1 - 1
1 - 1
James Pickles (71)
||Barrie Stephen (86)|
Gary Weir for Lukasz Geruzel (63)
Ross Allan for Sam Mackay (87)
Scott Burke for Jamie McLachlan (67)
Chris Davidson for Jamie Lennox (87)
Stevie Cunningham (51)
Gary Manson (72)
|Barrie Stephen (89)|
Thomas Shaw (Referee)
A crowd of close on 500 at sunny Harmsworth Park witnessed the anticipated hard battle between league leaders and reigning champions. Although the first three quarters of the game was goal-less both teams created several chances.
A cracking strike from James Pickles in the 71st minutes looked as if it would be enough for all 3 points, but Barrie Stephen nodded home a free header 4 minutes from full time to bring the scores level. A 30 yarder from Gary Manson in the last minute looked as if it was going to creep under the cross-bar but Cove keeper Greg Sim went air-born and tipped it over the top.
The draw extends Academy's unbeaten home league run, but points lost today drops us to second place in the table.
After Davie Allan had tested Cove keeper Greg Sim with a low 20 yard drive in the opening minute, the visitors had a long spell of possession in the Wick half until a 5th minute Jamie Lennox shot was smothered by Michael Gray.
Cove were unlucky in the 8th minute when Barrie Stephen robbed a defender and passed to Jamie McLachlan who set up Lennox for a swerving 25 yard effort that hit Gray's right hand post.
As Cove continued to press, Gray dashed from his line to block another Lennox drive and Stephen volleyed over the bar.
Wick responded and a low Richard Macadie drive was deflected for a corner from which Michael Steven's header was comfortably held by Sim. After 34 minutes Allan bustled his way past two defenders into the Cove area but his left foot drive shaved the base of Sim's right hand post.
As the first half came to a close Lukasz Geruzel fired just wide for Wick and Stephen did likewise for the visitors.
Half Time - Wick Academy 0 - Cove Rangers 0
Straight from the restart a shot on the turn from McLachlan flashed past Gray's right upright.
Ten minutes into the half a looping back header from Stevie Cunningham landed on top of the Cove net. On the hour a vicious swerving 30 yard drive was grabbed at the second attemt by Sim.
The Wick fans were jubilant after 71 minutes. Steven passed the ball inside to substitute striker Gary Weir who laid it off to James Pickles and from 30 yards the young midfielder fired a scorching drive into the top corner of the net.
1 - 0
Wick survived a couple of scares from low crosses but could have doubled their score when Macadie saw a shot deflected for a corner.
In the 86th minute Cove snatched an equaliser when Lennox cut in from the right along the goal line and Stephen netted from the 6 yard line.
1 - 1
Academy pushed for a late winner and a packed Cove defence scrambled the ball away from Weir as he wriggled to line up a shot.
In a dramatic finale Gary Manson shot from 30 yards and Sim dived to his right to touch it over the bar.
Full Time - Wick Academy 1 - Cove Rangers 1
Wick manager Barry Wilson said: We were not at our best and were a bit sluggish but a screamer of a goal gave us something to hold on to. It was so disappointing to concede an equaliser 5 minutes from the end as we switched off at a throw in and allowed the cross to come in to a player who was unmarked and scored.
Cove boss Kevin Tindall said: We had chances to win but we'll take a point for the draw. We had several young players drafted in and Wick have been so dominant at home this past couple of years.
Match report written by John Briskham
|Michael Gray (GK)||-||1||-||58||-|
|Ross Allan (sub)||20||5||-||93||1|
|Gary Weir (sub)||16||9||3||318||115|