Supersub Marc spares Academy blushes
WICK ACADEMY 2 KEITH 2
Marc Macgregor's injury-time thunderbolt got Academy out of jail to earn his team-mates a point.
The striker had earlier come off the bench and gave the Scorries a lifeline with a well-taken strike before performing his late heroics.
It was hard lines on Keith who had raced into a two-goal lead after only six minutes and had looked well in control before Macgregor worked his magic.
The visitors were well organised, handled the strong wind well – in both directions – and looked a threat every time they attacked.
Wick, meanwhile, never got going until boss Tom McKenna deployed his supersub.
Yes, the windy conditions were not conducive to a free-flowing game of football, but it was the same for Keith and they had no problems in adjusting to the weather.
Keith got off to a dream start with the first goal coming inside two minutes.
A corner was floated in from the right but, instead of dealing with it, the Scorries' defence hesitated and Michael Selfridge had all the time in the world to crack home his shot off the underside of the bar.
One soon became two when Keith were awarded a free kick some 20 yards from goal.
The downward wind may have had something to do with the ball flying past Sean McCarthy and into the net. However, the keeper could have had better protection from the defensive wall which left a gap for Craig Macaskill's shot that put Keith 2-0 up.
Wick were simply not at the races in the first half as Keith set about them in the search for more goals.
McCarthy had to be at his best to deny Scott Gray and the Academy number one had his heart in his mouth as Marc Young's outrageous 40-yard attempt narrowly flew over the bar.
Given how strong the wind was, Wick were expected to make full use of it in the second half but were unable to do so.
It wasn't as if Keith were besieged in their own penalty area – more like the centre circle, as Academy could not click into gear.
What seemed to wake them up from their torpor was a punch-up that involved Danny Mackay who escaped with a booking – much to the chagrin of Davie Allan and Keith's Macaulay Rae who were sent off, both adamant they were victims of mistaken identity.
Suddenly, and with Macgregor off the bench, Wick looked threatening on the attack and a sliding finish by the 24-year-old striker gave them a vital lifeline.
Keith still looked lively on the break and only a fine save by McCarthy prevented a brilliant solo effort from Cammy Keith going in.
Going into the final seconds of injury time, it looked as if Academy were staring down the barrel of defeat until Macgregor let fly from outside the box and, via the underside of the bar, dug Academy out of a hole.
Wick Academy: McCarthy, Reid, Manson, Farquhar, D Mackay, Gunn (Koziol 79), R Macadie (Macgregor 61), Allan, Hughes, S Mackay, Campbell (MacNab 75). Subs not used: Aitkenhead, G Mackay, M Macadie, Clark.
Keith: Simpson, Young, Smith, McAllister, Rae, Robertson, Macaskill, Gray, Keith, Porteous (Lennox 77), Selfridge. Subs not used: Hutcheon, Donaldson, Dey.