Wick Academy 2
Deveronvale 0

Wick Academy
2 - 0

Saturday, March 31st, 2018
Harmsworth Park. Att. 300
3:00 PM Kick-off

Gordon MacNab (1)
Danny Mackay (81)

Team Managers
Tom McKenna
Steve Dolan

Starting Eleven
Sean McCarthy
Andrew Hardwick
Danny Mackay
Gary Manson
Ross Allan
Jack Halliday
Richard Macadie
Sam Mackay
Gordon MacNab
Steven Anderson
Craig Gunn
Grant Pennet
Lewis Dunbar
Harry Noble
Steven Davidson
Michael Dunn
Ross Aitken
Paul Sutherland
Kyle Gauld
Dane Ballard (C)
Grant Noble
Robert Scott

Alan Farquhar
Alan Hughes
David Allan
Korbyn Cameron
Matthew Wallace
Kevin Adams
Kyle Willox
Jody Munro

David Allan for Gordon MacNab (21)
Alan Hughes for Craig Gunn (60)
Alan Farquhar for Jack Halliday (71)
Matthew Wallace for Robert Scott (65)
Jody Munro for Grant Noble (83)

Ross Allan (40)
Steven Davidson (39)
Harry Noble (55)
Ross Aitken (81)
Grant Noble (81)

Red Cards
None. Michael Dunn (81)
Match Officials

Alan Proctor (Referee)
Alexander McDonald & Paul Grant (Assistants)

Match Report

Heavy rain and snow showers the previous day had put this match in some doubt but an early pitch inspection deemed the pitch playable (although heavy) and the players kicked off in sunny and dry if somewhat cool conditions.

Academy were quickly out the blocks and were ahead in just under three minutes when a Sam Mackay shot from the edge of the 18 yard box could only be pushed away by Vale keeper Grant Pennet , Gordon MacNab was quickest to the loose ball on the edge of 6 yard box and slotted the ball low past the keeper at his near post.

A couple of minutes later Academy looked to double their lead when Jack Halliday had a shot from 18 yards out but it was well blocked by Deveronvale's Robert Scott.

Six minutes in and Vale had re-grouped from losing the early goal and a pass down the right found Lewis Dunbar just inside the 18 yard box but he was crowded out by a combination of Steven Anderson and Jack Halliday.

The next attack of note was by Wick - Gordon MacNab found his way to the byline and slipped pass to Steven Anderson but his run into the box was halted when the ball was cut out by the outstretched leg of Vale's Lewis Dunbar.

It was by no means one way traffic and Vale were having their share of the ball but the Wick defence was standing firm and the goal was rarely threatened.

20 mins in and a high ball into the box was punched clear by keeper Pennet, but only as far as Wick's Richard Macadie - Macadie's shot from the corner of the 6 yard box looked to be on target but was blocked by a combination of Pennet and defender Michael Dunn for a corner.

First substitute of the day came when Wick's Gordon MacNab hobbled off with what looked like a hamstring injury and was replace by Davie Allan.

Straight into the fray and good link up play between Richard Macadie and Allan saw the substitute run on to a through ball by Macadie but his shot was cut out by Vale defender Michael Dunn at the near post.

Much of the next ten minutes was played out in midfield with neither team making much inroad on the path to goal - the goal chance drought ended when Steven Anderson unleashed a dipping drive that flew over the keeper's arms - but unfortunately inches over the bar too.

First sign of any real feistiness in the game Ross Allan was upended by a crunching tackle by Deveronvale captain Dane Ballard. The resulting free kick was fired into the box by Craig Gunn but knocked away by Steven Davidson - Davie Allan was on hand to pounce on the loose ball but was denied when keeper Pennet dived to smother the ball at the attacker's feet.

Two yellow cards then followed in quick succession - first on 39 minutes when Vale's Steven Davidson hung out a leg to clear the ball from a fast approaching Davie Allan but only succeeded in catching the Wick man about the mid-riff. Wick's Ross Allan was the recipient of the second just a minute later after he brought down Vale's Paul Sutherland on the half way line.

The last chance of the first half fell to Deveronvale from a free kick just outside the box after Danny Mackay had brought down Robert Scott - shot went over the wall but was comfortably saved by Wick keeper Sean McCarthy.

Half time Wick 1 v Deveronvale 0

Wick started strongly again at the beginning of the second half - Craig Gunn capitalising on a slip by Vale's Paul Sutherland - Sutherland looked to have the ball under control when he lost his footing on the ever increasingly slippy pitch and Gunn latched on to the loose ball,but his drive and shot was unable to beat Grant Pennet.

A minute later Steven Anderson drove down the left - cut into the box and the Academy man thought he had a good penalty claim as he was tripped by defender Michael Dunn as he fired his shot towards goal. Nothing doing from referee Alan Proctor.

In a dominant Wick spell Richard Macadie was next to try his luck from 20 yards out but he didn't gather the ball as cleanly as he would have liked and the ball went well wide of the post.

The next chance fell for Vale's Paul Sutherland - but his shot from outside the box was gathered by Sean McCarthy.

Next in the book was Vale's Harry Noble who brought down Jack Halliday on the far touchline as the Wick man was racing away from him.

