Scorries will be wary of backlash as they face champions Fraserburgh
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Wick Academy will be wary of a backlash from Fraserburgh in Saturday's Highland League clash at Bellslea Park.
The champions are smarting from a 2-1 loss to last season's runners-up Buckie Thistle, who had won by the same scoreline against the Scorries on the opening day.
“It'll be a tough game, there is no doubt about that," Wick manager Gary Manson said. "There will probably be a backlash from their defeat last Saturday and they'll be looking to put things right, so we'll need to be wary of them coming flying out of the traps.
“We'll need to be on top form to take anything out of the game. But we'll go down there and give it our best shot.”
Academy picked up their first three points of the campaign with a 1-0 victory over Keith at Harmsworth Park, courtesy of Gordon MacNab's goal two minutes into the second half.
“Yes, they had a couple of decent chances and a missed penalty, but we created numerous chances to extend our lead," Manson said. "We should have put them out of sight.
“We didn't get enough clean sheets last season. There were only three throughout the whole season, so to get one in the second game is pleasing.
“On top of that, in the Buckie game we looked quite resolute, we looked quite robust and hard to break down, so hopefully we continue in that vein.
“We've only got three points out of the two games but it has been a reasonably pleasing start to the season. We gave as good as we got at Buckie, which is an extremely tough place to go, and we got three points on the board last week."
The Scorries are again likely to be short of numbers for the trip to Fraserburgh.
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“The squad will be quite limited again," Manson said. "The way it's working just now is we've got an extremely strong first eleven but then not too much to back it up after that.
“The eleven that will be on the park on Saturday will be extremely strong and extremely competitive.
"People get kind of worked up if you don't have five players sitting on the bench. I'm quite comfortable having a really strong eleven and then just what you need on the bench to back it up.
"In an ideal world you would have strong options on the bench to come on and change the game. But we're not there at the moment, through one reason or another, so we'll just need to get on with it, as we have done in the first two games, and they've panned out not too badly."
Orkney-based Toby Macleod could feature again for the Scorries after playing for 71 minutes against Keith as a trialist.
Manson said: “He worked his socks off and his enthusiasm was there for all to see.
"He didn't know anyone – he had only met them an hour before the game started. He was thrown in at the deep end and I thought he did quite well.”
Fixtures for Saturday, August 6: Banks O' Dee v Huntly; Brechin City v Formartine United; Clachnacuddin v Brora Rangers; Fraserburgh v Wick Academy; Lossiemouth v Buckie Thistle; Nairn County v Forres Mechanics; Rothes v Inverurie Locos; Strathspey Thistle v Deveronvale; Turriff United v Keith.