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Debut double for ex-Academy striker as Groats put five past Staxigoe


By Alan Hendry

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Greg Shearer of Wick Groats controls the ball in midfield during the Division One clash with Staxigoe.
Greg Shearer of Wick Groats controls the ball in midfield during the Division One clash with Staxigoe.

Wick Groats will be looking to keep up the momentum from their 5-0 league victory over Staxigoe United when the teams meet again on Saturday in the Highland Amateur Cup.

There was a debut double for new arrival Steven Anderson, the former Wick Academy striker, while Graham MacNab got a hat-trick in a dominant display by the champions in Tuesday night's Caithness AFA Division One clash at the Upper Bignold.

Anderson struck twice in the opening 45 minutes, either side of MacNab's first of the night. MacNab helped himself to two more after the break as Groats gained revenge for their 3-1 defeat to Staxigoe two weeks ago.

Groats' latest recruit won't be eligible for the Highland Amateur Cup third-round tie as he signed after the deadline for the competition.

Wick Groats manager Kevin Anderson said: "We were disappointed to get beaten by them [the week before last] so tonight was all about the reaction, and we got a reaction.

"From here on in, that's the level we need to hit. Steven Anderson makes a big difference as well and he linked up well with Graham, so those are good signs going forward.

Steven Anderson was making his debut for Groats after leaving Wick Academy.
Steven Anderson was making his debut for Groats after leaving Wick Academy.

"Steven needs some game time but he is a brilliant player. He could play for probably any team in the Highland League, so we were lucky enough to get him signed.

"Graham is a goal machine – he probably averages 25 to 30 goals.

"We are absolutely delighted. Right throughout the team there was a hunger and a desire that was missing last time.

"We need to try and put pressure on Pentland United now. Hopefully we can take it to the game in Wick and see what happens then, but there's lots of games to be played before that."

Looking ahead to the cup clash this weekend, Anderson said: "They'll be hurting. It's a totally different game. No two games are the same against Staxigoe, so it's game on."

Martin Banks tries to break forward for Staxigoe United.
Martin Banks tries to break forward for Staxigoe United.

Staxigoe manager Colin Sinclair said: "We can't really play as badly on Saturday as we did tonight. But take nothing away from Groats – they absolutely came out of the traps flying, which I fully expected after the last game. They played us off the park in that first half.

"You don't come back from 3-0 down at half-time against the champions, do you?

"The way that they were playing, we couldn't get near them in the first half. We were chasing shadows. Credit to them and the way they played.

"But that's what I expected to come up against tonight, and we didn't really show up either."

He added: "It's the Highland Amateur Cup on Saturday and the boys seem to lift themselves for Saturday games. I just hope we can do that and get back to more like how we were playing in the first game.

"I was expecting Groats to be fully fired up for this game and that's exactly what happened. They've got a new signing and he makes a massive difference to them too."

Greg Shearer of Wick Groats takes a painful knock to his right foot while also being held back.
Greg Shearer of Wick Groats takes a painful knock to his right foot while also being held back.

Results – Caithness AFA Division One: Wick Groats 4, John O'Groats 1; Acks 6, John O'Groats 3; High Ormlie Hotspur 4, Wick Thistle 1; Lybster 3, Pentland United 5; Wick Groats 5, Staxigoe United 0.

Division Two: Castletown 3, Swifts 3; Keiss 5, Top Joe's 2; Watten 1, Pentland 3; Keiss 2, Swifts 1; Pentland 2, Top Joe's 1; Watten 2, Castletown 7.

Colin Macleod Memorial Cup final: Acks 1, Pentland United 5 (at Castletown).

Fixtures – Saturday – Highland Amateur Cup, third round (ties involving Caithness clubs): Iochdar Saints v High Ormlie Hotspur (at Culbokie, 11am); Pentland United v Lairg Rovers (3pm); Stromness Athletic v Wick Thistle (noon); Wick Groats v Staxigoe United (3pm).

Monday – Division Two: Castletown v Watten; Swifts v Keiss; Top Joe's v Pentland (all 7.30pm).

Tuesday – Division One: John O'Groats v High Ormlie Hotspur; Lybster v Acks; Pentland United v Staxigoe United; Wick Thistle v Wick Groats (all 7.30pm).

Conor Farquhar races forward for Wick Groats during their victory over Staxigoe United in midweek.
Conor Farquhar races forward for Wick Groats during their victory over Staxigoe United in midweek.

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