It was then Harry Noble's turn to drive down the touch line but his run was halted by a well timed tackle by Wick's Gary Manson.

Substitution for Wick on 60 mins - Craig Gunn off and replaced by Alan Hughes.

Deveronvale came more into the game as the half went on and possibly their best chance of the match came in the 65th minute when a through ball to Robert Scott at the far post looked destined to find the back of the net - until Ross Allan arrived to hook the ball away with the Deveronvale played poised to pull the trigger.

Substitution for Wick on 66 mins - Robert Scott off and replaced by Matthew Wallace

Substitution for Wick on 71 mins - Jack Halliday off and replaced by Alan Farquhar

Next chance for Vale fell to the Vale substitute after he had beaten Ross Allan at the corner flag, cut towards goal and fired a shot that McCarthy saved at his near post.

The Wick defence were finding themselves under increasing pressure as Deveronvale pushed forward for an equaliser - Andrew Hardwick was on hand to head clear a high ball into the box and Ross Allan was forced into a saving tackle as Kyle Gauld powered into the box.

Wick relieved the pressure on the defence when Alan Hughes and Steven Anderson combined down the right and Anderson released a rasping shot from inside the penalty area that was blocked by Vale's Lewis Dunbar before it could do any damage.

Academy again they thought they had a good claim for a penalty in the 75th minute when Davie Allan latched on to a ball in to the centre from Alan Hughes, Allan powered toward the 18 yard box, keeper Pennet rushed out the edge of his 18 yard box and, as the Wick man knocked the ball around him, appeared to catch Allan's right thigh and knock him off balance. Davie Allan carried on with his run, reached the ball but could not steer the ball into the net.

Wick were once again in the ascendancy - a cross in from Richard Macadie was acrobatically cut out by Grant Pennet before it could reach Steven Anderson's head - Macadie then had penalty shout No 3 when he had picked up the ball on the byline inside the 6 yard box - shifted the ball to his right taking the ball around the keeper - looked to have had his legs clipped as he rounded the keeper - but got his shot away only to see it shave the cross bar instead nestling in the back of the net.

Deveronvale were not out of the game yet though and surging run and pass by Paul Sutherland laid the ball on for shot by Kyle Gauld - but his swerving shot was well watched and saved by Sean McCarthy.

And then the fireworks - a corner in from the right headed downwards by Wick's Danny Mackay - the high bouncing ball was then met by the boot of Wick's Davie Allan and the fists of Vale keeper Grant Pennet simultaneously , sending the ball high into the air - Pennet and Allan then challenged again for the ball, the keeper falling backwards into the Wick man - and the Scorrie striker managing with a combination of what looked like hand and head forcing the ball into the path of Danny Mackay who wasted no time in slamming the ball into the net amid loud claims of handball by the Vale defenders.

The Vale protests were as long as they were vociferous and eventually referee Alan Proctor lost patience and issued a straight red to Vale's Michael Dunn. The protests were not finished though and Ross Aitken and Grant Noble found themselves issued with yellow cards for their continued arguments.

Substitution for Deveronvale 83 mins - Grant Noble off and replaced by Jody Munro

Fired up Vale were straight on the attack and had a chance to pull a goal back when the ball was fired across goal only for Kyle Gauld to be just too far away to get boot to ball. A minute later Wick keeper Sean McCarthy had to be sharp to collect ball from a corner under pressure from Steven Davidson.

With the game going into additional time tempers looked about to flare again when Steven Anderson and Steven Davidson clashed over a tackle on the left touchline. Handbags at dawn - sense prevailed and the game finished with a hard fought 2 nil win to Academy.

Match report written by Mel Roger

Squad Statistics (as at March 31st, 2018)

2017/2018 All Time
Sean McCarthy (GK)24 25 - 130 -
Danny Mackay27 3121044
Andrew Hardwick25 15 - 351
Ross Allan24 22120310
Gary Manson34 30359240
Gordon MacNab23 96156
Sam Mackay29 246294134
Richard Macadie30 3010484187
Jack Halliday23 273434
Craig Gunn30 1334428
Steven Anderson25 30814461
Alan Farquhar (sub)30 3 - 2754
Alan Hughes (sub)22 142643
David Allan (sub)28 31307135

League Table (as at March 31st, 2018)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Cove Rangers 26 23 3 0 +96 72
2. Inverurie Locos 30 22 3 5 +65 69
3. Fraserburgh 27 20 4 3 +65 64
4. Formartine Utd 27 19 1 7 +53 58
5. Forres Mech 29 18 4 7 +31 58
6. Brora Rangers 25 16 2 7 +41 50
7. Buckie Thistle 32 14 6 12 +23 48
8. Huntly 30 14 3 13 -16 45
9. WICK 27 11 8 8 +15 41
10. Deveronvale 29 13 2 14 -8 41
11. Rothes 27 12 4 11 +10 40
12. Clachnacuddin 32 11 7 14 -10 40
13. Nairn County 27 12 2 13 -15 38
14. Turriff United 27 8 4 15 -21 28
15. Lossiemouth 31 4 2 25 -73 14
16. Strathspey 27 4 1 22 -80 13
17. Keith 29 3 2 24 -51 11
18. Fort William 26 0 2 24 -125 2