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Wick manager says there was 'no malicious intent' in challenge that resulted in ankle break for Bo'ness striker

By Alan Hendry

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Sean Campbell watches Davie Allan's looping header go into the net for Academy's first goal at Newtown Park. Picture: Mel Roger
Sean Campbell watches Davie Allan's looping header go into the net for Academy's first goal at Newtown Park. Picture: Mel Roger

Wick Academy manager Gary Manson insists there was "no malicious intent whatsoever" in the tackle that brought a premature end to the Scorries' Scottish Cup first-round replay against Bo'ness United.

Saturday's tie at Newtown Park was abandoned following a challenge on Bo'ness striker Zander Miller by Wick defender Danny Mackay. The Lowland League club later confirmed that Miller had sustained a broken ankle.

Bo'ness were 4-2 up when the incident happened after 58 minutes. Referee Chris Gentles called the game off when it became evident that it would take an hour or more for an ambulance to arrive at the ground.

The tie has been rearranged for Tuesday with a 7.45pm kick-off.

Manson described Mackay as a hard but fair player who would never deliberately hurt an opponent.

Mackay was given a yellow card for the foul.

Bo'ness released a statement on Sunday saying Miller had been "overwhelmed" by the messages he had received and that he hopes to be back playing as soon as possible.

Manson said: “I've asked to get his number to give him a shout and just see how he is.”

Bo'ness United's Nick Locke pulls back Wick Academy's Brandon Sinclair during the replay at Newtown Park on Saturday. Picture: Mel Roger
Bo'ness United's Nick Locke pulls back Wick Academy's Brandon Sinclair during the replay at Newtown Park on Saturday. Picture: Mel Roger

On the decision to abandon the match, Manson said: “The referee gave it as long as he could, but when word was getting back that the ambulance wasn't going to be there for over an hour, or however long it was, he just decided to abandon it.

"We were waiting on the pitch for around 25 minutes or half an hour and then the referee decided to abandon the game. We went and got showered and changed, and then as we were coming out of the changing rooms the ambulance arrived.”

Manson described Mackay's tackle on Miller as "a robust challenge". The manager said: "The ball was there to be won. He tried to win the ball and he unfortunately connected with their player as well.

"His foot must have been planted and the ankle took the brunt of it.

“Nobody goes on to a pitch to try and badly injure an opponent. Danny tried to win the ball fairly. There was no malicious intent whatsoever on Danny's behalf.

“Danny is your typical centre-half. He's a hard player but he's a fair player. He would never intentionally injure an opponent.

“He went in to win the ball, missed it, and connected with their player, unfortunately.

“It's a contact sport. Players do get injuries, and it's just unfortunate on this occasion that the boy got quite a nasty injury.

"There was no intent whatsoever and we all wish him a speedy recovery.”

Manson was convinced there were more goals to come in Saturday's tie before it was cut short by Miller's ankle break.

The incident that led to the abandonment came shortly after a header by Academy's Steven Anderson had reduced the deficit to 4-2.

Miller's opener on 18 minutes was cancelled out by David Allan's headed goal a minute later. Ryan Stevenson restored the home side's advantage on 31 minutes and Nick Locke added another four minutes before half-time, shortly after Wick's Jack Halliday had hit the bar.

Locke extended Bo'ness United's lead two minutes into the second period after being set up by Miller.

“The game probably sums up our season and their season, looking at their league table," said Manson, who played from the start. "Both of us score goals but both of us concede goals.

“It would have been no surprise if that game finished four-all.

“I think there were definitely more goals in that game, and when Steven Anderson scored our second one we were on the front foot. But whether we would have got back into the game, nobody will ever know.

“We'll just need to get on with it, go down with whatever squad we've got and try our best to win the game.

"It's unfortunate circumstances. No-one likes being involved in games that finish that way.”

There were convincing wins for two of the other Highland League clubs involved in Scottish Cup first-round replays on Saturday.

Formartine United thumped Cumnock Juniors 5-1 in Ayrshire, while Buckie Thistle saw off Cumbernauld Colts 4-1 at Victoria Park.

Deveronvale were knocked out on penalties by Haddington Athletic after the teams drew 1-1 in their replay at Millfield.

In the Highland League, champions Brora Rangers – who have appointed Craig Campbell as manager – were beaten 2-1 by Inverurie Locos at Harlaw Park.

Tom Kelly gave the Cattachs the lead but Neil Gauld levelled for Inverurie before the break.

Brora were reduced to nine men in the second half, with Colin Williamson and Josh Meekings sent off. Inverurie took advantage with Sam Burnett scoring the winner with a 30-yard volley.

Locos' Jamie Michie was also shown the red card as tempers flared at the final whistle.

Scott Barbour hit a hat-trick and Grant Campbell scored twice for leaders Fraserburgh in their 7-0 victory over Strathspey Thistle at Bellslea Park.

Rothes remain undefeated after beating Clachnacuddin 4-1, while Brechin City were 4-1 winners at home to Forres Mechanics.

Huntly defeated Fort William 3-0 and Keith won by the same score at home to Turriff United.

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