Academy's spiral continues as Broch rack up easy win
Wick Academy .... 0
Fraserburgh .... 2
(Paul Campbell 41, Scott Barbour 54)
Momentum is a crucial thing to have going for you in football but sadly for Wick Academy it appears to be nose-diving.
The effort was no doubt there but, as many a boxing trainer would say, it's no good throwing punches if you can't land them.
Goals from Paul Campbell and Scott Barbour gave Highland League title-chasers Fraserburgh a comfortable 2-0 win.
What was concerning from an Academy point of view was that Broch didn't even have to get out of neutral gear to secure victory.
Injuries to a number of key players have not helped. Craig Gunn failed to shake off a groin problem, while Marc Macgregor's presence up front is sorely missed as his own injury takes its time to fully heal.
The two "breaks from football" by Michael Steven and Danny Mackay certainly need to be brought to a conclusion soon as their absences are being felt.
Manager Tom McKenna has to make do with the bare bones of a squad that could be barer come the trip to Deveronvale as Davie Allan limped off with a dead leg.
Academy have won just one of their last eight games in league and cup, with one draw and six losses.
When luck is not with you, defeats follow. Had Kuba Koziol's low header midway through the first half not been brilliantly saved by Broch keeper Paul Leask, Wick's fortunes could well have been brighter.
Indeed, Academy, while not dominating, were holding their own and no-one could have complained had they gone in at half-time all square.
However, much as injuries and curious absences have been a mitigating factor, there is no excuse for poor defending.
Sean McCarthy pulled off a fantastic save in turning William West's pile-driver around the post. However, his efforts counted for nothing as from the resulting corner Wick's defence switched off en masse to allow Paul Campbell an easy finish from six yards.
You would have expected Academy to come roaring out of the blocks in the second half to try and retrieve the situation.
However, getting out of their own half proved to be an achievement in itself as Broch were in cruise control.
Were it not for McCarthy in the Wick goal, it could have been a very long afternoon for the Scorries as he pulled off a number of saves – in particular, two excellent stops to deny Ryan Cowie – to keep the home side in it.
Good as Academy's goalkeeper is, McCarthy cannot stop them all if the back four go to sleep and, as they did with Broch's first, they did so again.
Paul Campbell raced down the right flank and whipped a ball at pace into the penalty area. Remarkably, Wick's back four stood and watched as Scott Barbour stole in unchallenged to knock the ball home.
Without the likes of Gunn and Macgregor, the home side's forward line lacked any bite and urgency. Whatever the Scorries flung at Fraserburgh, it was brushed aside with ease.
A trip to Deveronvale is next. Unless someone can produce a pair of shooting boots, another long afternoon could beckon for Academy.
Wick Academy: McCarthy, MacRae, S Mackay, Campbell, Manson, Henry, MacNab, R Macadie, M Macadie (Hughes 59), D Allan (Martens 59), Koziol (Aitkenhead 75). Sub not used: Gordon Clark.
Fraserburgh: Leask, Cairns, Hay, Cowie, G Campbell, Rae (Hannar 85), Beagrie, West, P Campbell (Willox 72), Young, S Barbour (Buchan 89). Subs not used: Watt, Simpson, Butcher, J Barbour.
Referee: Gordon Seago.