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Wick players urged to maintain performance levels after derby loss


By Alan Hendry


Academy co-managers Gary Manson and Stewart Ross discuss tactics with substitutes Richard and Mark Macadie at Dudgeon Park. Picture: Mel Roger
Academy co-managers Gary Manson and Stewart Ross discuss tactics with substitutes Richard and Mark Macadie at Dudgeon Park. Picture: Mel Roger

Co-manager Gary Manson wants his Wick Academy players to maintain the performance levels they showed at Brora on Saturday during the remainder of the Highland League campaign.

The Scorries went down 4-1 at Dudgeon Park as Greg Morrison’s treble took Brora another step closer to the title.

However, Manson and fellow co-manager Stewart Ross were encouraged by the way Academy controlled the game for much of the second half after going in two goals down at the break. Sam Mackay reduced the deficit and it was only after Jack Halliday was red-carded with just over a quarter of an hour to go that Brora were able to make the points safe.

“Before the sending off, when we got it back to 2-1, I thought at that stage we would score the next goal,” Manson said. “We were well on top, we were pinning them back, we were winning corner after corner after corner, but the sending off kind of took the wind out of our sails.”

Academy signalled their intentions when they brought on the attack-minded Macadie brothers, Richard and Mark, midway through the second period.

“We were going for it,” Manson said. “We told the boys at that start that it was going to be tough but there was no reason why we couldn’t win the game.

“As I say, at 2-1 I thought were going to get the next goal and hopefully kick on and win the game. That’s why we made the double substitution when we did.

“They were on the rack and if we’d kicked on we could have won the game. It was just unfortunate with the sending off.

“I think the wind played a big part. Joe Malin [Brora's keeper] has a big kick on him and in the second half you could see that he was struggling to get it over the halfway line.

“In the first half it wasn’t one-sided in terms of chances. Maybe in terms of territory it was, but that was down to the wind. In the second half it changed.

“But Brora are very streetwise and they’re top of the league for a reason.”

Co-manager Stewart Ross echoed Manson’s sentiments. “We felt we were on top and the game was only going one way,” he said, reflecting on that spell in the second half.

“Everything we asked the boys to do at half-time, they did. We asked them to impose themselves, we asked them to start taking shots.

“We got the goal and Brora were toiling, they were on the ropes. It was just a shame it happened the way it did.”

Wick's Ryan Campbell in an aerial challenge with Brora's Dale Gillespie. Picture: Mel Roger
Wick's Ryan Campbell in an aerial challenge with Brora's Dale Gillespie. Picture: Mel Roger

Manson added: “We asked for a reaction and I think we got it. We weren’t getting that sort of performance two, three or four months ago.

“That sets the standard for the last seven games in terms of workrate, application and quality – in the second half I thought the quality was really good. Hopefully we will pick up as many points as we can.

“We want to win every game. But just to get the performance levels up, that’s what we are looking for first and foremost, because performances of late haven’t been good enough. If we can get the performance levels up, the points will come on the back of that. That’s what I’m looking for.”



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