Strathspey 2 - WAFC 2

24th March 2010 - League Cup Seafield Park, Granton On Strathspey
 cove_rangersStrathspey Thistle F.C.  2 (Mateusz Bobrowski 48, Scott Hendry 85)

 Team:  Chris Bowles, Scott Hendry, Darren Jarvie(George Russell 85), Murray Rossycard, Craig Irelandycard, Terry Swinton, Joe Hardie, Euan Donaldsonycard, Gordon McNab, Mateusz Bobrowski, Fraser Tulloch(Ross Mackay 67).

 Subs: Ross Mackay, George Russell, Sandus Reinsons.

 wickWick Academy F.C.  2 (Richard Macadie Pen 60, David Allan 80)

 Team: Alan Bokas, Stevie Cunningham, Gary Manson, Stewart Ross, Andrew Macleod, Alan Farquharycard, Ross Allan(Ciaran Duffy 88), Bryan McKiddie(Davie Cowie 46), David Allanycard, Richard Macadie, Gary Weir.

Subs: Davie Cowie, Ciaran Duffy, Craig Shearer. 

 Referee: Cammy McKay
 Bookings: Euan Donaldson 8
Murray Ross 26
Alan Farquhar 49
David Allan 65
Craig Ireland 90

Academy visited Strathspey tonight and the teams shared the points with a 2-2 draw. Mateusz Bobrowski opened the scoring for Strathspey 3 minutes into the second half, but a Richard Macadie penalty pulled the sides level on the hour mark. The Scorries looked to have won the game 10 minutes from time when David Allan scored our second, but Scott Hendry scored the Strathspey equalizer with a header from a corner kick 5 minutes later.

Inverurie were beat 2-0 tonight by Forres so the draw tonight puts us a point ahead of the Locos in 7th spot.

Wick Academy co-manager Ian Munro slammed Strathspey Thistle as "the dirtiest team we've played this season" after the Scorries were held to a 2-2 draw on Wednesday night.

Munro was furious at what he saw as the overly physical approach of the Grantown side on Academy's first-ever Highland League visit to Seafield Park.

Several Wick players were clattered, with Bryan McKiddie coming off worst when he sustained a shoulder injury which necessitated a trip to Raigmore Hospital. "That team just went out there tonight to kick our players off the park," fumed Munro.

He and fellow boss Richard Hughes will be assessing the injury list as they prepare for Saturday's home game against Fraserburgh, but the bruising encounter in Grantown is sure to have taken a heavy toll.

The bitter aftermath continued when Strathspey manager Donly McLeod accused Munro of "sour grapes" and declared: "I felt quite honestly some of their boys were dropping like flies and maybe need to have a wee look at themselves."

It was all a far cry from the opening day of the season when Strathspey's HFL debut saw them surrender tamely at Harmsworth Park, conceding eight first-half goals.

Academy went into Wednesday's match without midfield duo Martin Gunn, who was suspended, and Sam Mackay, who had work commitments. That meant a starting place for 16-year-old Ross Allan, who proved to be a real livewire throughout.

Ross's brother David burst through in the sixth minute only for his well-struck shot to be deflected away by the trailing leg of keeper Chris Bowles.

Academy remained on top for much of the first half but just couldn't find a way past the massed ranks of blue shirts as Strathspey defended in depth. The closest the Scorries came to making the breakthrough in that first period was when an Andrew Macleod header cannoned off a post from a Richard Macadie corner.

McKiddie's injury came when he raced to the edge of the box after a swift exchange with Ross Allan, only to be sent sprawling to the ground by a defender - and yet referee Cammy McKay saw nothing amiss.

Clearly the Jags were determined to show how streetwise they had become after eight months in the Highland League. Euan Donaldson and Murray Ross were yellow-carded in the first half for fouls on Gary Weir and Alan Farquhar respectively, Joe Hardie joined them in the referee's notebook after the break when he flattened Gary Manson, and Craig Ireland was booked late on when his challenge on Ciaran Duffy almost sent the newly-introduced substitute into the perimeter fence.

