2 - 1
HL Cup (Preliminary Round)
Stewart Ross (59)
David Allan (120)
|Ritchie Taylor (24)|
Ian Munro & Richard Hughes
Bryan McKiddie for Craig Shearer (38)
Ross Allan for Gary Manson (94)
Alan Redford for Martin Skinner (80)
Andrzej Kleczkowski for Michael McGinlay (82)
Ross Bremner for Ritchie Taylor (82)
David Allan (36)
Alan Farquhar (63)
Gary Manson (69)
Sam Mackay (85)
|David Booth (44)|
Martin Gunn (91)
||Simon Scott (36)|
Craig Sim (Referee)
The Harmsworth crowd were treated to a classic Cup tie today, with David Alan sending the Scorries through to the next round with the last kick of the ball. The game had everything; excitement, controversy, two red cards, a screamer of a free-kick and the inevitable last gasp winner.
Academy started the game on the front-foot and within a minute Manson chipped the ball over the top of the Huntly back-line. Macadie picked it up at the right hand corner of the box but blazed his right foot attempt over the top of the Huntly net.
Ritchie Tayor thought he was in on goal for Huntly a minute later but Gunn threw his body on the line with a great tackle to deny the striker a crack at goal.
Shearer was the next to try his hand in the 22nd minute when he had a long-range attempt but it flew straight into the arms of keeper Hastie.
Ritchie Taylor and Colin Robertson combined with 24 minutes of the tie played to give the visitors the opener. Robertson supplied the cross and Taylor ghosted in un-marked and nodded home past an out-stretched Bokas.
0 - 1
Academy should have levelled the tie 2 minutes later. Mackay provided a great ball into the Huntly box and Weir was millimetres from getting a toe on it to knock it into an empty net.
Hastie kept the visitors slender lead intact in the next Academy attack when he made a great save to tip a Macadie attempt over his cross-bar.
At the other end Bokas had a repeat save as he managed to get a hand to a Skinner header to turn the ball over his cross-bar.
Huntly went down to 10 men 9 minutes from the end of the first half. D Allan and Simon Scott had a tangle in the middle of the Huntly box and both fell over. Scott reacted and came down on Allan with his elbow and referee Sim gave the Huntly defender a straight red card. Allan also got booked for his part in the incident.
In 38 minutes Mackay drove up the left flank and squared for D Allan. He had a shot that went wide of the post, although the better option may have been to slip in Weir who was unmarked to his right.
Academy made their first change of the game with Shearer coming off for McKiddie.
2 minutes from half time Academy won a free kick 23 yards from goal which Ross took and he sent a daisy-cutter fizzing inches past the Huntly post.
The final action of the half saw a stramash in the Huntly box. Mackay swung in a corner which Ross challenged for. The ball bounced and seemed to come back off the head of Colin Robertson before flying into the arms of keeper Hastie.
Half Time 0 - 1
Academy were first to challenge in the second half when Mackay had a shot from a corner. The ball flew through a ruck of players before Weir managed to get a flick on it but it went just wide of the target.
With almost an hour played Academy levelled the scores. Mackay won a free kick at the edge of the Huntly box. Stewart Ross took it and hammered a rocket-shot low along the ground and into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
1 - 1
Michael Ewen almost restored the lead for the visitors but Bokas was quick off his line and bravely smothered the ball at the feet of the striker.
The crowd thought that Academy took the lead in the 73rd minute. Mackay curled a free-kick over the top of the Huntly wall which went into the side-netting.
With full-time fast approaching Mackay had another attempt with a half-volley but it went just wide of the left hand post.
In the last action of the 90 Martin Gunn worked himself into trouble wide on the left wing and in an attempt to recover the ball lunged in on David Booth with a bad tackle and was correctly given a straight red card.
Full Time 1 - 1
So into extra time. Both teams were by now running on reserves and Huntly went closest with two attempts in the first period of extra time. Substitute Kleczkowski had the first chance when he found an inch of space at the edge of the Academy box and got a shot off which whistled just wide of the right hand post.
