
Blair Lawrie (5)
Robbie Duncanson (34)
Blair Lawrie (45)
Ian Munro & Richard Hughes
Gary Weir for Bryan McKiddie (62)
Stewart Ross for Stuart Sinclair (75)
David Mowat for Andrew MacLeod (75)
Sanderson for John McLeod (81)
Andrew Neill for Gordon MacKenzie (88)
Richard Macadie (90)
||Blair Lawrie (63)|
Ronnie Wright (Referee)
All the goals came in the first half at a cold and windy Harmsworth Park as Academy fought back from conceding an early penalty to go 2-1 up after 20 minutes, only to find themselves trailing again by the break. And so an afternoon that briefly held the promise of a welcome win ended in deep frustration for the Scorries.
When Blair Lawrie put Clach 3-2 up on the stroke of half-time with an exquisite free kick, it seemed unlikely it would be the last of the scoring as the first period had been such an open, end-to-end encounter.
But after the break the Lilywhites defended resolutely and, try as they might, Academy were unable to find a way past keeper Neil Hastie.
Gary Manson was handed a forward role with Gary Weir starting on the bench after the recurrence of his foot injury. Also named among the substitutes was veteran keeper Don MacMillan, providing cover for James More.
Clach went ahead after five minutes when referee Ronnie Wright awarded a penalty after More collided with Robbie Duncanson. Lawrie made no mistake from the spot.
Five minutes later Academy got themselves level with one of the finest strikes seen at the Harmsworth all season. Stuart Sinclair showed great tenacity as he embarked on a marauding run down the right before slipping the ball across to Richard Macadie, who sent a delightful curling shot beyond Hastie and into the top corner.
Academy were playing some enterprising football and they deservedly went ahead in the 20th minute after being awarded a free kick on the right. Gary Farquhar's inviting cross was bundled in at the back post, with Alex Lamb appearing to get the vital touch.
Martin Gunn was just off target with an ambitious shot from wide on the left, then Manson was denied by Hastie after another set-up by Stuart Sinclair.
Clach equalised after 34 minutes when Neil MacCuish floated in a cross from near the right touchline and Duncanson got to it just ahead of the advancing More to nod the ball into the net.
The chilly wind blowing up the park had developed into something approaching a blizzard by this stage. The snow was short-lived, but all the same it must have come as a shock to the system for the group of Academy followers who had made the trip north from the London area.
Despite the difficult conditions, though, the teams were serving up an entertaining tussle and there was one more twist to come before the half-time whistle. Clach were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box after Lawrie was tripped by Bryan McKiddie. Lawrie stepped up and sent a superb effort into the net via the underside of the crossbar.
Duncanson came close to extending the lead early in the second half when the ball arrived at his feet after a free kick awarded for a foul by Macadie on MacCuish. The Lilywhites' top scorer twisted and turned before firing a low shot across goal and fractionally wide of the post.
Manson just failed to take advantage when a fierce shot by Macadie was blocked by Hastie. Down at the bottom end, Duncanson threatened again but More dived at his feet to snuff out the danger.
MacCuish continued to be in the thick of the action, and he and Lamb were given a lecture after a head-to-head confrontation in front of the dugouts.
When David Clark put his keeper in trouble with a poor passback, McKiddie was on to it in a flash but his effort went wide.
Duncanson cut in from the right and his low shot was fumbled by More, but the keeper's blushes were spared as the ball trundled wide for a corner.
Just before the hour mark a long-range shot by Craig Shearer was saved at the second attempt by Hastie.
There was a bit of tetchiness creeping into the game and Lawrie was booked after a tussle with Manson in 63 minutes. By then Weir had entered the fray, coming on to replace McKiddie.
After the action-packed first 45 minutes, the second half was beginning to fall flat. Clach's David Watson did create a decent opening for John MacLeod but his shot flew just over the bar.
With time running out for Academy, Gunn tried his luck from just outside the corner of the box on the left and his low shot crept inches wide of the far post.
Macadie was shown the yellow card in the 90th minute, presumably for dissent.
Deep in injury time, Academy's last chance of salvaging a point disappeared when Lamb swung in a dangerous cross that just eluded Farquhar.
Full Time 2 - 3
Match report written by Alan Henry
|James More (GK)||19||29||-||60||-|
|David Mowat (sub)||-||7||-||76||1|
|Stewart Ross (sub)||-||24||5||102||14|
|Gary Weir (sub)||10||19||14||124||32|