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Strathspey wash-out was a blessing in disguise for McKenna


By Matt Leslie

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Wick Academy's Jack Henry scored the winner the last time the Scorries visited Formartine United. Picture: Mel Roger
Wick Academy's Jack Henry scored the winner the last time the Scorries visited Formartine United. Picture: Mel Roger

WICK Academy supporters may have been down about the rain washing out last Saturday's fixture against Strathspey – but manager Tom McKenna admitted the call-off was a blessing.

The day prior to the game, McKenna received word his lengthy injury list had grown by one with skipper Alan Farquhar unable to shake off an ankle knock.

With the amount of rejigging and shuffling about that the Academy boss has had to do with his back four, the last thing he needed was his captain out – more so with all potential stand-ins laid up as well.

Farquhar has now recovered from his injury and is available to lead out the Scorries when they travel to Formartine United this weekend for their latest Highland League fixture.

However, McKenna will still be having to chop and change his starting 11 as the Harmsworth Park treatment table is beginning to creak under the strain.

He said: "It was a small blessing that the referee called off the Strathspey game as Alan was not going to be fit for that one. He's an important player for us and, given the amount of injuries we've had in defence, to lose a big player like that would have brought some difficulties for us.

"Craig Gunn, who has had to deputise at right-back, is still injured, as is Sam Mackay, who is also someone who can fill in at the centre of defence.

"Ross Allan is struggling with his own injury and Grant Steven is waiting to get an operation. It is not likely that he'll be in action for us soon.

"Then of course, at the other end of the park, we're still missing Marc Macgregor up front.

"He attempted to return to some light training a while back but unfortunately his knee has reacted badly to that.

"While we know where his injury is, we still don't know what exactly is the problem with it.

They've a pitch that you'd like to play on week in, week out.

"He's been unable to get a clear diagnosis and talking to Marc recently he is very frustrated with it all as he just wants to get back out there playing again.

"On the plus side, along with Alan Farquhar, Danny Mackay looks like he'll be ready to face Formartine on Saturday.

"It's been a very difficult season for us as because of all the injuries there's been no continuity in selection."

The Scorries travel to Formartine United with pleasant memories of their last visit there in August 2018 when goals from Gordon MacNab and Jack Henry gave them a 2-1 win.

McKenna added: "That was a good day for us – especially after being a goal down – and hopefully we can get a similar result.

"We won't be wanting a repeat of when Formartine visited our place earlier this season when they beat us 5-0.

"Scoring goals has been an issue of late and we've been working hard on our crosses and shooting in training.

"The boys have just got to believe in themselves and maybe show a wee bit of arrogance which will rub off on the rest of the team and hopefully boost our goals tally.

"But while Formartine will be a tough game, they have the best playing surface in the league which suits our style of play well. They've a pitch that you'd like to play on week in, week out."



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