0 - 2
Stevie Cunningham (64)
Gary Weir (72)
Ian Munro & Richard Hughes
Daniel Bell for Peter Donnelly (68)
Ross Grant for Liam Conin (73)
Martin Gunn for Gary Weir (75)
Robbie Siegel (32)
Ryan Scanion (38)
Scott MacAngus (85)
Alex Lamb (32)
Jason Hasson (Referee)
Wick Academy progressed to the next round of the ITP North of Scotland Cup after a well deserved win today over a young Ross County side. The tie was a home game for Ross County but it was played at the Harmsworth Park due to other fixture commitments at Victoria Park Dingwall.
A debut goal from Stevie Cunningham, and a strike from Gary Weir gave the Scorries the win and the Academy defence managed to limit the Staggies to very few goal-scoring opportunities.
Academy almost caught County out with only two minutes on the clock when Richard Macadie capitalised on a defensive mix-up and broke through onto goal, but keeper Donnelly was sharp to react and came out bravely to smother the ball.
Macadie tried his luck again 10 minutes later getting a good right foot shot on target 24 yards from goal, but Donnelly got down well to parry the ball out.
It took 18 minutes for County to get their first attempt on target when Ryan Scanion had a speculative long range shot on target that took a weird bounce just in front of MacMillan as he dived to catch it, but he kept his eye on the ball and turned it around the post for a corner.
Just after the half hour Shearer had a decent shot at goal after evading two defensive tackles, but the ball clipped the heels of Girvan and was deflected for a corner.
As the game progressed Academy were dominating most of the play and really kept County pegged back and attempting long range shots at goal, and this was typified in the 38th minute when Petrie tried his hand but his shot went wide of target.
Half time 0 - 0
County started the second half a little brighter, but it wasn't long before Academy again started to control the game and the first chance of the second half came with 10 minutes played. Shearer did well down the left flank and squared to Cowie who took a shot with the outside of his right foot but it flew inches past the outside of Donnellys' right hand post.
A minute later Sean Stewart had a great run up the right hand side before cutting into the County box. He squared the ball across goal for Weir but he blasted over the top of goal from 5 yards out.
Stewart had a repeat run a few minutes later this time dinking the ball over the top of the County back-line onto Cunningham who fired his cross across the face of goal but Donnelly showed safe hands to dive down and smother the danger.
Just as you got the feeling that Academy may rue their missed chances they managed to make an opportunity count. David Cowie drove up the wing and crossed to the edge of the box where Cunningham struck a right foot shot past an outstretched Donnelly.
1 - 0
A few minutes later Shearer managed to get his head onto a crossed ball and sent a dangerous looping header towards goal. Keeper Donnelly scrambled over and managed to get a glove to the ball to turn it round the corner of the up-right, but he struck the post as he fell and looked to take a head-knock. He received several minutes of treatment but was clearly hurt and unable to continue and was replaced by Daniel Bell. Donnelly was taken to hospital after the game as he looked as if he was possibly concussed.
A minute after the re-start Cowie had a surging run into the heart of the County defence but he sent his right foot attempt just over the cross-bar.
Academy doubled their lead in the 72nd minute with a well worked goal. Macadie took the ball to the County touch-line, twisted and turned his defender turning him out-side in before crossing the ball to Weir who slotted home with his left foot from 6 yards out.
2 - 0
3 minutes after his goal Weir was applauded off the park as he was replaced by club captain Martin Gunn.
Academy by this stage were controlling the game and Cowie was next to try his hand shooting just wide of the right hand post after another good run up the right wing. 2 minutes later he got in on goal again, this time breaking through the defence before chipping Bell but his attempt went just wide of the left post.
In the 81st minute Academy really should have increased their lead, this time Cunningham strolled into the box with ball at feet and elected to square the ball rather than shoot himself. Shearer ran onto the ball but his first touch was too heavy and Bell dived at his feet to snuff-out the attack.
With a minute of injury time on the clock Academy were still on the attack. Gunn linked with Cunningham who had a good shot on target from 23 yards out but Bell made a great save palming the ball wide for a corner.
Full time 2 - 0
So County failed to impress, but this was because Academy didn't really give them a chance to get into the game. Academy turned in a work-man like performance with McKiddie well deserving of the man of the match award, and good solid play by the defensive back line, with Lamb, MacLeod and young Sean Stewart, who turned in a really impressive performance, doing well to limit County to very few attempts on goal. This sets up an away tie with Golspie Sutherland in the quarter final.
Next Saturday sees the start of the League campaign with a difficult away game to Cove, but today's performance must give the team the belief that they can go down their without fear. The last time we beat them at Allan Park was in 2003 with a thrilling 4 - 3 victory, so we are over-due another win down there.
Match report written by John Briskham
|Don MacMillan (GK)||-||1||-||113||-|
|Martin Gunn (sub)||-||1||-||338||69|