0 - 3
0 - 3
HL Cup (First Round)
Kai Ross (46)
Paul Esslemont (49)
Cai Matthew (92)
Ross Still (C)
John Graham Farquhar
Colin Macrae for Alan Hughes (61)
Mark Macadie for Jack Halliday (73)
Cai Matthew for Paul Esslemont (73)
Calum Reid for Liam MacDonald (80)
Marcel Czurlyo for Reece McKeown (85)
David Allan (70)
Jack Halliday (73)
Liam MacDonald (50)
Ross Still (53)
Bradley Manson (85)
Calum Reid (90)
Gordon Morrison (Referee)
Wick Academy made the semi-final of the Highland League Cup last season, but any hopes of a good cup run this year were dashed by visitors Huntly who ran out 3-0 winners. The drawn for round two was made in the Harmsworth Park boardroom after the game, and Huntly have been rewarded with a home tie against Brora Rangers.
Academy had the bulk of possession in the first half with both sides having half-chances and Academy had a fair shout for a penalty when Craig Gunn looked to have been clipped in the box.
Half Time - Wick Academy 0 - Huntly 0
A slack pass out of defence right at the start of the second half was punished by Kai Ross for the opening goal.
Paul Esslemont was free in the box three minutes later to head home a free kick.
Academy pushed hard in the last 20 minutes to try to get back in the game but just couldn’t pull a goal back, and with everyone up Huntly broke down-field on a three-on-one break and Cai Matthews put the icing on their cake.
Full Time - Wick Academy 0 - Huntly 3
Match report written by John Briskham
|James More (GK)||31||1||-||148||-|
|Colin Macrae (sub)||21||1||-||22||1|
|Mark Macadie (sub)||16||5||-||9||-|
Interview by Matt Leslie Caithness Courier.
Wick Academy boss Tom McKenna lamented a “bad day at the office” for his team and refused to blame the state of the pitch.
The Scorries never got going in their Highland League Cup tie at home to Huntly as goals from Kai Ross, Paul Esslemont and Cai Matthew gave the visitors a deserved 3-0 win.
There had been concerns that the match might go ahead owing to frosty weather earlier in the week. However, an inspection at the crack of dawn gave the green light for the tie to take place – although chunks of turf were cutting up during the game, making passing the ball more difficult.
McKenna said: “The pitch wasn’t great but it was the same for both teams. Saying that, our passing wasn’t as precise as normal.
“The players were saying the pitch was soft underneath which caused some of them to lose their footing. They also mentioned the ball bobbling up as they were just about to strike. But Huntly had those issues too – we just had a bad day.
“I can’t fault the lads for endeavour but we need a wee rub of the green as they need some confidence.
“All credit to Huntly. They played to their strengths and that worked well for them.”
McKenna admitted that Academy had not done themselves any favours – especially with Huntly’s first two goals coming from defensive lapses.
He added: “I don’t know what Sam [Mackay] was trying to do but he got caught and seconds later their lad had a free header to score from.
“The ball that Sam had to deal with should have been hit into row Z. We’ve asked him to play at centre-half in the past when we’ve needed cover and has done well for us. This was just a case of bad decision-making.
“Then the second goal arrived not long after. You can look at the keeper coming off his line too soon but their man was allowed a free header. Somebody should have matched his run.
“We could have had a penalty in the first half but didn’t get it. Looking back on the incident with Craig Gunn, if the referee’s not going to give the penalty then surely he should book Craig for diving. He did neither.
“Huntly’s defence caught us offside on a number of occasions. I don’t know how accurate the offside calls were because it’s difficult with the angle you’ve got in the dugout.
“The linesman has a better view than myself. I said to the lads at half-time that they would need to time their runs a wee bit in order to try and not get caught out.
“Davie Allan got behind them a few times in the second half but we couldn’t get anything from that.”
Saturday’s result means Academy have picked up only one win in their last seven league and cup matches, with five defeats.