1 - 2
NOS Cup (Cup Final)
Craig Shearer (77)
Robbie Duncanson (6)
John Cameron (102)
James Pickles for Craig Shearer (83)
Ross Allan for Gary Manson (99)
Bryan McKiddie for Stevie Cunningham (114)
John Cameron for Gregg Main (78)
Junior Mendes for Steven Ellis (89)
David Allan (77)
Michael Steven (111)
Steven Ellis (62)
Conor Gethins (72)
Douglas Ross (Referee)
A bumper crowd of 1,319 packed into Grant Street Park to witness a hard fought North of Scotland Cup final. Unfortunately there was heart-break for the estimated 900 Academy contingent as Nairn County ran out 2-1 winners, with the killer goal coming in the first period of extra time.
Both teams had players missing due to suspensions, Lukasz Geruzel for the Scorries, and Wayne MacKintosh for the Wee County.
Michael Gray was the first of the keepers to warm their hands with 4 minutes on the clock when he saved a Robbie Duncanson shot following good set-up play from Conor Gethins.
Nairn's opener came 2 minutes later when Gethins and Duncanson again combined. This time the pass from Gethins was inch-perfect to Duncanson and he slammed his effort low into the right hand corner of the Academy net.
0 - 1
It took a quarter-hour for Academy to start to really come into the game and their first half-chance came from Weir who drove into the Nairn box but he scuffed his shot and Callum Donaldson was able to make an easy save.
In the next attack Weir broke from his marker and slid the ball to Richard Macadie but he tugged his shot just wide of Donaldson's right hand post.
On the half hour Weir was again in the heart of the action as he flashed a 20 yard dipping effort just over the top of goal.
A minute later Nairn managed to slid another through ball to Duncanson who charged into the Academy box but Gray got down well to make a fine block.
The final 10 minutes of the half was all Academy's. Weir combined well with Craig Shearer but Shearer couldn't hit the target and fired his attempt over the cross-bar.
Macadie then floated a great cross into the box right onto the head of Sam Mackay but his header went straight onto the arms of Donaldson.
Shearer had a fine defensive tackle in the Academy box as Steven Finn was about to pull the trigger, but Academy finished the half strongly forcing two corners but they just couldn't convert the pressure into a goal.
Half Time - Wick Academy 0 - Nairn County 1.
6 minutes into the second half Gary Manson teed up Macadie but Macadie's right foot shot whistled just wide of the target.
Nairn by this stage were resorting to long balls up-field and looked content to defend their lead, but on the 70th minute the Academy support were on their feet when they thought Davie Allan had levelled the scores, but his attempt had found the side-netting.
Nairn punted another long ball up field and it was held up well by Gregg Main before David Watson joined the attack and the Academy faithful sighed in relief as his shot cannoned back off the Academy cross-bar. The ball fell into the box and in the resulting scramble to clear the danger Genthins looked to have showed his studs as he charged in on Craig Shearer, and referee Douglas Ross flashed him a yellow card.
Academy continued to press and Mackay fired a wicked cross across the face of the Nairn goal but it was cleared for a corner kick.
In the next attack Academy won a free kick 20 yards from goal. Macadie took it and the ball looked goal-bound but Donaldson somehow got a hand to the ball and turned it over his cross-bar for a corner kick.
Macadie swung the resulting corner into the box and Nairn failed to clear the danger and in the resulting melee Craig Shearer looked to have got the last touch to bundle it over the line, game on!
1 - 1
In the closing stages of normal time both keepers did well to keep the scores to one each. Michael Gray back pedalled on his line and plucked the ball out of the air when it looked as if it was going to drop in from a Duncanson deflected shot, and at the other end Davie Allan looked to have struck a 25 yard winner but Duncanson was on hand to pull off another great save to tip the ball over the cross-bar.
The final attack of normal time saw Grant Steven make a lung bursting drive from his own half and he went all the way into the Nairn box but couldn't connect properly with his shot and scuffed it into the welcoming arms of keeper Duncanson.
Full Time - Wick Academy 1 - Nairn County 1
So into extra time and Mackay hit the Nairn bye-line and fired the ball back across goal but there were no takers in a black and white shirt to turn the ball home.
In the next attack Macadie crossed the ball to the feet of Weir with his back to goal in the middle of the Nairn box. He managed to turn and get a shot in but it went over the top of goal.
Nairn's winner came with 102 minutes played. Gethins slid a perfect pass to substitute John Cameron. The Wick defence gave him half a yard and he swivelled on the ball and side-footed home from 8 yards out.
1 - 2
The first period of extra time ended with Weir rising highest for a crossed ball in the Nairn box but he couldn't direct his header on target.
Half Time Extra Time - Wick Academy 1 - Nairn County 2
With both sides running on fumes chances in the final period of play were few and far between. Michael Steven made a great defensive block to deflect a Duncanson shot for a corner, but Weir almost grabbed the equaliser with only 2 minutes left to play. Macadie worked himself to the right hand edge of the Nairn box and hammered the ball low across the face of goal. Weir got a foot to it but it looked to have taken a bobble just as he struck it and from 5 yards out the ball smoked over the top of the empty target.
Full Time Extra Time - Wick Academy 1 - Nairn County 2
Match report written by John Briskham
|Michael Gray (GK)||-||14||-||39||-|
|Ross Allan (sub)||19||11||-||71||1|
|James Pickles (sub)||22||12||2||12||2|
|Bryan McKiddie (sub)||-||5||1||157||6|