Scorries thumped in more ways than one
Wick Academy received a battering in more ways than one after their pre-season got off to a dismal start.
The Scorries travelled on Saturday south to face junior side Nairn St Ninian, who play in the North Super League, looking for a decent run out to get them back into the swing of things.
However, they were sent back up the A9 with not only their tails between their legs but also with bruised bodies and egos following a 5-1 thumping.
Goals from Adam Macleod, Gavin Chisholm, Lee Haines, Charlie Fonweban and Matty McBrier gave St Ninian their victory with Academy only having a consolation strike from Kuba Koziol – on trial from Thurso Acks – to show for their efforts.
Wick's co-assistant manager Ross Suttar said: "When you play junior teams, it is usually quite a physical encounter.
"There were no linesmen – just the referee – and there were quite a few heavy tackles going in.
"Let's just say they got away with a lot of challenges that might well have been picked up if the referee had two assistants on the touchline to help him.
"The pitch itself was also very small, but we didn't play well – that's the bottom line of it.
"Most of our boys have not played since the season ended and we were a bit rusty.
"Most of their guys had been playing in the summer league set-up down there so they were a good deal sharper.
"It was a bad loss but at the same time, it is probably better to have a shock like this now than during the Highland League season proper.
After all, who wins a cup for winning a pre-season friendly?
"The match highlighted to us what work we need to do ahead of the season.
"Bad though the result was, it was not important. Getting our fitness up to speed is the prime aim for us right now.
"After all, who wins a cup for winning a pre-season friendly?"
With the new season just weeks away, Academy will start it without one familiar face.
Suttar said: "We've lost the services of Andy Hardwick – which is a real shame as he was superb for us last season.
"He's got a new job with the police down in Inverness and he can't commit the time to play for us. It's unfortunate but that's how it is in the Highland League and we wish him all the best.
"We've been linked with getting [striker] Steven Anderson back. What I can say is that, while Steven is back living in Caithness and has trained with us, there have been no moves from us.
"He's halfway through a two-year contract with Rothes so the ball is basically in his court on that front.
"We've a couple of lads on trial with us. There's Kuba and also Lybster striker Jonah Martens, who has been making a name for himself with his goalscoring in the County League this summer."
Academy host an Inverness Caledonian Thistle XI at Harmsworth Park on Wednesday, July 10. Kick-off is at 7.30pm with admission £4 for adults and £2 for concessions.