Wick Academy 0
Nairn County 1

Wick Academy
0 - 1
Nairn County 

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Harmsworth Park. Att. 450
8:00 PM Kick-off

None. Connor Gethins (67)

Team Managers
Gordon Connelly
Les Fridge

Starting Eleven
Sean McCarthy
Michael Steven
Grant Steven
Alan Farquhar
Ross Allan
Stevie Cunningham
Sam Mackay
Richard Macadie
James Pickles
David Allan
Gary Weir
Callum Donaldson
Sean Webb
Glenn Main
Michael Morrison
Martin MacDonald
Wayne MacKintosh
Bradley Halsman
Kyle Wilkie
Robert Duncanson
Sam Urquhart
Adam Naismith

James More
Gary Manson
Craig Shearer
Alan Hughes
Bryan McKiddie
Lukasz Geruzel
Steven Anderson
Connor Gethins
John Cameron
Ross Naismith
Paul MacLeod
Gary Kerr
Mathew Murphy
Sam MacLean

Steven Anderson for Gary Weir (67)
Lukasz Geruzel for Stevie Cunningham (75)
Connor Gethins for Sam Urquhart (60)
Paul MacLeod for Wayne MacKintosh (85)
Ross Naismith for Kyle Wilkie (90)

Michael Steven (28)
David Allan (44)
Michael Morrison (39)
Kyle Wilkie (69)

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Billy Baxter (Referee)
Stephen Tait & Alexander McDonald (Assistants)

Photography by Melanie Roger

Match Report

Highland League Player of the Year, Connor Gethins, came off the Nairn bench an hour into Wednesday evening's Highland League encounter at Harmsworth Park and eight minutes later netted the only goal of the game.

The visitors quickly settled into their rhythm at the start of the match, stringing together a dozen or so passes as they worked their way up the left. They were forced back into their own half by a long throw-in from Michael Steven and although Richard Macadie was crowded out, a free kick on the halfway line soon set up Davie Allan for a darting run down the Wick left and into the penalty area. He slipped a short pass to Gary Weir who was promptly closed down and although an intended clearance fell at the feet of Sam Mackay, the Wick mid-fielder fired high over the bar from 25 yards.

Down on the right, Macadie played a short pass along the goal-line to Mackay who was unable to chip it towards goal.

After 10 minutes Sean Webb's through ball reached Sam Urquhart near the Wick penalty spot but the former Clach man lobbed it over the bar. An incisive move up the left took the ball to Wayne MacKintosh whose well struck 25 yard effort was caught by Wick keeper Sean McCarthy. Moments later MacKintosh had the ball on the Nairn left but fired over the bar.

When a promising Wick passing move broke down on the 18 yard line, Nairn set up a slick counter attack up the right. Glenn Main crossed low to Bradley Halsman who mis-kicked and Adam Naismith fired the loose ball over the bar.

When a promising Wick passing move broke down on the 18 yard line, Nairn set up a slick counter attack up the right. Glenn Main crossed low to Bradley Halsman who mis-kicked and Adam Naismith fired the loose ball over the bar.

Midway through the half, James Pickles tackled Robert Duncanson on the 18 yard line as Nairn piled on the pressure. From his clearance Stevie Cunningham's shot deflected to Weir whose progress was halted near the area.

Play followed this pattern for the rest of the half with Nairn creating but missing chances and Wick failing to break down the visitors' defence. McCarthy dived to his left to save Duncanson's low drive and a Kyle Wilkie shot was headed away by Alan Farquhar.

Half Time - Wick Academy 0 - Nairn County 0

Early in the second half Urquhart shot wide from near the penalty spot and a 20 yard Duncanson effort flew too high.

Academy's best chance so far saw Mackay one on one with keeper Callum Donaldson who stopped him with a right footed tackle.

Just after the hour a lofted free kick from Cunningham was headed away from the Steven brothers and when a corner came to Michael Steven on the 18 yard line he was penalised for raising his foot attempting a waist high volley.

The defining moment of the game saw a ball from the Nairn right to the feet of Gethins on the left and he ghosted past the Wick defence to drill the ball low into the far corner of the net.

0 - 1

Like the relentless heavy rain, Wick maintained their 100% effort. A Cunningham free kick bounced in the box and Donaldson had to stretch to touch it over his bar for the first in a series of four Wick corners. First there was a scramble in the 6 yard box, next a deflected shot from Grant Steven, then a header behind from centre back Martin MacDonald.

Ross Allan made some determined runs up the left, combining well with Macadie. Academy renewed their strike force introducing Steven Anderson and Lukasz Geruzel and the big Polish target man head-flicked the ball forward to the young recruit from Lybster who battled past a couple of defenders before Donaldson smothered the ball.

With time running out, Anderson cut into the box from the right but his shot hit MacDonald.

Full Time - Wick Academy 0 - Nairn County 1

Match report written by Ken Wood

Squad Statistics (as at August 20th, 2014)

2014/2015 All Time
Sean McCarthy (GK)21 7 - 7 -
Grant Steven22 5 - 932
Michael Steven24 6 - 1196
Alan Farquhar26 7 - 1853
James Pickles23 41687
Richard Macadie27 72340133
Sam Mackay25 5217579
Stevie Cunningham - 7 - 23641
Ross Allan21 721176
Gary Weir17 75354140
David Allan24 7120798
Steven Anderson (sub)21 5 - 5 -
Lukasz Geruzel (sub) - 417333

League Table (as at August 20th, 2014)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Inverurie Locos 5 5 0 0 +15 15
2. Formartine Utd 5 5 0 0 +10 15
3. Fraserburgh 5 4 1 0 +12 13
4. Brora Rangers 4 4 0 0 +23 12
5. Clachnacuddin 5 2 1 2 +4 7
6. Cove Rangers 4 2 1 1 +4 7
7. Forres Mech 5 2 1 2 0 7
8. Buckie Thistle 5 2 1 2 -2 7
9. Turriff United 5 3 0 2 -3 6
10. WICK 5 2 0 3 -3 6
11. Keith 5 2 0 3 -3 6
12. Deveronvale 5 1 2 2 -3 5
13. Lossiemouth 5 1 1 3 -1 4
14. Nairn County 4 1 0 3 -2 3
15. Strathspey 5 1 0 4 -11 3
16. Rothes 5 1 0 4 -23 3
17. Fort William 3 0 0 3 -3 0
18. Huntly 4 0 0 4 -14 0

Manager's Programme Notes

Managers' Views on the Nairn County Game [Interviews by Ken Wood]

Gordon Connelly (Wick Academy)
‘The game looked as though it had nil-nil written all over it. Then Connor Gethins comes on and does what he’s good at. We didn’t play as well as we can, so we’ll just keep working hard on the training ground, stick together and try to turn it round. We were getting forward into good areas but then we were picking the wrong options and there is a lack of confidence in front of goal at the moment. I still believe in the players and we’ll keep going at it.”

Les Fridge (Nairn County)
“To come up to Wick and win the way we did was very pleasing as we still had a few of our players missing. In the first half I thought we controlled a lot of the game and all that was missing was a goal. You can never switch off against Wick – they have a lot of quality going forward and a lot of pace. They can hit you on the break, so we had to be aware of that. In the second half again we were playing well enough and getting on the ball. Connor Gethins had been out injured for a couple of weeks and it was good to have him back. His goal was maybe not the cleanest of strikes but it was an opportunist goal which is his trademark. We expected Wick to throw everything at us in the last few minutes and we were under a bit of pressure defending corners.”