2 - 2
2 - 2
Scottish Cup (Round 1)
Sam Mackay (67)
Grant Steven (82)
Chris Geddes (58)
Paul McCafferty (75)
Gordon C McNab
Lewis Hunter (C)
Sam Mackay for Gordon C McNab (65)
Kieran Hall for Chris Geddes (72)
Lewis Bonar for David O'Brien (76)
Angus Mailer for Rory MacEwan
Ross Allan (27)
Jack Henry (82)
Kevin Walker (24)
Kevin Keane (78)
Kevin Keane (81)
Dominic Slattery (88)
|None.||Kevin Keane (81)|
Harry Bruce (Referee)
A crowd of about 500 turned out on what was a breezy day on the east coast for this first round William Hill Scottish Cup tie. This was Tom McKenna's first game in charge since being appointed as the new Wick Academy Manager.
University of Stirling signalled their attacking intent within the first 2 minutes when a run down the right by Paul McCafferty found Rory MacEwan and his cross had to be blocked by Ross Allan for a corner. The subsequent corner found Daniel Ashe on the left edge of the Wick 18 yard box and his goal bound shot needed a clearance off the goal line by Wick's Gary Manson.
Wick's first sight of goal game 2 minutes later when, after a driving run from the middle of his own half to the edge of the Stirling 18 yard box, Gordon McNab slipped the ball through to Jack Henry on the edge of the 6 yard area -his low cross was cut out by Stirling's Dominic Slattery just before Steven Anderson could strike.
Wick then had to weather a period of pressure from the visitors - Paul McAfferty, David O'Brien and Chris Geddes combining well through midfield to create several chances - before the home team was able to fashion some goal action for themselves - A corner from the right was nodded on by Ross Allan, cleared away from the far post by Dominic Slattery but only to Marc Macgregor, whose shot from just inside the 6 yard box had the beating of Stirling keeper Kevin Walker but ran just wide of the far post.
The first main talking point of the match came after 24 minutes when Stirling keeper Walker left his box to clear the ball from the oncoming Richard Macadie. Walker failed to clear and stopped the ball with his left hand instead. Referee Harry Bruce and his assistant David Alexander conferred, and to Walker and the rest of his team's relief only a yellow card was brandished. There was no joy for Wick from the resulting free kick as Richard Macadie's left foot strike curled just to the right of the far post.
Ross Allan was the next player so see yellow - for a tackle from behind on Rory MacEwen - but as with Wick, Stirling could not take advantage of the free kick as Chris Geddes shot went just wide of the post.
Honours even at the interval in what was despite the lack of goal an entertaining 45 minutes of football.
The second half began much as the first had left off with the two teams trading attacks, but, with the wind at their backs and playing down the Harmsworth slope, Wick began to pressurise the University side. A run down the left by Ross Allan with a perfectly weighted pass to Richard Macadie gave the Wick No 10 a chance for a shot on goal - but his shot was well blocked by a Stirling defender for a Wick corner. And a few minutes later a cross in from the right by Gary Manson was knocked down to Danny Mackay by Grant Steven but the ball went agonisingly past the Wick man's outstretched leg.
First blood to University of Stirling in the 58th minute - a cross in from the right hand side by Rory MacEwan was only partially cleared by Wick's Jack Henry and the ball ran to Chris Geddes on the left edge of the box, and his right foot shot had Wick keeper Sean McCarthy rooted to the spot as the ball hit the back of the net.
Wick stuck to their task though and their next chance came when a cross in by Gordon McNab was cleared for a corner by Daniel Ashe. Steven Anderson rose between two Stirling defenders to get on the end of Ross Allan's floated ball in and his header looked destined for the bottom left hand corner of the net until Stirling's Paul McCafferty cleared off the line.
The first and only change came for Wick after 65 minutes with Sam Mackay swapping places with Gordon McNab. The substitute's impact was almost immediate when Richard Macadie shook off Stirling defenders, Lewis Hunter and Alex Webb, and Mackay met his cross with a fierce shot from 20 yards out, the shot just shaving the left upright.
Sam Mackay didn't have to wait long for his goal, when in the 67th minute he finished off a flowing attack that started with Steven Anderson turning Lewis Hunter on the centre circle - Anderson drove forward, slid the ball through to Marc Macgregor, Stirling's Alex Webb managed to get a toe to the ball to knock it away from Macgregor but the loose ball fell into the path of the oncoming Sam Mackay and his left foot shot passed the outstretched arms of Kevin Walker to hit the back of the net.
Academy had a chance to take the lead a few minutes later when a neat knock on from Steven Anderson found Marc Macgregor on his own at the edge of the 6 yard box. Stirling keeper Kevin Walker was quick off his line and did enough to ensure the Wick man put his attempt wide of the post.
Despite Wick's chances it was Stirling that took the lead again in the 75th minute. Paul McCafferty ran on to pass from David O'Brien, wrong footed Sam Mackay to give himself space just inside the left corner of the box and unleashed a shot that flew past Wick keeper Sean McCarthy to make it 2 - 1 to University of Stirling.
The game turned back in Wick's favour when two tackles in 5 minutes on Sam Mackay by Kevin Keane drew as many yellow cards from referee Harry Bruce, and the University team found themselves a man short for the last ten minutes. Wick turned up the pressure on the ten men and when a Marc Macgregor header rebounded off Stirling defender Alex Webb into the path of Grant Steven the Wick man wasted no time in lashing the ball into the top left corner to bring Academy level again.
There was time for a couple more bookings as things got a little frantic in the last 5 minutes as both teams searched for a winner - Jack Henry for a tackle on Lewis Hunter and Dominic Slattery for pushing down Steven Anderson .
All square at the end - both teams had their chances and a draw was probably a fair result. Academy now face the return trip to Falkirk Stadium where University of Stirling play their home games.
Match report written by Mel Roger
|Sean McCarthy (GK)||24||10||-||115||-|
|Gordon C McNab||29||8||4||8||4|
|Sam Mackay (sub)||28||8||3||278||131|
This was Tom McKenna's first game as charge as manager.