Wick Academy 1 Buckie Thistle 2
BUCKIE Thistle’s destiny of winning their first SHFL championship in six years remains in their own hands as they came from behind to see off stubborn 10 men Wick Academy.
Steven Anderson was controversially sent off eight minutes before half time for allegedly directing foul abuse towards linesman Andrew Bannerman.
However, the Scorries did take the lead four minutes before the interval thanks to Richard Macadie. But Sam Urquhart‘s double in the second half ensured Buckie left Harmsworth Park with all three points.
The game survived a pitch inspection on Saturday morning but playing conditions were difficult and Buckie resorted to a long ball game which caused the hosts problems in the first half.
Ceiran McLean almost gave Buckie the lead direct from a corner kick which missed everyone and hit the post before it was cleared from danger.
The Jags pressed for the opener during the first half with John McLeod almost grabbing his 40th goal of the season when he was one on one with goalkeeper Sean McCarthy but scuffed his shot from eight yards.
Urquhart should have put the Jags in front 10 minutes before half time when he latched on to a cross from Kevin Fraser from the wing eight yards in front of goal but fired straight over the bar.
The controversial moment of the match came in the 37th minute when Anderson was sent off after it was judged he shouted verbal abuse towards the linesman.
However Academy did take the lead four minutes before half time when 18-year-old Ross County loanee Ross McIvor sent an inch perfect chip over the Buckie defence allowing Richard Macadie to beat the offside trap .
The midfielder kept his composure to drive the ball under Daniel Bell into the net for his 12th goal of the season and put Wick ahead half time.
But Buckie levelled the game two minutes after the break when Hamish Munro’s long ball found Urquhart at the edge of the box.
He managed to hold the ball off two defenders before firing a powerful low drive into the bottom left hand corner.
Thistle were then awarded a penalty in the 55th minute when Michael Steven was judged to have fouled Kevin Fraser in the box.
Urquhart grabbed his second of the game from the spot sending goalkeeper Sean McCarthy the wrong way.
Buckie could have added to their lead in the final half hour with Fraser, McLeod and Chris Angus all firing shots at goal but were all denied by McCarthy who was playing his 100th game for Wick Academy
The hosts pressed well in the second half in their search for an equaliser but with only 10 men never really tested Bell in the closing stages as Buckie held on.
Wick: S McCarthy, M Steven, G Steven, Allan, Hardwick, Manson, Pickles, Macadie (A Mackay 78), Anderson, Weir (MacGregor 58), Maciver.
Subs (Unused) Henstridge, SInclair, Miller, D McCarthy.
Buckie: Bell, Wood, MacKinnon, Munro, Dorrat, McLean, Fraser, Cowie, Copeland (Cheyne 61) Urquhart, McLeod (Angus 71).
Subs (Unused) Fraser, Carrol, Taylor, Maitland, Strong.
Referee: Alan Proctor