Wick High’s Senior Football Team Storm Through to Quarter Finals
Our Senior Football Team has won another famous victory in the North of Scotland Cup defeating Kingussie to earn a place in the quarter finals against local rivals Thurso High School. Grant Innes, a member of the team, provided our website with a match report as well as a video (shown below) of the dramatic penalty shootout which brought the game to a close.
“There was a cold winter wind to go along with the large crowd as Wick High hosted Kingussie in the next round of the cup after a 3-0 victory over Alness a few weeks before.
Wick High started with the wind on their backs and they used it to their advantage straight from the kick off as a long ball from Mark Macadie nearly caught the Kingussie keeper off his line but fortunately for the visitors it just went past the post. Playing into the strong wind proved difficult for Kingussie as they struggled to kick the ball upfield from goal kicks letting Wick cause all types of problems as the ball was in the Kingussie half for the majority of the half.
It was a game of many fouls and the visitors foul play nearly came back to bite them as Mark Macadie unleashed a powerful effort from 25 yards as both teams and onlookers watched the well-struck shot shave the crossbar as it went out for a goal kick. Only minutes later Macadie again had a powerful free kick head goalwards only for it to rattle off the crossbar. Sam Barclay was on his toes and was first to the deadball and his headed effort from 8 yards was cleared off the line.
Shortly after Mark Macadie once again at the heart of Wick’s attack’s played a ball into Steven Hughes who got in behind the Kingussie defence only for a poor touch coupled by the power of the wind led to the ball going out of play before a shot could be mustered. Before the first half came to a close Wick were rightly awarded a free kick just on the halfway line and Grant Innes leathered the ball deep into the opposite half and nearly scored again from his own half for the second game running but this time it harmlessly bounced over the crossbar. Kingussie battled hard and defended well against the head-on gale. Still, Wick huffed and puffed to find the opening goal but they still couldn’t find a way through the watertight Kingussie defence as the referee’s whistle sounded to bring a end to a mostly one-sided half.
The second half was the complete opposite of the first as Wick had to dig in deep to defend wave after wave of Kingussie attack and Wick struggled to play their attractive, fluid passing game against the chilling wind. Kingussie tried to shoot from long range as they also found it challenging to find a way through the well-drilled Wick side. Wick had limited efforts on goal during the second half but the stand out attempt came once again from Mark Macadie. With three Kingussie defenders surrounding him the birthday boy Macadie sent all of them in the wrong direction with a well executed “Cruyff turn” and then was tripped by one of the chasing defenders. He was awarded a free kick from a tight angle between the eighteen yard box and the touch line. Macadie hit the free kick hard and low towards the near post which nearly caught the Kingussie goalkeeper off guard but luckily for the shot stopper a defender was on the post and was on hand to put it behind for a corner. The visitors were well on top for the duration of the half and found a lot of joy down the wings with their two pacey wingers but the Wick defenders and goalkeeper Archie Budge held firm to see out the game to the end of regular time to bring the game into extra time at 0-0.
Both halves of extra time were carbon copies of the two halves before as both teams had to defend deep against the wind. There were very little chances for both teams during extra time and as penalties loomed and became more of a possibility, Kingussie, with the wind on their backs, started hitting shots from long range once again but none troubled goalkeeper Budge.
The referee’s whistle sounded for the last time as the game went into penalties to decide the winner of this hard-fought game.
Wick captain Steven Hughes won the coin toss and wisely decided for Wick to take the first penalty. Sam Barclay took the first penalty and with ice running through his veins he coolly slotted the penalty home into the bottom right corner sending the keeper the wrong way while Kingussie responded as their first penalty was smashed in off the underside of the crossbar.
Mark Macadie had to endure the nerve-wracking “long walk” but Macadie kept his nerve to place his penalty in near identical fashion to Sam Barclay’s also sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to put Wick 2-1 up. Kingussie’s second penalty was blazed over both the bar and fence behind the goal and into the trees beyond. Michael Steven was the next to take a penalty for Wick and he dealt with the pressure to put the home side 3-1 by calmly stroking his penalty into the back of the net, once again sending the goalkeeper in the wrong direction.
Kingussie’s 3rd penalty was expertly saved by keeper Budge who dived down to his left to give Wick the match point. Steven Hughes performed the captain’s duty well by selecting himself to take the game deciding penalty putting the ball beyond reach of the goalkeeper to send the team, management and supporters into delirium.”
The starting XI for Wick High was as follows:
GK: Archie Budge
RB: Owen Manson
CB: Ross Mackay
CB: Grant Innes
LB: Bruce Taylor
RM: Steven Hughes
CM: Michael Steven
CM: Mark Macadie
LM: Lewis Shepherd
CF: Sam Barclay
ST: Andrew Sutherland
Ben Sutherland (GK)
Manager: Mr Ross