1 - 1
1 - 1
Sam Mackay (4)
||Dylan Mackenzie (15)|
Gordon C McNab
Craig Gunn for Marc MacGregor (56)
Danny Mackay for Gary Manson (75)
Alan Hughes for Sam Mackay (86)
Max Ewan for Callum Ednie (14)
Cameron McLean for Dylan MacKenzie (64)
Ryan MacLeod for Gary Kerr (83)
Andrew Hardwick (32)
Jack Halliday (85)
Craig Gunn (90)
Jack Henry (92)
Will Smith (Referee)
Craig Gunn almost made a dream return for Academy on Saturday when he had a golden chance to score in the dying minutes but was denied the glory by an excellent save from County goalkeeper Dylan Maclean as both teams had to be content with a share of the spoils at Harmsworth Park.
The 30-year-old’s signature from Brora Rangers was a welcome early Christmas present for the fans and he impressed when he came on as a substitute in the second half despite not finding the net.
Sam Mackay gave the Scorries the lead after just four minutes but Nairn levelled shortly after as both teams played out a scrappy game.
It had been 45 days since Wick last played a competitive game but it didn’t take them long to get off the mark after Glenn Main fouled Gordon McNab to concede a free kick at the edge of the box. Mackay showed why he’s earned his reputation as a dead-ball specialist as he curled his shot from 20 yards perfectly around the defensive wall and out of the reach of Maclean.
But the visitors soon caught up with the Scorries and equalised 11 minutes later when Dylan Mackenzie rose above his marker to nod Jordan Macrae’s cross from the right past keeper Sean McCarthy from eight yards to make it 1-1.
Nairn went on to dominate possession before the interval and almost took the lead when Adam Naismith’s free-kick from the left flank found Callum Maclean unmarked in the box eight yards from goal. But his powerful shot was well saved by McCarthy.
Academy were forced to play on the counter attack in the first half but could have retaken the lead when Mackay’s pace down took him free down the right wing with his cross being met with a powerful header from Steven Anderson which produced an acrobatic save from Maclean.
The tide turned in the second half as Wick took control. They should have retaken the lead when Mackay again played provider with a perfectly weighted cross that found Jack Henry unchallenged on the edge of the six yard box. But his header flashed wide of the left upright.
The moment Wick fans waited for came in the 56th minute when Gunn, who had signed for Brora from Elgin City in the summer, came on to replace Marc Macgregor. He almost made an instant impact when he beat the offside trap and rounded Maclean though he was forced wide which gave the keeper the time he needed to get back to block Gunn’s angled shot.
Gunn then played in Mackay whose effort at goal from a tight angle found the side netting. He also laid on a pass for Anderson who could not get enough on his shot to trouble Maclean.
The best chance fell to Gunn in the closing minutes when he ran on to Jack Halliday’s through ball from the halfway line but he was denied by a brave block from the overworked Maclean. Academy’s appeals for a penalty when Henry went down under a challenge from Ryan Macdonald were dismissed by referee Will Smith who opted to book Henry for simulation.
Match report written by Caithness Courier - Wed, Dec 27, 2017.
|Sean McCarthy (GK)||24||16||-||121||-|
|Gordon C McNab||29||13||4||13||4|
|Danny Mackay (sub)||26||19||1||92||3|
|Alan Hughes (sub)||22||6||-||56||1|
|Craig Gunn (sub)||30||1||-||32||25|
Wick Academy welcome Craig Gunn back to the club for his second spell, in his first game since signing from Brora Rangers. Gunn last featured for the Scorries 13 years ago in season 2003/04.