Lisle leads the way as Formartine punish under-strength Academy
WICK Academy could have no complaints as they were comprehensively beaten 5-0 by Formartine United at Harmsworth Park on Saturday.
The Scorries were again seriously under strength, with five key players sidelined by injury, and their shortcomings were ruthlessly exposed by a Formartine side that will surely be in contention for the Highland League title.
The visitors were superior in every department. They had strength, pace, energy, movement and, most important of all, firepower in front of goal with summer signing Scott Lisle grabbing a hat-trick.
It has been a tough start to the campaign for the Scorries, with 12 goals conceded in their opening three league fixtures and just one point to show for their efforts. This was their heaviest defeat in 21 league meetings with Formartine.
They did produce some dangerous moments, the best being a curling free kick from Craig Gunn that forced a superb diving save from Errol Watson. All in all, however, Academy were second best throughout.
Harmsworth Park passed a morning pitch inspection following the heavy rain on Friday. Indeed the playing surface was again looking immaculate after the extensive improvements carried out over the summer.
The opener came after eight minutes when Graeme Rodger was tripped by Grant Steven on the edge of the penalty box. From the main stand it looked a borderline decision, but referee Gordon Seago had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Lisle sent Sean McCarthy the wrong way.
The Pitmedden side pushed forward again and Rodger slipped the ball through to Lisle inside the box. The striker’s shot looked destined to go in at the far post but instead bounced off the inside of the upright.
The visitors doubled their lead on 25 minutes. Lisle and Garry Wood combined in the build-up and the ball fell nicely for Andrew Greig, who slammed it high into the net from about 15 yards.
Academy rallied briefly. First came Gunn’s well-struck free kick, then Alan Hughes attacked up the right only for Richard Macadie to send the ball high and wide. Macadie was off target again after a Sam Mackay shot had been blocked.
Formartine extended their lead on 32 minutes. Wayne Mackintosh’s free kick found its way through to dangerman Lisle, and although he didn’t make a clean connection it was good enough to go in.
The pressure continued after the break and on 53 minutes Gary McGowan latched onto a knock-down to blast home Formartine’s fourth.
Four minutes later McCarthy was picking the ball out of his net again. Not for the first time, Academy looked to be outnumbered and when the ball was played across from right to left Lisle was handily placed to lash it in to complete his treble.
A consolation goal looked likely when Gordon MacNab burst through in the inside-left channel but he pulled his low shot narrowly wide. Formartine almost got a sixth but Wood was denied by an upright.
Wick Academy: McCarthy, R Allan, G Steven (Koziol 59), Farquhar, D Mackay, Manson, S Mackay, Macadie, Gunn (Martens 72), MacNab, Hughes. Subs not used: G Mackay, Clark.
Formartine United: Watson, Mackintosh, Smith (Lawrence 75), Anderson, McKeown, Clark, Rodger, Lisle (Gethins 59), Wood, McGowan, Greig (Strachan 64). Subs not used: Leyden, Lawson.
Referee: Gordon Seago.