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We can give Buckie another tough game, says Wick manager Gary Manson

By Alan Hendry

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Gordon MacNab of Wick Academy is bundled over by Huntly's Alex Thoirs during last weekend's 2-2 draw at Harmsworth Park. Picture: Mel Roger
Gordon MacNab of Wick Academy is bundled over by Huntly's Alex Thoirs during last weekend's 2-2 draw at Harmsworth Park. Picture: Mel Roger

Manager Gary Manson believes Wick Academy can take encouragement from their last couple of away fixtures against Buckie Thistle when the teams meet at Victoria Park on Saturday.

The Jags are third in the Highland League and are again among the leading title contenders, while Academy are 13th after their 2-2 home draw with Huntly.

Manson missed that match as he was struggling with a heavy cold but hopes to be back in the dugout this weekend.

"Buckie is always a really tough place to go but in the last two or three seasons we've given them some really good games," he said. "We were unlucky not to win down there last season and we took a point the season before that.

"We seem to give them good games and that's what we'll try to do on Saturday.

"Nobody will really be expecting much from us result-wise but we'll see what we can do."

Coaches Alan Farquhar, Gordon McDonald and James More took charge of the team against Huntly but Manson watched a video of the game at the start of the week.

Andy Hunter claimed a double for Huntly, including one in the first minute. The Scorries replied through Kyle Henderson and Gordon MacNab, with all the goals coming in the first period.

"We could easily have folded after that first minute," Manson said. "Huntly have been on a reasonable run of form this season.

"They responded really well. Hats off to them, they should have won. They had a couple of good chances near the end of the game and hit the bar twice. On another day those go in.

"Our form away from home is poor so far but our form at home is reasonable.

"We've not played that many away games yet so hopefully that will change.

"We seem to be scoring a few goals at home as well, which always helps.

"It was always going to be tough at the start because we'd taken in so many new players. When you take in new players to any team it's going to take a while to gel and get used to it, but when you're pulling them up a level to go from the North Caley to the Highland League it was always going to take time."

Gordon MacNab hurt his groin in the act of scoring Academy's second equaliser against Huntly with a spectacular shot and he will miss the trip to Buckie.

Strathspey Thistle's hopes of back-to-back victories were thwarted by Keith at Kynoch Park on Wednesday night. The Maroons came from behind to win 3-1 and they are now within three points of Academy.

A win for the Grantown outfit would have lifted them above Clachnacuddin and Inverurie.

Results – Highland League: Brechin City 6, Clachnacuddin 0; Formartine United 3, Brora Rangers 3; Forres Mechanics 2, Banks O' Dee 2; Inverurie Locos 0, Buckie Thistle 2; Lossiemouth 1, Keith 0; Strathspey Thistle 5, Deveronvale 2; Turriff United 3, Rothes 1; Wick Academy 2, Huntly 2; Keith 3, Strathspey Thistle 1. North of Scotland Cup final: Nairn County 5, Ross County 4 (after extra time).

Highland League fixtures for Saturday: Banks O' Dee v Formartine United; Brora Rangers v Huntly; Buckie Thistle v Wick Academy; Clachnacuddin v Strathspey Thistle; Deveronvale v Lossiemouth; Keith v Inverurie Locos; Nairn County v Forres Mechanics; Rothes v Fraserburgh; Turriff United v Brechin City.

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