Landmark goals for Macadie and Manson as Academy start 2020 with a win
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Wick Academy began 2020 with a win that was convincing enough in the end, although they certainly didn’t have it all their own way against a spirited young Fort William side.
Saturday’s 4-1 Highland League victory will go down in the Academy history books for two goalscoring landmarks. Richard Macadie’s double took his tally to 200 in competitive games, while Gary Manson – now in his 20th year at the club – got his 50th.
There was a double dose of New Year cheer for the Harmsworth faithful as the Scorries went 2-0 up inside the opening three minutes, but Fort responded well and reduced the deficit. It wasn’t until Manson netted from the penalty spot just before the hour mark that Academy could breathe easily.
Fort are in their customary bottom spot in the league table with one win and 12 defeats from their opening 13 fixtures. However, boosted by last summer’s loan deal for nine Caley Thistle youth players, their performances have improved greatly this term – as has their goals-against column – and they have had some excellent results in the cup competitions.
Local supporters were keen to get a look at Wick lad Ross Gunn, one of the Caley Thistle contingent. He was a lively presence on the right wing, especially in the first half, and delivered a series of dangerous crosses.
Davie Allan started and finished the move that saw Academy open the scoring after two minutes. He embarked on a determined run to the edge of the box before playing the ball out to Jonah Martens on the left.
Martens sent it back into the penalty area and it fell nicely for Allan, who despatched a well-placed shot into the corner of the net.
A minute later Academy struck again. Alan Hughes on the right picked out Macadie, whose low drive evaded the diving Mateusz Kulbacki.
Ryan Campbell sent a long-range pass into the path of Martens in a promising position but the forward appeared to slip on the wet surface and lost control.
Fort pulled one back on 16 minutes after forcing two corners in quick succession. Gunn’s delivery was nodded in at close range by Harry Nicolson.
Campbell let fly from distance and brought a fingertip save from Kulbacki, but Fort were carving out chances of their own at the other end.
There was a more purposeful look about Academy after the break and they earned a penalty after 57 minutes when Allan was bundled over after getting on the end of a long ball. Manson sent Kulbacki the wrong way from the spot.
Danny Mackay came close with a shot that was touched around the post by Kulbacki before Academy completed the scoring after 78 minutes. The tireless Allan created space on the right before crossing to Macadie, who produced a typically classy finish to send the ball high into the net.
It was a worthy way for the club’s record scorer to reach the 200 mark.
Wick Academy: McCarthy, MacRae, Farquhar, D Mackay, Manson, Hughes, S Mackay (M Macadie 73), Campbell (Henry 62), Martens (Halliday 62), R Macadie, D Allan. Subs not used: Barclay, Aitkenhead, Clark.
Fort William: Kulbacki, Cameron (J Morrison 30), D Morrison, Nicolson, Fyffe, Brown, Gunn, Knowles, McGhie (Munro 88), Andrew (MacDonald 79), Kennedy. Subs not used: Ludborzs, Wilson.
Referee: Gordon Morrison.