Hat-trick hero Wright is a joy to work with, says Brora manager Craig Campbell
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Brora manager Craig Campbell hailed Matthew Wright as a joy to work with after the young striker hit a hat-trick in Wednesday night's 4-1 derby win at Wick.
Wright, on loan at Brora from Ross County, struck twice in the first half at Harmsworth Park, either side of Steven Anderson's equaliser, and the 18-year-old added another after the break before Harry Hennem rounded off the scoring.
It was a return to Highland League business for the Cattachs after Saturday's North of Scotland Cup final defeat to Rothes and Campbell got the reaction he was looking for ahead of Saturday's home fixture against Strathspey Thistle.
Conditions were difficult, with a strengthening wind blowing down the park.
“Tonight was all about a reaction from the boys," Campbell said. "It’s always a difficult place for us to come. The wind made it pretty difficult in the first half.
“Matthew has been an absolute joy to have around. He’s tidy on the ball and he’s a goalscorer.
"Matthew has been creating chances in every game and he thoroughly deserved his hat-trick.
“We’re delighted for him, and he’s an absolutely lovely boy as well. He deserves all the credit he is getting at the moment.
“Each game he’s getting he is improving and he is obviously scoring goals for us, which is a big bonus.
“But there were a few good performances so that’s what we want – we want headaches going into picking selections for the next game. The boys have definitely given us that.
“The second half I thought was very professional and we probably could have scored a few more.
“The wind pinned us back at times [in the first half]. We still tried to play a bit. But in the second half with the wind behind us, and down the hill as well, it made a big difference for us.”
Brora made the breakthrough on 22 minutes. Wright rose to meet a deep cross from the right and his header dipped over Graeme Williamson into the net.
The Scorries got themselves level on 34 minutes when Steven Anderson latched on to a knockdown from a free kick and fired a swerving half-volley beyond Malin.
Four minutes later the champions restored their lead when Max Ewan delivered a low cross from the left and Wright had time to control it before slamming the ball into the net.
Jordan Macrae came close with a looping header.
Wright was put through again early in the second half but this time he was denied by a goal-saving clearance from Ross Allan.
Wright completed his treble after 67 minutes when he stuck home a rebound after an attempt by substitute Ali Sutherland had been blocked by Jack Halliday.
Substitute Harry Hennem, on loan from Caley Thistle, completed the scoring after 76 minutes with a perfectly placed volley from the edge of the box.
Campbell will be taking nothing for granted on Saturday against a Strathspey side who thumped Fort William 7-3 in midweek.
“We don’t go into any game thinking we’ve got a divine right to win it without earning it," the manager said. "We emphasise that in every team talk. It starts with hard work and effort and then we go and try and play football the way we want to play football as a team.
“It’ll be another difficult game but hopefully we can go and put on another decent performance.”
Wick Academy: Williamson, Hughes, Manson (MacNab 73), R Allan, Hardwick, Halliday, R Campbell, S Campbell (Henry 20), D Allan, S Anderson, M Macadie (Mackay 78). Subs not used: J Anderson, C Farquhar, Mathieson, More.
Brora Rangers: Malin, Kelly, Nicolson, Gamble, A Macdonald, Gillespie (Sutherland 60), Mackinnon, G MacDonald, Ewan (Hennem 73), Wright (A Macrae 70), J MacRae. Sub not used: Stephen.
Referee: Gordon Seago.
Wednesday's Highland League results: Buckie Thistle 3, Forres Mechanics 1; Deveronvale 2, Keith 0; Formartine United 4, Clachnacuddin 2; Fraserburgh 6, Lossiemouth 1; Huntly 1, Nairn County 3; Inverurie Locos 2, Brechin City 1; Rothes 4, Turriff United 1; Strathspey Thistle 7, Fort William 3; Wick Academy 1, Brora Rangers 4.