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Gordon Connelly’s side returned north with a valuable point for their title challenge after a spirited 0-0 draw with Nairn County.Despite struggling at Station Park in the past, the Scorries continued their good run of form of late which saw them go into this game atop the table.

The Harmsworth Park outfit made the early running and Richard Macadie was first to test Calum Antell in the Nairn goal inside five minutes, but his low shot was taken comfortably by the County keeper.Some slick build-up play from the visitors fashioned an opportunity for Steven Anderson-Harrison but he was unable to guide his shot on target.

Nairn began to establish themselves and Conor Gethins saw his free kick threaten the frame of Sean McCarthy’s posts but drifted narrowly over.Alan Pollock was finding space on the right flank and his delivery to the back post caused McCarthy to swat the ball away.It landed at the feet of Gethins who reacted quickly to send the ball goalwards, only for McCarthy to deflect it unwittingly with his face to keep the score level.

Wick’s David Allan was central to the attacking energy for his side.He linked up well with fellow forward Lukasz Geruzel, who showed some neat footwork for a man his size.Geruzel should have opened the scoring himself, but after Allan played him in with a cleverly weighted pass, his effort trickled harmlessly wide.Minutes later, the duo teamed up again to create a chance for James Pickles, but the midfielder was inches away from connecting with a defence splitting pass from Allan.

The hosts countered with Pollock who cut inside from the right before bending an effort narrowly over the bar.A last-gasp tackle from Michael Steven took the ball off Robbie Duncanson’s toe as he prepared to fire and the sides went into the break on level terms.

Upon the restart, Wick signalled their intentions to take the game to their hosts.Again, the play flowed through Allan who pulled a shot wide before laying the ball off for Anderson-Harrison but there were no takers for his searching pass across the face of goal.Within a few moments, Antell had to look lively to turn Allan’s lengthy drive over the bar with a fine save.The lively forward continued to cause problems and found himself with possibly the chance of the match, a free header which he couldn’t direct on target.

Les Fridge’s side were on the back foot and were reduced to several long range efforts, which failed to trouble McCarthy as the Wick defence stood resolute.Steven, the hero in the first half challenge on Duncanson, was enjoying a fine performance with many commanding headers to clear the danger as well as some profitable forays forward.Macadie was unlucky to see his shot scrape narrowly wide after a lovely counter-attacking move from Wick, before he was replaced by Sam Mackay with 15 minutes to go.

Referee Douglas Rose waved away two Wick penalty claims in quick succession; firstly Allan claimed to have been pulled back as he attempted to latch onto a Geruzel chip into the box.Moments later, defender David Allan appeared to be felled in the area but protests from his team-mates came to nothing.

Mackay looked lively after coming on and enjoyed some space on the left flank.His marauding run finished with an inviting ball across the Nairn goal-line but there was nobody there to turn it into the net.

The Wee County continued to try their luck from range, but could not find a way past the Wick defence and settled for a share of the points.

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Press and Journal Highland League 2016-17

Rank Teams Played GD Points
1 Buckie Thistle 34 94 82
2 Cove Rangers 34 79 82
3 Brora Rangers 34 80 81
4 Formartine United 34 35 73
5 Fraserburgh 34 29 63
6 Forres Mechanics 34 21 58
7 Turriff United 34 14 58
8 Wick Academy 34 23 53
9 Inverurie Locos 34 18 50
10 Keith 34 -14 47
11 Clachnacuddin 34 -24 41
12 Lossiemouth 34 -18 38
13 Nairn County 34 -17 34
14 Huntly 34 -43 34
15 Deveronvale 34 -24 30
16 Rothes 34 -69 26
17 Fort William 34 -92 11
18 Strathspey Thistle 34 -92 9

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