In between the argy-bargy the teams shared four goals and Academy will view it as two points lost, having come from behind to take the lead with less than 10 minutes to go.

Strathspey opened the scoring two minutes into the second half when keeper Alan Bokas failed to deal with Gordon MacNab's speculative lob into the box and Polish frontman Mateusz Bobrowski was on hand to hammer the ball into the net.

The Scorries got themselves level after 61 minutes when Weir was tripped in the penalty area and Macadie fired the resultant spot-kick high past Bowles.

There were claims for a second penalty shortly after when David Allan took a tumble but the striker was harshly cautioned for simulation.

Allan pulled a shot narrowly wide after 75 minutes but Academy's top marksman was not to be denied.

With nine minutes remaining, Allan controlled a fine through ball from Macadie, created space for himself and lashed it beyond the helpless Bowles from the edge of the box.

It seemed Academy had done just enough to secure all three points, but the home side had other ideas and they equalised after 86 minutes. Bobrowski tried a low shot that was pushed behind by Bokas, and Hardie's corner from the right was headed in by Scott Hendry.

A final push by Academy in injury time saw Farquhar force the ball into the net but Mr McKay had spotted an infringement and so it finished all square.

Co-manager Munro said: "We totally dominated the first half, we just couldn't score. They sneaked a goal at the start of the second half and we knew it was going to be uphill.

"We got back into it with the penalty and then went 2-1 up. We should have maybe tried to kill the game but we were still going forward. We gave the ball away cheaply, they got a corner from it and they made it 2-2.

"But all in all I can honestly say I think that's the dirtiest team we've played this year. It's a tough, tough league but I feel that team just went out there tonight to kick our players off the park.

"That's the way they got their point - it wasn't through football, it was kicking the guys off the park.

"I'm not saying our team was all nicey-nicey either but we had to get tough. Alan Farquhar in the first half was more on the deck than he was on his feet because they were just chopping him down everywhere.

"Bryan McKiddie is off to Raigmore, his shoulder's out. It was just horrendous.

"We realise that's part and parcel of football, but that's honestly the dirtiest team that we've played."

Donly McLeod praised the commitment of his players as they picked up only their seventh point of the campaign.

"Fair play to the boys, they got stuck in tonight and competed - that's what they hadn't been doing over the last two or three games," the Strathspey boss said.

"We stopped Wick playing, that was our main objective, and obviously getting the first goal was a real bonus. I thought the penalty was a wee bit soft - the boy was looking for it - but these things happen.

"Wick's second goal was a cracker, there was nothing we could do about that, but we got back in it again with the header.

"I think over the piece we deserved a point from the game. The boys gave us everything, absolutely everything, and that's all you can ask for.

"We know the quality is not quite there to match some of the better teams, but tonight the boys fought for every ball and the substitutes came on and did their bit as well. I'm really pleased to come out with a point.

"We flooded the midfield because Wick like to play their passing game and we stopped them doing that. I thought the boys did really well tonight and we deserved a point overall."

When asked to respond to Munro's remarks, McLeod offered no apology for his team's robust approach.

"If he wants to come out and make comments like that, that's up to him," McLeod said. "There's maybe a wee bit of sour grapes on his part.

"He wasn't standing on the terracing at Wick when we got gubbed 8-1 and were eight-nothing down at half-time. It's all very well for him to come down here and say that, but we're not going to stand back and watch them playing pretty patterns like they did in the game up at Wick - we've got to get stuck into them.

"If he wants to make comments like that, that's fine - but obviously I don't agree with him. I felt quite honestly some of their boys were dropping like flies and maybe need to have a wee look at themselves.

"But I don't want to get involved in a slanging match. These things happen, people come out and make comments in the heat of the moment. We just take it on the chin and move on."