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That has kick-started our season, says Manson as Wick Academy pick up first three points

By Alan Hendry

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Wick's Richard Macadie and Keith's James Brownie. Picture: Mel Roger
Wick's Richard Macadie and Keith's James Brownie. Picture: Mel Roger

For once the breaks went Wick Academy's way as they picked up three points and kept a clean sheet in their first home game of the new Highland League campaign.

Gordon MacNab's opportunist goal two minutes into the second half was enough to secure a 1-0 victory over Keith, who had an early penalty saved and squandered a glorious opportunity to equalise late in the game.

The Maroons were reduced to 10 men just before the hour mark when defender Ryan Robertson was sent off for a second bookable offence.

“I said to the boys at the end – last year, that would have ended up one each,” Academy manager Gary Manson said. “The way things went last season, the amount of draws we had and the amount of goals we conceded, that would have finished as a draw.

“It's three points and a clean sheet. Yes, we could have probably had more goals, given the territory we had in the second half, but we'll take it and we'll move on.

“That's three points on the board and it has kick-started our season.”

Wick keeper Graeme Williamson saved a third-minute penalty from Matty Tough. In the closing stages, Keith substitute Joey Wilson fired wide from a decent position after Williamson was momentarily caught off-balance.

“On another day that might have gone in but we had a good three or four other chances as well,” Manson pointed out. “It could have been a lot more comfortable but in the end we'll just take a win.”

Liam Bremner delivers a cross after rounding Keith keeper Craig Reid. Picture: Mel Roger
Liam Bremner delivers a cross after rounding Keith keeper Craig Reid. Picture: Mel Roger

Keith manager Craig Ewen said: “We obviously got an early opportunity which we should score, it's as simple as that.

“Unfortunately for Matty, he has hit the target but he hasn't found the corner. It was a fairly comfortable save for the goalkeeper.

“I thought Wick had some good possession and had pressure, but it was really just a case of us defending corner kicks in the first half.

“On the break I thought we were fairly threatening. Again there was just that lack of quality in the final third.

“In the second half it was a sore one to take. We obviously had a defensive error that led to MacNab getting his one versus one and he scored.

“Then we went down to 10 men. Even after that I think we probably had four, five or six reasonable opportunities where we were breaking into good spaces in the box, but we didn't have that finishing touch.

“Even the one late on, where the goalie maybe slips or falls over, it was one of those where if he could hit the target I think he would have scored."

Ewen added: “The positives for us today would be that our application and commitment and workrate was a lot better than it has been in the first two games. If we can start taking some chances in front of goal the points will come, we're quite convinced of that.

“Wick obviously do the long journey every second week and we only do it every so often, but it's a big disappointment that we're not going down the road with any points today.”

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