Williamson and Anderson set to return as Academy target sixth win in a row
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Wick Academy will be aiming for a sixth win in a row this weekend as they take on Deveronvale at Princess Royal Park.
Last Saturday's 3-2 home victory over Keith means the Scorries have collected 21 points from a possible 24 in their last eight Highland League outings. Manager Gary Manson wants his team to strengthen their grip on eighth place in the table while setting their sights on seventh.
The Banff side staged a comeback to draw 2-2 when the sides met at Harmsworth Park in August.
“We were 2-0 up in that game and they pegged us back with two crosses into the box and two headers," Manson said.
“I remember that game quite vividly. At 2-0 up we should have seen it out quite comfortably, but that was just the way it was going at that stage of the season – it was draw after draw.
“We'll be going down there with a reasonably strong squad – albeit missing four or five or six, or however many it'll be – so hopefully we can carry on the good form and get another three points on the board.
“The aim is to create a distance between us and ninth place and then try and catch seventh place, hopefully. If we win on Saturday, that'll be six in a row and eight from nine.”
Manson is hopeful that Sean Campbell can be back within four weeks after injuring an ankle against Keith.
The midfielder had to be helped from the field after suffering a painful knock early in the second half.
“He went for an X-ray and there's nothing broken," Manson said. "It was like a bad sprain – it was really swollen and there's now bruising starting to come out as well.
“Fingers crossed it's okay. Hopefully we'll see him back in four weeks.”
Goalkeeper Graeme Williamson and striker Steven Anderson have been isolating but both will be back for Saturday's trip to take on Deveronvale.
Jack Henry was hoping to return to training last night but he is unlikely to be in contention this weekend. Fellow midfielder Ryan Campbell is still wearing a cast after breaking an arm.
Manson said: “He's in a cast until the start of February and then they're going to take it off, review it and see if he either needs a new cast on or can start rehab.
“He'll be at least three weeks in a cast and then probably another two or three weeks getting up to speed again.”
Eleventh-placed Vale will be playing their first game since December 18.
Manager Craig Stewart said: “Our Covid cases seem to be clearing up. Fitness and sharpness-wise, I would imagine we will be a wee bit off it, but we will see how training goes.
“Wick will be tough. They are on a wee run, and they have had games over the last few weeks and will be confident going into the game for sure.
“When we went up there earlier in the season I didn’t think they were a bad side. They went through a spell where they weren’t losing many but were drawing a lot of them, and it’s that thin line where if you can turn them into wins you can kick on.
“That’s what they are doing at the minute, but hopefully we can put a halt to that."
Highland League fixtures for Saturday: Brechin City v Fort William; Buckie Thistle v Formartine United; Deveronvale v Wick Academy; Inverurie Locos v Fraserburgh; Keith v Strathspey Thistle; Lossiemouth v Forres Mechanics; Nairn County v Brora Rangers; Rothes v Huntly; Turriff United v Clachnacuddin.