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Manson praises the character of his Wick team but says they need to eradicate mistakes

By Alan Hendry

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Wick Academy's Steven Anderson makes it 1-1 at Station Park on Saturday. Picture: Mel Roger
Wick Academy's Steven Anderson makes it 1-1 at Station Park on Saturday. Picture: Mel Roger

Manager Gary Manson praised the character of his Wick Academy players after they twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Nairn County on Saturday.

He felt it was a case of “two points dropped” at Station Park as the Scorries took their tally of score draws to seven in their opening 12 Highland League fixtures.

Ciaran Young drilled in a low shot to give Nairn the lead after nine minutes. Academy equalised in 54 minutes after a quick break which culminated with Davie Allan slipping the ball through for Steven Anderson to score.

Young restored Nairn's advantage just after the hour mark with his second of the afternoon but Gordon MacNab got Wick back on level terms after 70 minutes. The ball broke to the striker on the edge of the box and he steadied himself before firing a right-foot shot into the bottom corner.

“The first half was even – they would attack, we would attack – but I thought in the second half we were the better team," Manson said.

“We scored two good goals and had them penned in for quite a long period. In some respects you could probably argue a draw was a fair result, but if any team shaded it I thought we did.”

Wick's Ryan Campbell and Nairn's Ciaran Young in a race for the ball. Picture: Mel Roger
Wick's Ryan Campbell and Nairn's Ciaran Young in a race for the ball. Picture: Mel Roger

Academy have yet to keep a clean sheet this season in any competition but have often shown their battling qualities.

“They concede far too many goals for my liking and we have to show the character to come back from going behind. It's something this team has been doing all season," Manson said.

“Certainly one thing this team can't be accused of is showing a lack of character. It's just frustrating that we have to show that every week.

“It's unheard of to have so many draws in one season but we've just got to take the positives from it and try to eradicate the mistakes.”

Brechin City kept themselves in the top four with a 1-0 home win against Huntly ahead of their first Highland League visit to Wick this weekend.

The only goal at Glebe Park came early in the second half courtesy of Max Kucheriavyi. The Ukrainian netted on the rebound after his penalty had been saved by Huntly keeper Tom Ritchie.

Buckie Thistle won 3-0 at home to fellow title contenders Inverurie Locos courtesy of Sam Pugh, Craig Gill (own goal) and Sam Urquhart (penalty).

Fraserburgh went 10 points clear after a Scott Barbour double and a strike from Owen Cairns wrapped up a 3-0 win at Turriff United.

Rothes were 5-0 winners at Keith with goals from Aidan Wilson (2), Fraser Robertson, Gary Kerr and Jack Brown.

Brora Rangers hammered Strathspey Thistle 8-1, helped by two own goals and doubles for Gregor MacDonald and Matthew Wright. Mark Nicolson and Colin Williamson were also on the scoresheet for the champions, with Craig Mackenzie replying for the Strathy Jags.

There was no shortage of drama at Grant Street Park, where Clachnacuddin came from 3-1 down to defeat Fort William.

Fort had thrown away a two-goal lead at Strathspey Thistle in midweek and it happened in Inverness.

After Liam Taylor's early opener for Clach, the visitors scored three times in a 10-minute spell through Robbie Foster, Blessings Tshibikubula and Connor Moore.

James Anderson pulled it back to 3-2 before half time and grabbed a late winner after Eachainn Miller had made it 3-3.

Lossiemouth were denied a win at home to Formartine United by Scott Lisle's last-minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw.

Brodie Allen and Ross Elliott had twice put the Coasters ahead, with Kevin Hanratty getting Formartine's other goal.

Forres twice led Deveronvale but had to settle for a 2-2 draw after Robert Scott's late spot-kick.

Highland League results: Brechin City 1, Huntly 0; Brora Rangers 8, Strathspey Thistle 1; Buckie Thistle 3, Inverurie Locos 0; Clachnacuddin 4, Fort William 3; Forres Mechanics 2, Deveronvale 2; Keith 0, Rothes 5; Lossiemouth 2, Formartine United 2; Nairn County 2, Wick Academy 2; Turriff United 0, Fraserburgh 3.

Highland League fixtures – Wednesday: Brora Rangers v Rothes; Buckie Thistle v Fort William; Strathspey Thistle v Formartine United.

Saturday: Clachnacuddin v Brora Rangers; Formartine United v Turriff United; Fort William v Lossiemouth; Fraserburgh v Keith; Huntly v Buckie Thistle; Inverurie Locos v Forres Mechanics; Rothes v Deveronvale; Strathspey Thistle v Nairn County; Wick Academy v Brechin City.

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