Farquhar a casualty as Academy are beaten by Jags
WICK Academy’s injury problems took another turn for the worse as captain Alan Farquhar joined the casualty list in Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Buckie Thistle.
Farquhar was led from the field with a nasty wound after a clash of heads in the first half and will miss the trip to Fort William this weekend after having seven stitches inserted.
The scores were level at the time and Buckie went on to secure all three points, leaving the under-strength Scorries still waiting for their first home win of the season in the Highland League.
Academy were looking to put the midweek North of Scotland Cup exit behind them and they got off to a great start with a goal in five minutes.
A sweeping attack saw Craig Gunn feed the ball out to Alan Hughes on the right. He drove towards goal and had his shot partially blocked by Daniel Bell. Richard Macadie seized on the rebound and, although the midfielder's effort was hacked away before it could hit the net, referee Mat Northcroft was in no doubt that it had crossed the line.
The Jags began to have the upper hand in midfield and they got themselves level after 25 minutes with a clinical counter-attack. Andy MacAskill and Sam Robertson exchanged passes and MacAskill slipped his shot beyond Sean McCarthy into the far corner.
Wick responded immediately with another attack up the right involving Hughes and Gunn, with the latter firing wide from a tight angle.
Then a Gunn free kick from wide on the left evaded everyone and bounced off the far post.
Farquhar’s injury led to Gordon MacNab coming on after 34 minutes as Sam Mackay dropped back to central defence for the second Saturday in a row, having impressed in that position during the win against Clach.
Kevin Fraser delivered a slide-rule pass to Robertson who sent the ball wide of the far post.
Academy then enjoyed a good spell of possession and earned a free kick which was quickly taken by MacNab. He found Gunn whose effort on goal was stopped by Bell.
The home side carved out another opening at the start of the second period as Jonah Martens passed to Hughes in the centre of the box but the forward was stretching and sliced his effort well wide.
There was a let-off for Academy when Scott Adams raced up the left and his low ball into the danger zone was met by Mackay, who blasted it against the inside of the near post.
Scott Graham pounced on a loose ball and drove it wide, but the Buckie substitute was not to be denied. With 73 minutes played he jumped to meet a high ball and sent a looping header over McCarthy.
The Jags came close to increasing their lead when a Robertson free kick came crashing off the bar and McCarthy did superbly well to deny Fraser from the rebound.
Academy almost grabbed a late equaliser when Grant Steven got on the end of a Mackay free kick but the defender had little time to adjust and he side-footed it over the top.
There was still time for Graham to have two more attempts – shooting over, then forcing a save from McCarthy – but the visitors had done enough to seal their fourth win in five league outings.
Wick Academy: McCarthy, Manson, G Steven, Farquhar (MacNab 34), R Allan, S Mackay, Halliday, Martens (Koziol 62), Gunn, Macadie, Hughes. Subs not used: R Mackay, Clark.
Buckie Thistle: Bell, Wood, K Adams, Morrison, S Adams (Graham 60), MacKinnon (Murray 55), Fraser, Carroll, McCabe, MacAskill, Robertson (McLauchlan 85). Subs not used: Munro, Milne, Cowie, Herbert.
Referee: Mat Northcroft.