2 - 1
Steve Mackay (65)
Steven Mackay (73)
Steven Anderson (87)
Steven Mackay (C)
Michael Robert Maclean
Gary Weir for Grant MacNab (92)
Joseph Malin (87)
Craig McKeown (60)
Sam Mackay (67)
James Pickles (76)
Sean McCarthy (90)
Gary Weir (92)
Calum Spence (Referee)
A late goal from Steven Anderson wasn't enough to rescue a point for Wick Academy as Steven Mackay's double secured Brora Rangers victory at Dudgeon Park. The win for Brora means that they can now retain the Highland League title and secure a League Two play-off spot with a win at Turriff tomorrow.
Wick a sickness bug running through the Academy squad manager Gordon Connelly brought trialists John Budge, John Pickles and Grant MacNab into the team.
Academy were determined not to be rolled over by their rivals and signalled their intent a few minutes after kick-off when Richard Macadie attempted a long range effort which whistled just wide of the post.
However, Brora could have taken the lead in the eighth minute from a corner when Steven Mackay beat the Academy defence to head the ball goalward. But John Pickles cleared the ball off the line and it was gathered safely by the goalkeeper to ensure the scores remained level.
Goalkeeper Sean McCarthy got himself into bother when he spilled a ball when pressured by Martin MacLean and it fell to Steven Mackay. But the Brora striker was unable to trouble the net as wing back Gary Manson blocked his shot.
Anderson had a golden opportunity to give Wick the lead just before half-time when he beat the offside trap to run on to a Macadie pass and was one on one with Joe Malin. But the goalkeeper blocked his shot with his legs as the ball spun away to safety.
Just before half-time, Sam Mackay breathed a huge sigh of relief as he almost nodded a Zander Sutherland cross into his own net but his blushes were spared by the woodwork.
Half Time - Brora Rangers 0 - Wick Academy 0
Despite a spirited defensive performance from the visitors, Brora eventually broke the deadlock in the 64th minute when Andrew Greig launched a cross into the six-yard box to find an unchallenged Steven Mackay who nodded in the opener.
1 - 0
Mackay used his head again 10 minutes later to double the champions' lead, this time getting on to the end of a Sutherland cross to nod into the bottom left hand corner. The goal was Mackay's 52nd of the season.
2 - 0
Despite creating few chances in the second half, Academy pulled one back three minutes before time when Macadie set up Anderson on the edge of the 18-yard box and he unleashed a thunderbolt into the bottom left hand corner which Malin had no chance of stopping.
2 - 1
There was an unusual incident at the end when Brora Rangers were awarded an indirect free kick in the penalty box after Sean McCarthy miskicked the ball into the air and the wind blew it right back at him. He grabbed the ball to prevent the advancing Sutherland getting to it first but as an Academy defender originally passed the ball back to him, the referee awarded an indirect free kick.
However, with the game in injury time, Sutherland had no intention of testing the goalkeeper, as he took the ball to the corner in an attempt to run out the clock.
Full Time - Brora Rangers 2 - Wick Academy 1
Match report written by Luke Bunch
|Sean McCarthy (GK)||21||29||-||29||-|
|Gary Weir (sub)||17||30||11||377||146|