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Scorries aim to avoid unwelcome 'first scalp' status


By Matt Leslie


Wick Academy boss Tom McKenna (left) with his assistant Richard Hughes. The duo will be hoping the Scorries can end the season in style with victory at Fort William on Saturday. Picture: Mel Roger
Wick Academy boss Tom McKenna (left) with his assistant Richard Hughes. The duo will be hoping the Scorries can end the season in style with victory at Fort William on Saturday. Picture: Mel Roger

A long walk home awaits the Scorries if they slip up on the final day of the Highland League season to bottom club Fort William.

Academy need one point to secure a seventh-place finish and they are favourites to win comfortably, let alone draw.

However, football is full of surprises and the Scorries will be taking nothing for granted.

Fort William haven't won a game all season and will finish on a points tally lower than zero, given they were penalised earlier in the campaign for fielding unregistered players.

But Claggan Park is a venue that has been troublesome for Wick in recent times.

Last season saw a surprise 2-2 draw – amid a row over Fort allegedly "narrowing the pitch" before kick-off – and more recently the Scorries were under the weather as the west Highlanders led 1-0 in a mudbath before the monsoon-like conditions forced the game to be abandoned.

Boss Tom McKenna quipped: "If the worst happens then the players might be walking back home with me walking in the other direction to Glasgow.

"But joking apart, there is no chance we want to be Fort William's first victory of the season. It wouldn't sit well with us if we were their only victims.

"I will be drumming it into the players that we need to be very professional in our approach and play with pride in ourselves.

"After last season, a seventh-place finish would be a good achievement and show that we have made progress over the last 12 months.

There is no chance we want to be Fort William's first victory of the season. It wouldn't sit well with us if we were their only victims.

"We look likely to be bringing a strong squad down to Fort William – certainly a stronger one than we travelled to Huntly with last week.

"Joe [Michael Steven] might be missing due to his work on the farm but Davie Allan will be back, as will Danny Mackay and Alan Farquhar."

McKenna will be hoping the elements are kinder after what happened the last time the two sides tried to fulfil this fixture, at the beginning of March.

Overnight rain had left the pitch soggy but the game still went ahead only for the heavens to open up once again, leaving both sets of players reaching for the nearest canoe to get back to the dressing room.

Overnight rain had left the pitch soggy but the game still went ahead only for the heavens to open up once again, leaving both sets of players reaching for the nearest canoe to get back to the dressing room.

McKenna added: "I hope the weather is fine over there because we don't want another abandonment.

"That would mean that any attempts to replay the game would have to take place in midweek.

"With the summer football season already having started, some players might not be available to me due to that and also work commitments.

"Regarding that game, some areas of the pitch were good and some were bad. We were not expecting it to get worse and it was so bad that you wouldn't have been surprised to see the players getting the paddles out in order to get back home."



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