0 - 4
NOS Cup (1st Round)
Craig Shearer (11)
David Allan (32)
David Allan (66)
David Allan (84)
Ian Munro & Richard Hughes
Grant Budge for Chris Sutherland (5)
Scott Mackay-Steven for Sandy Sutherland (57)
Martin Murray for Michael Bremner (63)
Ross Allan for Craig Shearer (41)
David Cowie for Gary Weir (70)
Gary Farquhar for Bryan McKiddie (76)
|Alan Davis (81)||
Gary Manson (23)
Bob Gunn (Referee)
Wick Academy eased their way into the quarter finals of the Nutel North of Scotland Cup on Friday evening in a game which at times was more like a pre season friendly than a full blooded local derby cup tie. Halkirk United had been invited into the North's premier senior football competition after finishing second in the North Caledonian League last season but with the Highland Games on next day at Recreation Park the match had been switched to Harmsworth Park.
After only a couple of minutes Halkirk's Chris Sutherland went down near the left touch line with a serious leg injury and after attention on the pitch was stretchered off to await the arrival of an ambulance.
Academy were soon passing the ball around confidently and in the 10th minute Stevie Cunningham almost scored with a drive from the 18 yard line which deflected off a Halkirk leg and flashed an inch wide of Alan Bocus's right hand post. The corner was cleared but within a minute Academy opened the scoring. Richard Macadie attacked up the right and as he took the ball past two defenders it broke to Gary Weir who laid it off immediately into the path of Craig Shearer. From just inside the box Shearer steered the ball deftly into the bottom corner of the net beyond the reach of keeper Bokus, diving to his right.
Play was very much confined to midfield as the visitors, with several ex Academy players in their ranks, worked hard to stifle Wick's passing moves. Halkirk's first real opportunity to push forward, when Colin Sinclair launched a 50 yard free kick into penalty area, failed to trouble keeper James More. However on the half hour Sandy Sutherland almost snatched an equaliser with an effort from 20 yards which skimmed the top corner of the Academy goal frame.
Shaken from any possible complacency Wick surged up the park and Macadie set up the chance for David Allan to score from 15 yards.
Cunningham, Allan and Macadie carved a way through the visitors' defence but Weir was unable to finish the move when the ball reached him 10 yards from goal.
Luke Sawyer raced down the Halkirk right and then cut in along the goal line. Shearer kept pace with him and made a timely tackle, only to fall awkwardly and twist his knee.
Academy finished the first period pushing for a killer third goal. Weir chipped the ball just over the Halkirk bar and Bokas leapt high to fist away a swerving free kick from Gary Manson.
After the break Halkirk enjoyed their best spell of the game. Grant Budge made progress up the left flank slipping the ball inside to Sawyer who helped it on its way towards the penalty spot where Andrew MacLeod and Alex Lamb managed to scramble it away from Sutherland. Moments later the speedy Sawyer was again in among the Wick defenders to run on to a deft lob from Sinclair but taking the ball to the right he fired it past the base of More's post and into the side net.
Academy took control of the game again and had five corner kicks in as many minutes. Bokus made several impressive stops doing particularly well to palm a well struck drive from Macadie round the post. This spell of Wick supremacy ended when David Allan dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box.
At the top end a 20 yard free kick looked promising for the Anglers and dangerous for the Scorries but Sinclair scooped it high over the bar.
On the hour mark Cunningham made a determined run down the middle, playing a one two with Macadie out to his left. Bokus dashed smartly from his line to slide the return pass away before Cunningham could reach it.
After 65 minutes the home fans in the 200 plus crowd enjoyed the best move of the game from their team. Confident forward passes from Grant Campbell and Bryan McKiddie and slick passing at the front edge of the box by Allan and Macadie set up Weir who was unlucky to see his accurate left foot volley bounce off a lunging Halkirk leg. Within a minute Academy put the game out of reach of their plucky local rivals when Allan's second goal made the score 3-0. When the ball fell to him inside the area following MacLeod's free kick from the halfway line, the young striker drove it low past Bokus's left hand into the corner of the net.
Briefly Academy toyed with the Halkirk defence. A Weir header bounced off Sinclair for a corner and when a string of passes left Macadie in the clear barely six yards from goal his neat side footed effort hit the inside of the post and rebounded into the arms of Bokus.
Halkirk refused to lie down and More had to be alert to claim a 30 yard free kick from Gavin Henderson. Another free kick from Benn Murray on the left was headed away at the back post by MacLeod. Henderson lofted the ball over the Wick defence and as Martin Murray raced up the middle in pursuit More sprinted 20 yards to kick it away.
Campbell initiated another good Academy move down the right and Sinclair made a well judged interception. Then Macadie was in the clear and Bokus pulled off another fine save to push the close range volley past his left hand post.
Another goal looked on the cards and although Bokus again thwarted Macadie, the Highland League Player of the Year was quick to react and retrieve the loose ball for Allan who gratefully lashed it into the middle of the net to complete his hat trick.
Cautious of facing a side of fit enthusiastic County League players while they themselves were still short of match practice Academy had done more than enough to earn a comfortable win. They will now have a midweek tie on August 11 or 12 at home to Brora Rangers, 2-0 winners at Bonar Bridge.
Match report written by Ken Wood
|James More (GK)||20||1||-||82||-|
|Ross Allan (sub)||16||1||-||1||-|
|Gary Farquhar (sub)||-||1||-||127||25|
|David Cowie (sub)||-||1||-||185||10|