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Wick answer Gary Manson’s questions with stunning second half comeback against Clach

The Wick players celebrate Steven Anderson's goal which put them 3-2 up against Clachnacuddin
The Wick players celebrate Steven Anderson's goal which put them 3-2 up against Clachnacuddin

Wick Academy player-manager Gary Manson felt his side went from being dreadful to brilliant in their victory against Clachnacuddin.

The Scorries were 2-0 down after 40 minutes of the Breedon Highland League encounter at Grant Street Park.

But Gordon MacNab’s goal before half-time sparked a comeback with Mark Macadie and Steven Anderson on target after the break.

Academy are up to ninth in the table having won four of their last five fixtures.

Manson said: “It was a game of two halves. The first half was nowhere near the standard we expect, or want, both in possession and out of possession.

“I thought it was dreadful at times. I went in at half-time and questioned them.

“I haven’t done that a lot this season but I questioned whether the guys were up for the fight, did they want to get on the ball? Were they brave enough to get on the ball?

Mark Macadie scores Wick’s equaliser against Clachnacuddin

“They showed second half they were brave enough and the second half was brilliant.

“We scored the goals to win the game and missed two or three more chances, overall I’m delighted.

“We’re building a bit of momentum and it does help when the fixtures favour you.

“But four wins in five is good going in anyone’s book and we’ve got decent fixtures coming up so we want to keep that momentum and push as high as we possibly again.”

Manson fills in

Manson played the full 90 minutes against Clach and having been at left-back in the first half he spent the majority of the second period at centre-back.

He added: “We changed things at half-time and the idea was for me to go into central midfield.

“But then young Joe Anderson got a knee injury early in the second half so I slotted into sweeper.

“I’m happy to play anywhere the manager wants me to play.”

Clach make early headway

In a pulsating encounter the Lilywhites grabbed the opener midway through the first period.

Robbie Thompson’s shot on the turn from 25 yards hit the inside of the left post and striker James Anderson reacted quickest to prod home from close range.

Anderson was close to a second on 37 minutes with his header from Lewis Nicolson’s left-wing cross bouncing back off the right post and Scorries goalkeeper Graeme Williamson caught Anderson’s follow-up header.

However, three minutes later it was 2-0 with Nicolson playing in Thompson and despite Williamson getting a touch to the shot it crept in.

But Wick rallied and MacNab’s composed finish in the 42nd minute gave them hope.

Wick’s Andrew Hardwick, left, and Connor Bunce of Clach battle for possession

Shortly after the hour mark the Caithness outfit equalised with Alan Hughes’ cross from the right knocked against the left post by David Allan before Macadie slammed home the rebound.

In the 66th minute the comeback was complete with Steven Anderson evading the offside trap and taking an excellent first touch which allowed him to finish into the left corner from inside the box.

The Lilywhites tried to battle back in the final quarter, but they struggled to threaten the visitors’ goal as they had in the first period.

Hosts didn’t capitalise on dominance

Clach manager Jordan MacDonald said: “I’m really frustrated because we were dominant for 40 minutes.

“But then there were lapses of concentration, we didn’t want to do the hard yards and it’s not often I can say that about my team.

“We were weak defensively, Wick didn’t have to work hard for their goals and it’s really disappointing.

“We were 2-0 up and my goalkeeper hasn’t had a save to make and then he was picking the ball out of the back of the net.

“We’ve got to learn because there’s too many times this season we’ve been on top and leading in games and then switching off.

“We need to eradicate that quickly because we’re losing points because of it.”

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