Thurso 0 V Wick Academy 1 – report from Iain Grant
Thurso’s Stevie Reid emerged the happier manager after his side’s pre-season friendly versus Wick Academy on Saturday.
The patchwork North Caledonian League side held their own against Academy who came out on tops thanks to a late Stevie Cunningham goal.
New Academy manager Stevie Kirkwood was delighted with their five-star first half display in their 5-2 win over an Orkney select the previous week.
Too much of Saturday’s fare at Sir Georges Park resembled their limp second half showing against the islanders.
Passes went astray and players were caught in possession too often on Saturday for the manager’s liking.
He was also furious with David Allan after the young striker was red-carded for kicking out at Lewis Harrold just before half-time.
Thurso had a penalty claim early on after Graham MacNab was impeded as he sought to get on the end of Lee MacDougall’s inviting cross.
MacDougall was later prominent in clearing off his own line from Alex Lamb. Neither side was able to establish a clear advantage in a scrappy first half which ended with Allan’s moment of madness.
The home side almost ahead on 49 minutes when Jamie MacKenzie fed MacDougall whose netbound shot beat keeper Alan Bokas but was hacked to safety by Gary Manson.
Academy’s Richard MacAdie then drilled a sweet 25 yarder which Thurso keeper Asa Sinclair did well to turn behind.
MacKenzie failed to convert a snip from six yards after being set up by James McLean on 56 minutes.
Academy gradually turned the screw and Sinclair was prominent again with a fingertip save to prevent substitute Ross Allan converting Sam Mackay’s assist.
Whatt proved the winner came on 73 minutes when Cunningham was played in to round Sinclair and coolly slot home.
Thurso sub Murray Mackintosh went close from a corner before the home goal had an astonishing double let-off.
Ross Allan’s fierce attempt from 10 yards came back off the crossbar with fellow sub James Mackay’s rebound meeting a similar fate.
Thurso squad – Sinclair, Shearer, Sutherland, Petrie, Smith, McLean, Morris, MacNab, Wann, MacKenzie, MacDougall, Harrold, Mackintosh
Academy – Bokas, M. Steven, Manson, G. Steven, D.Allan, Lamb, Gunn, S. Mackay, Weir, MacAdie, Cunningham, R. Allan, Halliday, Hughes, J. Mackay.
Ref – Mr G. John.