Brora Rangers manager Craig Campbell praised his side for being clinical as they progressed to round two of the GPH Builders Merchants Highland League Cup by defeating Wick Academy 3-0.
First half goals from Jordan MacRae, Dale Gillespie and Matthew Wright did the damage for the Cattachs at Harmsworth Park.
Brora boss Campbell said: “We’re delighted to be in the next round and keep another clean sheet as well as scoring three goals.
“But I said to them at half-time I felt we’d been a wee bit sloppy.
“Wick had a couple of decent chances and Joe Malin had a good save so the score could have been different.
“But we were 3-0 up at half-time and it turned out to be quite comfortable after that.
“Being clinical was the difference. I’ve been getting on at boys because I don’t think we’ve been clinical enough.
“But we took our chances against Wick and that was important, if they had taken their chances it could have been a different game.”
Brora establish lead
The home side had the first chance in the opening 40 seconds with Ryan Campbell releasing Steven Anderson, but the striker dragged his shot from the left side of the area wide.
In the fifth minute Brora took the lead with Gillespie’s corner from the right – which Wick felt should have been a goal kick – finding Mark Nicolson and although his header was blocked MacRae was on hand to finish from close range.
After 17 minutes the Cattachs doubled their lead with MacRae beating goalkeeper Graeme Williamson to Ali Sutherland’s through ball before colliding with Williamson after shooting.
Referee Lee Robertson pointed to the penalty spot and Gillespie found the bottom left corner.
Shortly after falling two behind Anderson shot off target for the Scorries after good work from David Allan in the build up.
On 25 minutes Wick midfielder Jack Halliday burst into the box but his shot was brilliantly saved by Joe Malin before Anderson’s attempt on the rebound was blocked.
Three minutes later Brora made it 3-0 with MacRae’s flick setting Wright free inside the penalty area and he calmly stroked beyond Williamson.
Chances were at a premium in the second period, although Wick defender Ross Allan did well to clear off the line in the 47th minute after almost turning the ball into his own net under pressure from Sutherland.
Sub Harry Hennem also went close for Brora with a low strike from 20 yards which drifted just wide. In the closing stages Ally Macdonald broke free down the left, but Williamson made a good save.
Wick to their credit never let their heads drop but nothing came off for them in the final third, despite winning plenty of corners and free-kicks around the Brora box.
Concessions disappoint Manson
Wick boss Gary Manson said: “The first half wasn’t good enough, going in 3-0 at half-time isn’t good enough.
“The goals were symptomatic of our season so far, the first is a ball into the box that we didn’t deal with and it ends up as a goal.
“Plenty of balls went into Brora’s box and they dealt with them and that’s the difference.
“Steven Anderson’s first chance was after 40 seconds and on another day that goes in rather than just past the post.
“We had a couple of other good chances where we maybe should have been more clinical.
“That’s the difference between the teams at the top of the league and where we are – when you get the chances you have to be clinical.”