2 - 4
2 - 4
SFL Ramsdens Challenge Cup (1st Round)
Lukasz Geruzel (51)
David Allan (61)
Brian Graham (38)
Douglas Hill (57)
Grant Anderson (71)
Patrick Clarke (82)
Stewart Ross for Alan Farquhar (81)
Gary Weir for Gary Manson (86)
Laurence Ellis for Douglas Hilly (75)
Ross Callachan for Grant Anderson (84)
Stevie Cunningham (69)
Stuart Anderson (43)
Douglas Hill (73)
David Somers (Referee)
Wick Academy played their hearts out against first division outfit Raith Rovers in today's Ramsdens Cup 1st round match. Academy gave a really good account of themselves and although the Kirkcaldy side did eventually put the game to bed, there wasn't a noticeable gulf in class between the two sides, and the Scorries should be proud of their performance.
A bumper crowd of 980, including a couple of hundred travelling Raith supporters, packed Harmsworth Park and created a great atmosphere with good bantered support for both teams.
Academy were first to have a crack at goal when Sam Mackay found himself a yard and his shot smacked off the back of a Raith defender and was deflected for a corner.
A minute later live-wire Brian Graham hit a cross cum shot come off the Academy cross-bar and then sliced his follow-up shot wide of target.
Graham then had another shot palmed around the post by Michael Gray for a corner, and from the corner kick Graham's header went over the top of the target.
At the other end Academy staged an attack but Stevie Cunningham couldn't keep his shot down and it went high over the top of David McGurn's cross-bar.
Raith looked dangerous from every corner and Graham again got his head to a flighted ball and the attempt flashed past the post.
Grant Anderson was the next to have a run at the Academy back-line but Ross Allan made a great defensive tackle as Anderson homed in on goal.
The visitors opened the scoring seven minutes from the half-time break. Grant Anderson crossed the ball from the left flank into the Academy box and the Scorries failed to clear their lines and in the midst of a melee of bodies the ball fell to Graham and he poked home from close range off the post.
0 - 1
Stuart Anderson was booked for blocking off a Ross Allan run, and Graham had a well taken shot on the angle saved by Gray.
The last of the first half action saw Gary Manson side-foot a shot to keeper David McGurn.
Half Time 0 - 1
The heavens opened during the half-time break making the conditions tricky for both sides during the remainder of the game.
Graham started the second half with a great run and he beat the off-side trap and ran in on goal. He blasted a right foot shot from 12 yards out and Gray made a brilliant save getting a hand to the ball to send it wide of target.
Academy squared the scores six minutes into the second half. Sam Mackay snapped up a sloppy pass from Douglas Hill and slid it through to Lukasz Geruzel who marched into the box and drilled the ball home to the delight of the Academy home support.
1 - 1
The visitors regained the lead in the 57th minute. A corner was fired into the Academy box and Edward Malone headed it towards the back post for Douglas Hill to nod it into the net.
1 - 2
Raith should have extended their lead in their next attack when Patrick Clark had time to pick his sport but he blasted his attempt well wide of target.
Academy heads could have dropped, but the home side showed their metal and Davie Allan pounced an a short pass-back by Rovers player-manager Grant Murray and the Academy striker made no mistake as he buried the equalizer to send the Harmsworth Park into raptures, game on!
2 - 2
It was Academy at this stage that were having a real go to try to win the game. Cunningham drove a crossed ball which Geruzel headed just over target. Davie Allan then hit the turbo and charged into the Raith box with ball at feet but defender Jason Thomson made a fantastic last ditch tackle to stop Allan getting a shot on goal as he cleared the ball for a corner. From the corner kick Alan Farquhar got his head to the ball and his attempt was cleared off the line as Raith looked rattled.
Raith however stepped up a gear as the prospect of a shock defeat looked on the cards and from a cleared corner kick Grant Anderson smacked a sweet volley into the back of the net to break Academy hearts.
2 - 3
Academy stuck to their task though and forced a corner that Geruzel headed over the cross-bar.
Nine minutes from full-time Alan Farquhar took a knock and had to be replaced by Stewart Ross. In a blink before the Scorries could re-organise their defence Raith scored their decisive 4th goal. Anderson crossed to the Academy back post and Patrick Clarke headed home from close range to seal the win.
2 - 4
Academy fought to the end but couldn't muster a grand-stand finish and the travelling Raith support celebrated the win as referee Somers blew for full-time.
Full Time 2 - 4
Academy gave the 1st division side a really good game and at 2-2 looked as if they were going to record a famous upset, but in the end Raith ran out deserving winners.
Match report written by John Briskham
|Michael Gray (GK)||-||1||-||26||-|
|Stewart Ross (sub)||-||1||-||188||18|
|Gary Weir (sub)||14||1||-||273||96|