Point gained was the least we deserved, says Scorries boss
"A POINT was the least we deserved," insisted Wick Academy boss Tom McKenna after Jack Henry's late leveller earned a 1-1 draw away to Deveronvale on Saturday.
It looked as if the Scorries would be heading back empty-handed from their Highland League trip to Princess Royal Park only for Henry to blast in a Jonah Martens cross from close-range in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
Academy had fallen behind to a Robert Scott strike in nine minutes after he latched on to Colin Charlesworth's cutback.
Despite suffering the blow of Craig Gunn hobbling off injured midway through the first half, Wick regrouped and proceeded to hurl everything at the Vale defence.
Richard Macadie had a shot cleared off the line, while Vale keeper James Blanchard pulled off a number of saves, in particular from Henry and Gordon MacNab.
They got their reward with Henry's late goal but McKenna said the players were gutted to come back with only one point instead of three.
"I felt we deserved a lot more – especially when we had dominated around 70 per cent of the game," he said.
"The lads were down after full-time and I had to remind them not only of the fact that we had gained a point but also of their performance.
"Our performance deserved all three points but I told them that at least we've come away with one, which is much better than none at all.
"Plus, yet again, we were down to the bare bones regarding selection.
"Sam Mackay went over on his ankle earlier in the week and Kuba Koziol picked up a shin knock in training that ruled him out.
"Then you had Craig Gunn having to go off early in the game with hamstring trouble – although the reshuffling of the team and the formation turned the game in our favour.
"We sent Jack Halliday on and moved the back four around to accommodate where Craig was filling in at right-back and moved to a 4-4-2 formation.
"The two Jacks in midfield were, as always, brilliant for us. They're brave, energetic, full of running and are excellent distributors of the ball.
"As for Craig, we'll see how bad the hamstring is but over the last few weeks we've been missing him in terms of his main role as a striker.
"He's had to fill in at right-back and maybe that has contributed to the injuries he's had of late.
"Playing right-back imposes more physical demands on the body than being a striker would and maybe going from one extreme to the other has had an effect on him."
Given Academy's bad luck with injuries this season and low squad numbers, the call will come from the terraces that the club bolster the playing resources. Easier said than done, though.
McKenna said: "Unlike the other clubs, except Fort William of course, every second week involves a long away trip that takes up the best part of the day.
"For the other clubs, trips to ourselves and Fort William happen twice a season. For us, it's every fortnight.
"So to a player with huge work commitments, that schedule can be influential in deciding not to come to us – which I can respect as that is a massive commitment to make."