Minutes later a high ball was punted into the Academy box and it went ping-pong in a desperate scramble before Stewart Ross eventually got his foot to it and he humped it clear of danger.
Extra Time Half Time 1 - 1
Both teams were now running out of steam, Michael Ewen in particular was more or less out of the game as he suffered from cramp. Academy won a free-kick in a great position but Ross Allan skied his attempt high of the target.
Huntly thought they had won the game in the next attack. Michael Ewen set the ball up for Russell Gould and he hammered his shot home, but as the players and travelling fans celebrated the linesman called the referee over and after some debate referee Sim awarded Academy a free kick for a push spotted in the box and the goal was chalked off.
So penalties on the cards, but for a last gasp winner. Bokas pumped a high kick down-field which bounced between the Huntly back-line. David Allan was on it in a flash and he demonstrated why he's currently one of the league's top goal scorers as he drove to the edge of the box and smashed a right foot shot past Hastie to send the Scorries into the last 16 of the Cup. The Harmsworth Park faithful went mental!
Extra Time Full Time 2 - 1
Academy now have an away trip to Forres in the next round on the 20th March.
Match report written by John Briskham
|Allan Bokas (GK)||-||19||-||19||-|
|Bryan McKiddie (sub)||-||16||1||96||4|
|Ross Allan (sub)||16||18||1||18||1|
Alan Hughes interview with Ken Wood, Caithness Courier.
Academy co-managers Ian Munro and Richard Hughes were resigned to a penalty shoot-out and were busy working out who would take their team’s kicks when David Allan won the Highland League Cup tie against Huntly with his last-gasp goal.
Hughes admitted: “Playing 10 against 10 in extra time it was clear that there were a lot of tired legs out there. At 1-1 whoever scored would win the game.
“Fortunately when Huntly netted it was chalked off and we started to figure out who was going to take our penalties. If you want to win a game, the best time to score is right at the end. We were absolutely delighted to get that goal.”
Goal hero Allan said: “Everybody was tired but you have to push yourself to keep going to the end. I was lucky maybe but Alan Bokas’s long kick fell just right for me, their defenders hesitated and missed it, so I just gambled on hitting it first time.
“My legs were about gone – I don’t think I could have managed any extra touches on the ball in a situation like that right at the end. The ball flew into the net to win us the game.
“I haven’t taken a penalty in a competitive game in years, but if it had come to it I suppose I probably would have been up for taking one.”
Hughes also enthused about the free-kick equaliser from Stewart Ross. “It was an excellent goal to bring us back to 1-1,” the co-manager said. “Stewart has quite a bit of power in that foot of his and we know if he can get a shot on target he is likely to score from that position. You cannot blame the keeper – he probably hasn’t even seen it.”
Academy must now travel to Forres on March 20 for the next round and the first reaction was that it will be another tough task.
“They are very strong, especially at home,” Hughes said. “We did well to get a 2-2 draw down there in the league but, as we’ve said all along, every game is tough at this level.
“We have an interesting few weeks coming up, starting with another game against Huntly – this time in the league down at Christie Park – and a couple of midweek games either side of the cup tie at Forres.”
Huntly manager Dave McGinlay was disappointed to lose the game but full of praise for the efforts of his players.
“Everyone who played for us gave their all,” he said. “To play for so long with 10 men, and then effectively nine when Mike Ewen got cramp, and considering we have not had a game for a few weeks, our fitness and application were first class.
“I felt that we controlled the game without having a lot of possession. We set ourselves up to let Wick have the ball in their own half and when they attacked we restricted them to just a few chances.
“Certainly it was a good free kick to equalise and then the boy scored the winner from possibly his only real chance in the whole game. He tucked it away very well.”
McGinlay was unhappy, though, to have seen a goal disallowed that could have won the game for his team.
“We are very disappointed not to win 2-1 after Guildy [Russell Guild] scored what we thought was a good goal. The referee was up with play when Mike Ewen passed the ball and Guild poked it in. He signalled a goal and then the linesman has spotted something and it is disallowed.
“However, we have a lot of games still to play and we can now concentrate on challenging for the league.”