McKenna relieved as Scorries hold off Lossie siege to snatch victory
"I don't know how Lossiemouth are second bottom," was Wick Academy boss Tom McKenna's verdict on Saturday.
The Scorries emerged as 2-0 winners from their Highland League clash against the Coasters at Grant Park thanks to goals from Craig Gunn after 42 minutes and Richard Macadie in stoppage time at the end of the game.
The win, their third from their last four matches, ensures they remain in ninth spot, a point behind Forres Mechanics and only behind Formartine United on goal difference – although Formartine have played far fewer games.
It was Academy's third clean sheet of the season in all competitions.
However, although the scoreline suggests a good day for Wick, their defence – goalkeeper Gordon Clark and centre-half Danny Mackay especially – had to put up a stoic rearguard action to keep Lossie out.
Wave upon wave of attacks flowed into the Academy penalty area and Clark had to pull off a number of saves, with Mackay, and skipper Alan Farquhar alongside him, putting in important tackles aplenty.
But the key factor is that Lossiemouth were unable to hit the target whereas the Scorries took full advantage of the chances they had to emerge as victors.
McKenna said: "I don't know how Lossiemouth are second bottom in the league. I've got to give them enormous credit for the way that they played against us.
"They played with high energy, were good on the ball, used possession well, were physical and created chances.
"We just couldn't get any rhythm going and we had to dig in because for long spells of the game we had our backs to the wall. It just seemed like a matter of time before they scored an equaliser.
"However, one thing that was in our favour was that we had the necessary quality in the final third of the pitch and we outscored them to win this game.
"But we have to recognise that the way we defended helped to set up this victory.
"Danny was superb, as was Gordy in goal, along with Alan Farquhar who once again was brilliant for us.
"Alan has been outstanding for us this season. He's a leader by example – as is Danny as well."
While such players have been crucial for Academy this term, McKenna admits a lot has depended on all being fit given the absence of others.
He added: "We've had a struggle with numbers this year – especially when injuries, suspensions and work commitments come into play.
"Last season we could call upon the likes of Marc [Macgregor] up front along with Grant Steven and Andy Hardwick in defence.
"We've had to do without all three this season and your playing options become very thin when one or more players from the current squad have to pull out.
"The three I've mentioned all added something extra and created good competition in the squad for first-team places. So to have the likes of Alan and Danny being consistent is welcome."
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