Wick Academy 0
Nairn County 4
HL Cup (1st Round)

Wick Academy
0 - 4
Nairn County 

HL Cup (1st Round)
Saturday, January 27th, 2018
Harmsworth Park. Att. 250
3:00 PM Kick-off

None. Jordan Macrea (14)
Dylan Makenzie (22)
Andrew Hardwick (45) Own Goal
Jordan Macrae (78)

Team Managers
Tom McKenna
Ronnie Sharp

Starting Eleven
Sean McCarthy
Michael Steven
Andrew Hardwick
Grant Steven
Danny Mackay
Gary Manson
Sam Mackay
Gordon C McNab
Richard Macadie
Jack Halliday
Craig Gunn
Dylan Maclean
Ryan Macdonald
Callum Maclean
Adam Naismith
Glenn Main
Adam Porritt
Jack Maclean
Kenny Mackenzie
Dylan Mackenzie
Jordan Macrae
Cohen Ramsay

Danny McCarthy
Brandon Sinclair
Ross Allan
Alan Hughes
Marc MacGregor
Steven Anderson
Inaki Ferdandinio-Soto
Max Ewan
Ewen Urquhart
Danny Highet
Joe Cuthbert
Cameron Mclean

Steven Anderson for Andrew Hardwick (59)
Marc MacGregor for Gordon C McNab (59)
Brandon Sinclair for Craig Gunn (78)
Max Ewan for Dylan Mackenzie (75)
Danny Highet for Jordan Macrae (88)

Michael Steven (19)
Sam Mackay (42)
Jack Halliday (63)
Jordan Macrae

Red Cards
None. None.
Match Officials

Ben Dempster (Referee)
Alexander McDonald & James McMillan (Assistants)

Match Report

Academy went into this Breedon Highland League Cup tie on the back of two wins on the spin after drawing with Nairn just before Christmas. But the feel-good factor in the Scorries camp was well and truly punctured by the visitors who progressed with a good deal to spare in Saturday’s preliminary round match.
Nairn may have lost out on the possession stakes but they packed a punch with their pacy counter-attacks while their backline afforded their hosts precious few openings.
After surviving a couple of early scares, Jordan MacRae – one of the Highland League’s hottest young properties – fired Nairn in front and while Dylan MacKenzie’s second was not terminal to Academy hopes, Andy Hardwick’s headed own goal in the last action of the first half was.
Tom McKenna’s men showed more urgency after the break but continued to struggle to breach a well-marshalled back-line. MacRae’s late second wrapped up the victory as well as clinching his man-of-the-match award.
For the second home game in a row, the match was marred by a high-velocity, swirling wind, which contributed to a high quota of passes and crosses going astray.
Academy can wonder whether the match may have played out differently had they managed to make the most of a couple of early chances.
On four minutes Danny Mackay could not get enough purchase on a downward header that Dylan Maclean was slow to get down to. The keeper was much sharper in preventing Gordon McNab converting Craig Gunn’s cutback.
On 12 minutes, some home fans rose to acclaim the opener only to realise that Sam Mackay’s near-post connection from McNab’s set-up had found the outside of the side net.
A minute later, Academy survived a penalty shout when Danny Mackay grappled with Jack Maclean.
The visitors took the lead after a swift counter in which Kenny Mackenzie set Jack Mclean free down the inside left channel. The latter’s shot was parried by Sean McCarthy but the ball fell perfectly for MacRae to side-foot home.
A minute later, the home defence was caught out again with MacKenzie racing through but seeing his tame effort comfortably gathered by McCarthy.
The hectic action continued with Gunn being denied by keeper Maclean before County doubled their lead. Ryan Macdonald’s slide-rule pass allowed MacKenzie to get the run on Hardwick and home in on goal before guiding the ball wide of McCarthy to lodge just inside the far post.
MacRae and MacKenzie continued to pose problems and on 27 minutes the latter was inches away from converting the former’s inch-perfect cross.
The match then fell into something of a stalemate be-fore Nairn grabbed their third just before the interval. MacRae again featured as he rose to meet Adam Porritt’s outswinging cross from wide on the left. MacRae was beaten in the air by Hardwick but the centre half ’s mistimed header flew high over McCarthy to go in off the far post.
Academy started the second half with a vigour and purpose that was previously absent, with the introduction of frontmen Steven Anderson and Mark Macgregor giving more teeth to their attack.
Dylan Maclean was called on to deal with a Gary Manson 30-yard blast while a Macgregor shot picked up a deflection off a defender that saw it spiral a foot past the left upright. Macgregor on 68 minute teed up Sam Mackay just outside the box but it whizzed just wide.
Nairn added to their lead when Porritt worked his way along the right byeline with his layback helped on by Kenny McKenzie into the path of the unmarked MacRae who tapped in from close range.
MacRae was denied his hat-trick when his stinging long-ranger veered just over.
In the final minute, the hosts went desperately close to a consolation when Macgregor’s looping header from Richard Macadie’s cross came back off the underside of the bar and keeper Maclean blocked Anderson’s follow-up.

Match report written by Caithness Courier - Wed, Jan 31, 2018.

Squad Statistics (as at January 27th, 2018)

2017/2018 All Time
Sean McCarthy (GK)24 18 - 123 -
Michael Steven27 13 - 22611
Danny Mackay26 221953
Grant Steven25 1612027
Andrew Hardwick25 11 - 311
Richard Macadie30 219475186
Gordon C McNab29 154154
Sam Mackay28 165286133
Gary Manson34 21258339
Jack Halliday23 212373
Craig Gunn30 4 - 3525
Brandon Sinclair (sub)18 7 - 14 -
Marc MacGregor (sub)23 1758924
Steven Anderson (sub)25 21513558

League Table (as at January 27th, 2018)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Cove Rangers 20 18 2 0 +72 56
2. Fraserburgh 22 16 3 3 +55 51
3. Inverurie Locos 23 15 3 5 +35 48
4. Formartine Utd 22 15 1 6 +45 46
5. Buckie Thistle 23 13 3 7 +23 42
6. Forres Mech 22 13 3 6 +20 42
7. Brora Rangers 19 13 2 4 +39 41
8. Huntly 23 12 2 9 -4 38
9. Deveronvale 22 10 2 10 0 32
10. Rothes 22 9 4 9 +10 31
11. Clachnacuddin 23 8 5 10 -7 29
12. Nairn County 20 9 2 9 -12 29
13. Turriff United 21 7 3 11 -15 24
14. WICK 18 6 5 7 +2 23
15. Lossiemouth 25 4 2 19 -52 14
16. Keith 24 3 2 19 -39 11
17. Strathspey 21 1 1 19 -75 4
18. Fort William 20 0 1 19 -97 1