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Martens rounds off five-goal victory on his debut for Wick Groats


By Alan Hendry

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Jonah Martens watches his shot beat Gordon Clark for Wick Groats' fifth goal at Castletown. Picture: James Gunn
Jonah Martens watches his shot beat Gordon Clark for Wick Groats' fifth goal at Castletown. Picture: James Gunn

Jonah Martens hit a debut goal for Wick Groats when he came off the bench to complete the scoring in a 5-0 victory over Castletown in Tuesday's Colin Macleod Memorial Cup quarter-final at Back Park.

The striker, who helped himself to 25 goals for Halkirk United during the 2021/22 North Caledonian League campaign, has been recovering from an injury since joining Groats for the summer season.

Grant MacNab, Conor Farquhar, Alan Mathieson and Cameron Mackintosh were also on target for the cup holders who will face Pentland United on Monday in the semis.

Groats manager Kevin Anderson said: “To be fair, Castletown always give us a hard game. They're a good team. Tom McKenna has obviously got them very well organised.

“They all knew exactly what they were doing. They were competing well.

Number 10 Alan Mathieson congratulates Conor Farquhar on scoring the second goal for Wick Groats. Picture: James Gunn
Number 10 Alan Mathieson congratulates Conor Farquhar on scoring the second goal for Wick Groats. Picture: James Gunn

"For 35 to 40 minutes of the first half it was a very tough game and there was very little in it.

“It was 2-0 at half-time and in the second half we were well in control. I think a couple of factors were fitness and maybe they lost a couple of bad goals and their heads probably dropped down a bit.

“There were a couple of guys rested and it was a good chance to give some more of the younger lads a run out as well.”

Anderson is delighted to have Martens in his squad as Groats look to retain their clean sweep of silverware from 2019.

“He has been struggling with a groin injury so hopefully he has put that behind him now," the manager said.

“He felt okay after it. We only put him on for 10 or 15 minutes at the end.

“Jonah has played Highland League with Wick Academy and he dropped back to the North Caledonian League.

“Last season he hit 25 goals. If you are scoring that number of goals in the North Caley you're doing something right, so it's certainly good to get him.

“It's a good thing for ourselves now that we're hitting a crucial period of the season.”

Kerr Mackay of Castletown and Wick Groats' Ross Mackay tussle for the ball. Picture: James Gunn
Kerr Mackay of Castletown and Wick Groats' Ross Mackay tussle for the ball. Picture: James Gunn

Castletown manager Tom McKenna said: “We had seven players missing, five of whom were in our starting 11, so that made it difficult for us from the word go.

“I had to play myself. We had Shane Kennedy, who had been out for [almost] a year, and Connor Macintosh, who hasn't trained for 10 weeks, so the three of us were playing up front.

“Putting that aside, in the first 45 minutes in my assessment there wasn't much between the teams. I thought we gave a fantastic account of ourselves. We made life difficult for Wick Groats and we kept good possession of the ball.

“In the last 10 minutes of the first half we conceded two really poor goals, so rather than going in at nothing each we were going in 2-0 down.

“In the second period their fitness and sharpness showed and it created a lot of space for them. They started dictating the game and they probably dominated the second half.

“But I've got to give credit to my lads. They should be proud of themselves – they never stopped working, they kept running and kept battling and trying to play football.

“Wick Groats just had the quality that we don't at the moment and their fitness and sharpness showed. They scored another three goals and they deserved it.

“I've not got any qualms about the result whatsoever. They scored five goals and we didn't score any. But I was really proud of the guys.”

Jonah Martens shoots in mid-air but his effort was saved by Gordon Clark. Picture: James Gunn
Jonah Martens shoots in mid-air but his effort was saved by Gordon Clark. Picture: James Gunn

Swifts made it six wins from eight games in Caithness AFA Division Two with a 2-0 victory at Watten on Thursday night.

John Holmes and Kieran MacGregor got the goals for the Thurso side as they kept up the pressure on leaders Castletown.

Lewis Gow and Ian Smith scored for Thurso Pentland in their 2-1 home win against Keiss.

In Division One, Wick Thistle shared the points with High Ormlie Hotspur in a 1-1 draw. Aidan Reid's opener for Hotspur was cancelled out by Thistle player/manager Owen Harrold.

Results – Highland Amateur Cup, round two (ties involving Caithness clubs): High Ormlie Hotspur 4, Lochinver 1; Loch Ness 2, Wick Groats 4; Pentland United 4, Kirkwall Thorfinn 0; Staxigoe United 4, Lochbroom 2; Watten 0, Iochdar Saints 4 (Bught Park, Inverness); Wick Thistle 2, Ardersier 0.

Eain Mackintosh Cup, quarter-finals: John O'Groats 1, Pentland United 7; Staxigoe United 17, Top Joe's 0. Colin Macleod Memorial Cup, quarter-final: Castletown 0, Wick Groats 5.

Caithness AFA Division One: Wick Thistle 1, High Ormlie Hotspur 1. Division Two: Pentland 2, Keiss 1; Watten 0, Swifts 2.

Fixtures – Friday, June 10 – Division One: John O'Groats v Acks; Pentland United v Lybster; Staxigoe United v Wick Groats. Division Two: Castletown v Top Joe's (all 7.30pm).

Monday, June 13 – Colin Macleod Memorial Cup, semi-final: Pentland United v Wick Groats. Eain Mackintosh Cup, quarter-final: Pentland v Castletown (both 7.15pm).


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