Scorries clamp Turriff bus en route to victory
A DELAYED kick-off, an 11-man defence and a flag-happy linesman could not stop Wick Academy helping themselves to three welcome points in Saturday's Highland League match against Turriff United.
Roadworks meant the Turriff bus was late for the scheduled 3pm kick-off time at Harmsworth Park. When the match finally started, half an hour later, the visitors duly parked it inside their own penalty box.
Despite setting out their stall in such a fashion, it took the Scorries just five minutes to breach it.
A ball over the top was latched onto by Kuba Koziol. The Pole duly bore in on goal and, while everyone was expecting him to have a go himself, he unselfishly squared the ball to Craig Gunn who slotted into an empty net.
Koziol once more raced off towards goal and this time – owing to his team-mates catching up with him some 10 yards back – he decided to shoot on goal himself, only to drag his effort wide.
Not to say that Turriff had lost their compass towards the Wick half. Dylan Stuart was unlucky not to win a penalty when it appeared he had been clipped from behind by Alan Hughes.
The same player would later be denied when his shot from Robert Ward's cutback came back off the post.
At the other end, Richard Macadie must have thought he was about to stretch Wick's lead when one-on-one with Fraser Hobday only for the Turriff keeper to pull off a great save.
After the interval, Gunn had the ball in the net again when Hobday spilled a shot from Hughes into his path only for the Wick forward to be pulled up for offside.
In fact, offside was the prevailing theme of the second half as the assistant running the touchline near the dugouts had a flag trigger so itchy you'd have thought he was in training to face Gary Cooper at High Noon the next day.
So obsessive was he about his flag-waving that he even pulled up Gunn after he intercepted a backpass from a Turriff player.
However, after 67 minutes Jack Halliday decided to take a more direct approach to securing victory for Academy.
Picking up the ball midway inside Turriff's half, Halliday proceeded to surge towards goal. Although he got a lucky ricochet en route, Halliday was in no mood to argue as he forged on to slam the ball past Hobday.
Hughes must have thought he had added a third soon after, only to see his powerful effort from outside the box beaten away by the keeper.
Turriff finally came out from their shell to threaten Wick's goal only for skipper Alan Farquhar to thwart Liam Norris by clearing his headed effort off the line.
Wick Academy: McCarthy, Manson, G Steven (D Mackay 67), Farquhar, R Allan, Halliday, S Mackay, R Macadie (Martens 71), Hughes, Gunn, Koziol (D Allan 56). Subs not used: MacNab, R Mackay, Clark.
Turriff United: Hobday, O Kinsella (Buxton 45), L Kinsella, Chalmers, E Smith, Copeland, Stuart, Norris, Ward, Grant (Ironside 52), Ewen (K Smith 78). Subs not used: Robson, Reid, Brown, Otto.
Referee: Billy Baxter.