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Two avoidable goals cost us the game, says Wick boss McKenna


By Alan Hendry


MANAGER Tom McKenna admitted morale is low as Wick Academy’s difficult start to the Highland League campaign continued with Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Buckie at Harmsworth Park.

McKenna described it as a spirited and competitive performance but ultimately felt his players hadn’t asked enough questions of the Buckie defence. Again the Scorries were missing a clutch of key players through injury, and the manager is desperate to see more competition for places.

“The boys worked really hard and haven’t shied away from anything. It was two avoidable goals that cost us the game,” McKenna said.

Sam Mackay of Wick Academy tackles Buckie's Andy MacAskill. Picture: Mel Roger
Sam Mackay of Wick Academy tackles Buckie's Andy MacAskill. Picture: Mel Roger

“It’s a difficult one to take. At the moment morale is low in the dressing room and it’s not fair on the boys because they played a tough game last Saturday, a tough game on Wednesday, then again today, and it’s the same boys we’re got. We’re not in a position to freshen things up or change things or rest people so there’s a big demand on the lads at the moment.

“They were really competitive today. But for all the good work, the possession and the workrate, has there been enough end product? Have there been enough questions asked of the goalkeeper? I don’t think there has been, for all the positives.

“We’ll try to keep the boys buoyant and try to lift them this week and take two training sessions. But we need bodies in to freshen it up, add some competition and give this group of guys a rest as well when needed.”

Removing Sam Mackay from the middle of the park is a massive void to fill.

The first-half injury to skipper Alan Farquhar meant a reshuffle, with midfielder Sam Mackay taking up central defensive duties.

McKenna said: “If we’d had Danny Mackay available we would have put him straight in there, and we wouldn’t have lost Sam in the middle of the park. Sam was excellent last week against Clach but removing Sam from the middle of the park is a massive void to fill. We would rather have Sam higher up the park.

"But at the moment that’s where we are. We don’t have the personnel to make the relevant changes. It’s just a wee bit of luck at the minute. But we’ll get better.”

Davie Allan could return to the squad for Saturday’s trip to Fort William, depending on how he comes through a light training session scheduled for Thursday, while Danny Mackay may also be fit again.

Wick keeper Sean McCarthy gathers the ball ahead of Buckie's Shaun Carroll. Picture: Mel Roger
Wick keeper Sean McCarthy gathers the ball ahead of Buckie's Shaun Carroll. Picture: Mel Roger

Buckie manager Graeme Stewart was delighted to see his team come from behind to win at Harmsworth Park. But he said he was impressed by Wick Academy and felt the home side would have been worthy of a share of the points.

“I actually thought a draw would have been a fair result,” Stewart admitted. “Wick were excellent. I thought they played really well, very brave on the ball. I was so impressed with how they played football – they were a better team than I thought they were going to be, to be totally honest, so I’m delighted with the win.

Wick were excellent. I was so impressed with how they played football.

“I thought we started the game really poorly. We showed character, though, which I was happy about. If you can come back from a position where you’re getting beaten to win the game you’ve got to have something about you, and fair play to the boys.

“Even in the second half they [Wick] started better so I made a couple of changes. The subs came on and made a difference. All in all I’m delighted – but I don’t think we played very well.

“I thought the Wick guys were excellent and they’re going to take points here if they can play like that again. That’s as good a team as we’ve played against passing the ball.”

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