Another weekend and another win for Academy as we stretched our unbeaten league run to 13 games, again courtesy of an impressive away performance, with the 3-1 success at Forres making it six wins out of eight on the road.
Mosset Park is a place which hasn’t given Academy much joy over the years and when the Can-Cans pulled a goal back to make it 2-1 it looked like a familiar story was going to repeat itself for the away side.
Too many times have Academy fans witnessed their side build a comfortable lead only to collapse in the latter part of games and see three points slip away. If this had been last season, or most others for that matter, it’s likely that a 2-0 lead would have turned into a draw or even a defeat as soon as Forres got one back. But Academy are a different beast this time around and stayed strong at the back, before killing the game off with Steven Anderson’s late strike.
A summer signing from Lybster, Anderson deserves huge credit for making the considerable step up from County League to Highland League football so impressively.
His only goals before the weekend had come against four of the bottom six sides in the league which caused some doubt in my mind as to whether he could do it against the bigger and better teams.
And it will be interesting to see if in the upcoming games against the top sides in the division Gordon Connelly sticks with Anderson or turns to the likes of Stevie Cunningham, Jack Halliday or Sam Mackay, who can add more solidity in midfield. Anderson, though, is making an excellent case for himself and it’s a headache I’m sure Connelly will be glad to have.
Next week sees Academy on the road again to face Deveronvale, who we faced in a highly dramatic match on the first weekend of the season, an encounter which saw ten bookings, three red cards and a stoppage time Richard Macadie winner for us.
Since that game we have improved considerably whereas Vale seem to have taken a backward step so this should be a good marker of the progress, or lack of, made by both teams.
With games against Turriff, Inverurie and Formartine coming up consecutively for us after this weekend, Academy know that Vale is a must-win game to keep the momentum going ahead of the few weeks that could shape our season.