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Wick manager McKenna fumes at Allan injustice


By Matt Leslie


Wick Academy's Davie Allan is manhandled by Keith's Jamie McAllister while appearing to be kicked by Callum Porteous. Picture: Mel Roger
Wick Academy's Davie Allan is manhandled by Keith's Jamie McAllister while appearing to be kicked by Callum Porteous. Picture: Mel Roger

Wick Academy boss Tom McKenna insists striker Davie Allan is becoming a target for the Highland League's hatchet men.

Allan, along with Keith's Macauley Rae, was sent off following a melee in the middle of the pitch following a rash challenge by Wick's Danny Mackay.

Both Allan and Rae protested their innocence but, for the former, it capped off a frustrating afternoon where Keith defenders took it in turns to chop him down.

Given the confusion of the second-half brawl in the Highland League clash at Harmsworth Park, it was hard to see if Allan was a guilty party or not. But if he was, it would have been the result of his own frustration boiling over after receiving little protection from the officials.

For McKenna, it's the latest in a long line of games where other teams have set out to nobble one of his star players.

Speaking after the 2-2 draw, the manager said: "I didn't see exactly what went on as everybody just came together. But Davie's really disappointed he was ordered off.

"Everyone bar the officials were contesting his sending off. Danny [Mackay] was involved and just got a booking but no-one knows why Davie went.

"Davie's really brassed off because that's him out of the Brora game now.

"He seemed to be singled out for treatment long before that incident happened.

"I lost count the amount of times he was chopped down – it was ridiculous. It seems to be a recurring theme with other teams targeting Davie early on.

"It must be frustrating for him after being fouled time and again. It must be really difficult to keep your composure when you're being kicked week after week – it must take its toll."

Referee Darren Munro steps in as Keith's Jamie McAllister lays hands on Wick's Davie Allan during Saturday's 2-2 draw. Picture: Mel Roger
Referee Darren Munro steps in as Keith's Jamie McAllister lays hands on Wick's Davie Allan during Saturday's 2-2 draw. Picture: Mel Roger

Keith assistant manager Michael Brown protested his own player's innocence as well. He said: "I don't think Macauley was anywhere near to what happened.

"He's been victim of mistaken identity and the Wick player who actually started it all escaped with just a booking.

"The whole incident disturbed our momentum as Academy got back into the game after that. We lost two points in the final seconds but the positive is that a draw was at least what we deserved."

Of Wick's own performance during the game, McKenna was far from impressed with his team.

He added: "We just didn't get going. We went 2-0 down to two set-pieces that were avoidable.

"The first goal, we didn't deal with the second phase of the corner when it went back into the box – we just switched off.

"With the second one, we gave away a clumsy free kick and they scored from that.

"In the second half, we just didn't perform. You would have thought going down the slope with the wind behind us that things would improve but no.

"We just stalled throughout the game and we couldn't get going.

"Thankfully Marc Macgregor came on and rescued us – his second was a superb strike."

Macgregor – Academy's top scorer this season – was happy to have made his contribution with a brace.

There were those in the stand muttering that the 24-year-old forward should have started the game but Macgregor himself admitted he deserved to be on the bench.

He said: "I went off to Belfast last Saturday to watch the big darts event over there so I fully expected not to start.

"I'm fine with that. If you're missing and the guy who steps in for you does well, then you have to wait your turn.

"I came on and got a couple of goals. The first one was well worked by the lads and as for the second, I knew the whistle was going to go any second and I just hit it in – and yes, I did mean it."



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