0 - 0
0 - 0
Craig Gunn for Jack Henry (64)
Scott Davidson for Paul Brindle (71)
Craig Campbell for Kyle MacLeod (87)
Richard Macadie (75)
James Ross (93)
Ally MacDonald (39)
Ally Macdonald (73)
|None.||Ally Macdonald (73)|
Harry Bruce (Referee)
A gutsy display backed up by a fine performance from goal-keeper Sean McCarthy earned Wick Academy a point from a 0-0 draw with north rivals Brora on Wednesday night.
The Sutherland side made much of the running at Harmsworth Park but were continually frustrated in their efforts – something that boiled over with 20 minutes left as Brora were reduced to 10 men with Ally MacDonald’s sending off.
If Wick’s plan was to stifle their opponents, it worked a treat – and even when Brora did breach their lines, McCarthy was on hand to thwart them.
Brora went into the game knowing the title was out of their reach following Cove’s weekend win.
The visitors spurned a glorious chance in 18 minutes as some trickery from Martin Maclean left the Scorries’ defence flat-footed but the midfielder hit his shot into the hands of McCarthy.
A 25-yard free kick by Gavin Morrison looked set to go in only for McCarthy to tip it over.
Wick finally tested the visiting defence when Gordy MacNab broke away and laid the ball to Marc Macgregor who curled his shot over the bar.
Richard Macadie tried his luck from 30 yards and Joe Malin managed to grab it at the second attempt.
Brora wasted a glorious opportunity just before the break when the unmarked Neil MacDonald put a header over the bar.
Another gilt-edged chance was passed over when Colin Williamson failed to stretch out a boot to convert a cross from the right by James Ross.
Ally MacDonald, who had already picked up a booking in the first half, received a second yellow when he brought down Sam Mackay.
Macgregor might have won it late on but he could only head Craig Gunn’s cross over the bar.
Match report written by John o Groat Journal - Fri, April 19, 2019.
|Sean McCarthy (GK)||25||31||-||167||-|
|Craig Gunn (sub)||31||32||6||82||35|
This game was the first goalless derby between the two sides in 69 competitive league and cup matches.
Interview by Matt Leslie Caithness Courier.
Wick boss Tom McKenna praised Sean McCarthy after the keeper’s fine performance against Brora.
The Academy number one pulled off a number of crucial saves as the Highland League runners-up struggled to find a way through in the derby.
McKenna said: “Sean is a fantastic goalkeeper, as everyone knows, and this is the latest of a number of exceptional performances from him.
“He certainly kept us in it with some excellent saves and having a solid goalkeeper like Sean gives the rest of the players confidence.”
The Wick manager also had high praise for the rest of his team, adding: “They all worked hard. I thought they were tremendous with the application they put in.
“It might have been a local derby but there’s no getting away from the fact that Brora are a very good team who have finished second in the league.
“But we held our line and the sending off managed to open up a few gaps for us to create a couple of late chances for Marc Macgregor who was unlucky not to score from one of them.”
Academy travel to Huntly on Saturday and McKenna admits he’s struggling for numbers.
He said: “I’ve a number of boys out so it’s going to be hard trying to get a team together. But whatever side we put out, we’ll be looking to secure the one point we need to clinch seventh spot.”