A goal from Czech forward Marek Madle midway through the second half sealed the points for Formartine when the game looked to be heading for a draw.
United manager Steve Paterson said: “Wick is always a hard place to go, that has been shown over the years as this was my first win there as Formartine manager.
“Our form has been patchy recently while Wick’s has been really good so it was a really important three points for ourselves.
“This result proves that things aren’t as bad as some people have said. We acknowledge we have been going through a difficult period, but the spirit of the players has been brilliant and I was proud of their work-rate, they are working their socks off for both myself and the team.
“Wick were a bit unlucky, it was game which could have gone either way as our goalkeeper Shaun Barney made a couple of vital saves when it was 1-1, so I was very pleased with his performance as well.”
Wick assistant-manager Richard Hughes felt his side had done enough to merit a share of the points. He said: “A draw looked a score both sides would probably have been happy with, but they stole the win.
“We are disappointed we were unable to create more chances, Sam Mackay did score our equaliser with a good goal but that was the only time we played good football.”
There was little between the sides until United opened the scoring with a Callum Bagshaw goal on the quarter hour mark, but the sides went in at the break on level terms when Mackay beat Formartine’s stand-in goalkeeper Shaun Barney.
Midway through the second half the visitors snatched full points with Madle’s 11th goal of the season, and although Academy piled on the pressure late on the Pitmedden side held on.