A Dale Gillespie strike in the fifth minute of stoppage-time earned Brora Rangers a share of the points at chilly Dudgeon Park on Saturday.
The result leaves Brora in third place in the Breedon HIghland League table – two points behind second-place Buckie Thistle having played one game more than the Jags.
Wick sit in eighth spot – nine points adrift of seventh-place Rothes but 11 points ahead of ninth-place Nairn County.
Brora boss Craig Campbell admitted his side didn’t deserve to take full points.
He said: “To be honest I don’t think that we played well enough to win the game.
“It was a case of two points dropped. I’m pretty disappointed by our performance but we managed to score late on to grab a point so we’ll take that and move on.
“We had chances to put ourselves in front but we didn’t take them.
“That proved costly. We are on the fringes of the title race but we’ll keep fighting on.”
Wick shocked the reigning champions when they opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Davie Allan played in Steven Anderson who fired the ball under the advancing Joe Malin.
Brora were back on level terms a minute from the break in contentious circumstances, Wick claiming that Martin Maclean’s back-post downward header hadn’t crossed the line before Jack Halliday headed it clear.
Brora Rangers v Wick Academy pic.twitter.com/47ej664kv5
— Brora Rangers (@brorarangers) February 19, 2022
The visitors regained the lead in the 57th minute when Anderson closed down and robbed Malin, the striker had a couple of unsuccessful attempts to convert himself before squaring the ball to Jack Henry who netted from eight yards.
That strike looked like giving the Scorries their first win over their local rivals for many years but it was not to be as in the fifth of seven minutes injury-time added by referee Gordon Morrison, Dale Gillespie stroked the ball home from 12 yards out.
Wick Academy player-manager, Gary Manson was left bewildered by both Brora’s opening goal and the extent of stoppage-time added on.
Manson said: “I had an ideal view of the goal that wasn’t. The corner came across and Martin Maclean got up at the back post to head it down, it was going in but Jack Halliday was on the line.
“I was right next to him and had a perfect view as he headed it clear – the linesman put his flag up to signal a goal, but the ball clearly wasn’t over the line.
“I’ve no idea where all that stoppage-time came from. I did have a word with Gordon Morrison after the game and he tried to explain to me how he came to add on seven minutes – but he just dug himself a deeper hole.
“We haven’t beaten Brora for a very long time, we thought we’d managed it today, so from our prospective it definitely feels like two points dropped.”