Wick Academy 3 Keith 2: Maroons fight back but can't hold on at Harmsworth Park
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KEITH need to cut out the defensive lapses and capitalise on goalscoring opportunities, writes Charlie Simpson.
Small comfort perhaps for Keith fans whose plucky heroes were really unlucky for the second successive match not to get a share of the spoils against in form opposition.
As at Inverurie in their last outing they lost out after being in a winning position, and had the aforementioned frailties not reared their head then it would have been a different outcome.
The Maroons are to be commended though as they travelled to Caithness minus no fewer than 10 first team squad players due to Covid, injuries, suspensions and unavailability, drafting in three trialists and a youngster from the youth set-up.
James Ross, Connor Killoh and Iestyn Harries were the three trialists, the former two appearing in the starting line-up.
It looked like being a long afternoon when the visitors fell behind after only 82 seconds.
Keith keeper Jamie Shingler rushed out to block David Allan, but the striker, who went on to nail a treble, pounced on the loose ball to clip home from eight yards.
The Maroons, playing down the Harmsworth slope, produced little in the first half, with only two shots from James Brownie and Michael Selfridge of any note.
It was certainly a different kettle of fish after the break, with Wick being pushed onto the back foot right away.
A quick fire move in the 52nd minute saw Scott Gray head wide when he really ought to have found the target.
It was no surprise though on the hour mark when it was level pegging thanks to the persistent Kieran Mooney setting up Selfridge who converted his sixth goal of the season.
Three minutes later the rampant visitors should have been ahead when Selfridge whipped in a perfect cross, but again Gray headed wide.
However, with 66 minutes played the homesters were stunned when Brownie crashed home an 18 yarder for his third goal in two games.
It was all square again barely two minutes later, Shingler again beating the ball away, but with his defence slow to react Allan quickly slammed home from close range.
End-to -nd action ensued and with less than eight minutes left, Allan had the home support in raptures when he whipped a rousing 15 yarder into the roof of the net.
Hard done by perhaps, as Keith maybe should have been awarded a free kick deep inside the Wick half in the lead up to the winning goal.
Mind you, at the very last gasp they could have grabbed a leveller but somehow the ball struck a Wick defender right on the line.
Keith team: Shingler, Ross, Yeats, Thomas, Robertson, Yunus, Gray (McKeown), Brownie, Selfridge, Killoh (Ironside), Mooney. Subs: Harries, Crichton, Irvine.
Referee: H Bruce.