Academy at home to Strathspey Thistle on opening day of shortened Highland League season
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Wick Academy will welcome Strathspey Thistle to Harmsworth Park on the opening day of the new Highland League season – 224 days after the Scorries' last competitive outing.
Fixtures for the first three weekends of the 2020/21 campaign were published today, giving Gary Manson's men home games against Strathspey and Keith either side of a trip to Lossiemouth.
The fixtures are contingent on government advice that matches can proceed with spectators in attendance.
Wick v Strathspey is a fitting fixture to start the campaign given that the sides didn't meet at all last term.
Academy's last outing of 2019/20 was the 4-1 derby defeat at Brora on March 7. When football was suspended on March 13 because of the coronavirus crisis, the Scorries still had seven league matches to play – including both home and away games against the Strathy Jags.
The last time the teams met was in March 2019 when Academy won 2-1 at home in the league, thanks to second-half goals from Sam Mackay and Gordon MacNab after Scott Lisle had put the visitors ahead in the first period.
The league management committee met recently to agree a shortened format for 2020/21 in which the 17 clubs will play each other only once, meaning eight home and eight away league fixtures for every team.
First three sets of fixtures –
Saturday, October 17:
Brora Rangers v Inverurie Locos
Buckie Thistle v Clachnacuddin
Deveronvale v Rothes
Formartine United v Huntly
Forres Mechanics v Turriff United
Fort William v Lossiemouth
Nairn County v Keith
Wick Academy v Strathspey Thistle
Free club: Fraserburgh
Saturday, October 24:
Buckie Thistle v Forres Mechanics
Formartine United v Nairn County
Huntly v Brora Rangers
Inverurie Locos v Clachnacuddin
Keith v Fort William
Lossiemouth v Wick Academy
Rothes v Fraserburgh
Turriff United v Deveronvale
Free club: Strathspey Thistle
Saturday, October 31:
Clachnacuddin v Huntly
Deveronvale v Buckie Thistle
Forres Mechanics v Inverurie Locos
Fort William v Formartine United
Fraserburgh v Turriff United
Nairn County v Brora Rangers
Strathspey Thistle v Lossiemouth
Wick Academy v Keith
Free club: Rothes
The full programme of fixtures for the coming season, and arrangements for the Scottish Cup, will be issued at a later date.