2 - 2
2 - 2
Marc MacGregor (13)
Gordon MacNab (84)
Gary McGown (30)
Gary McGowan (37)
Alan Hughes for Craig Gunn (60)
Gordon MacNab for Richard Macadie (67)
Sam Mackay for Jack Halliday (75)
Glenn Murison for Paul Napier (75)
Reece McKeown for Kai Ross (77)
Cameron Booth for Alexander Thoirs (80)
Jack Henry (68)
Jack Halliday (71)
Alexander Thoirs (28)
Ryan McRitchie (61)
Michael Clark (89)
Paul Cummings (Referee)
Grant Steven was suspended for today's game following his red card last weekend. Brother Michael was unavailable due to work commitments. Sam Mackay has been working alternate weekends and had also been struggling with an injury, but he was back in the squad for this one. Marc MacGregor took to the pitch for his 100th competitive appearance for the Scorries.
A really strong wind swept across Harmsworth Park making playing conditions tricky, but both teams tried to make the best of the conditions and served up a 2-2 draw.
Academy started very well and dominated the first 25 minutes. Marc MacGregor opened the scoring on 13 minutes. Two goals from Gary McGowan in the space of seven minutes put Huntly into the break with their noses in front, but substitute Gordon MacNab pulled the game level with six minutes left to play.
Academy kicked off playing down the Harmsworth slope and started really well. Within 4 minutes Davie Allan turned his marker with a driving run and forced a corner from his crossed ball. 2 minutes later Jack Halliday had a right foot strike from 25 yards on target but it went straight to keeper John Farquhar in the middle of the Huntly goal.
Huntly's first real foray came on 11 minutes. Good link-up play got Nicholas Gray into a good position but he sliced his shot wide of target.
The opening goal came on 13 minutes. Jack Henry had a powerful surging run through the middle of the park, turned his marker one way and then the other, before getting a shot on target. That was parried out by keeper Farquhar straight to the on-rushing Marc MacGregor and he nodded home from fairly close range.
On 21 minutes Gary McGowan drove up the flank and drove a low attempt into the side-netting. Kal Ross was next to have a go, firing a powerful shot just over the cross-bar.
Huntly squared the scores on the half-hour mark. Gary McGowan riffled a low shot from the corner of the box past McCarthy and into the opposite bottom corner of the net.
Huntly came close again 5 minutes later. Alan Farquhar tried to shield the ball out of play on the bye-line but it was nicked off him and squared across goal for Paul Napier but he fired high over the cross-bar.
On 36 minutes McGowan grabbed his second goal of the match. He cut in from a tight angle and fired the ball low past McCarthy.
Just before the half-time interval Jack Henry had a chance for the equaliser. The ball was played to him through the middle of the park and with only the keeper to beat he leaned back and fired over the bar.
Half-Time - Wick Academy 1 - Huntly 2
6 minutes after the re-start Academy passed up another chance to draw level. Jack Henry controlled a high ball over the top of the Huntly back-line, but 8 yards from goal he lifted his shot over the bar.
Gordon MacNab came on for Macadie on 69 minutes and Sam Mackay came on for Jack Halliday on 75 minutes as Academy pushed for the equalizer.
Marc MacGregor had a dipping shot that took a flick off a defender and flew just over the bar for a corner.
With six minutes left on the clock Sam Mackay swung in a corner and Gordon MacNab powered home a header from close range to earn a point.
With a great first 25 minutes and Academy restricting Huntly to no attempts on goal in the second half, the Scorries will feel aggrieved that a bad 10 minute spell in the first half has denied them all three points.
Full-Time - Wick Academy 2 - Huntly 2
Match report written by John Briskham
|Sean McCarthy (GK)||25||14||-||150||-|
|Alan Hughes (sub)||23||12||-||83||4|
|Sam Mackay (sub)||29||8||-||306||136|
|Gordon MacNab (sub)||24||14||3||32||9|
This was Marc MacGregor's 100th competitive appearance for the club.
Tom McKenna interviewed by Alan Hendry, Caithness Courier
There was a sense of relief around Harmsworth Park on Saturday as Wick Academy halted a run of three defeats – although manager Tom McKenna was frustrated that they had to settle for a share of the points with Huntly.
Gordon MacNab’s close-range header with five minutes left tied it up at 2-2 after the visitors looked to be on course for a comeback win. Marc Macgregor had put Academy in front inside the opening quarter of an hour but they rather lost their way after that and Huntly were ahead by half-time courtesy of Gary McGowan’s double.
The game was spoiled by a strengthening wind that all too often meant through balls were either overhit or held up in the south-westerly blast.
McKenna said: “Someone just said to me a draw was a fair result, but I don’t think so. I thought the first 25 minutes we dominated, we played very good football, we played with a good tempo and they couldn’t live with us.
“We went 1-0 up and I think it went against us because we settled into that and we allowed Huntly to get back into the game and find some rhythm in their play.
“Within their 20-minute period they scored two goals – and from our point of view they were very disappointing goals. They were avoidable, and the lads have held their hands up.
“One came from a throw-in and we’ve not matched the run, and the second one he stuck it through a tight angle and he’s got two players there. They were two very poor goals.
“In the second half Sean McCarthy didn’t have a save to make – they didn’t cause us any problems whatsoever. We probed and probed and probed and got an equaliser. But the lads wanted more than that – it’s a disappointing point.
“But I suppose where we are at the moment, we look upon it as a point earned. The lads have worked hard for it.
“It’s a frustrating time. The performances are good and I think we’ve dominated proceedings for three-quarters of the game today and we’ve come away with a point.
“The lads are bitterly disappointed and I can see the disappointment and frustration in their faces. And I can understand why when they’ve put so much quality and so much effort into the game.
“The lads are beating themselves up but if you keep beating yourself up you’re never going to get out of the hole you’ve created for yourself so you’ve really got to create a positive environment.
“For 25 minutes the football was great and I thought they were back to their old selves but we’ve got to be more consistent with that performance over a longer period in the game.
“In the second half we dominated without really asking too many questions.”
Huntly manager Martin Skinner said: “Wick started off the first 20 minutes better. We became the better team for the rest of the first half, but we didn’t create anything in the second half to finish the game. “Wick created more chances and they took one, unfortunately for us, near the end.
“Conditions were really tough. I’ve never seen the wind this bad up here.
“One of our players went to hit a diagonal pass across the pitch and it came back to him.
“It wasn’t a game for getting the ball down. You’re trying to avoid goal kicks.
“But the game was played in the right way.
“Credit to Wick, they stuck at it and I think that a draw was fair.”