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Wick manager Gordon Connelly believes his side were worthy winners of their Scottish Cup first-round tie at Dalbeattie Star.

The hosts finished the game with nine men, as Lewis Sloan was dismissed early in the second half, before Connor Graham was sent off in injury-time having received his second caution.

Academy were two goals up at the break thanks to a strong performance in the opening 45 minutes and although Star pulled back a goal after the interval, Steven Anderson’s late strike capped off a fine win.

Connelly was pleased that a good showing from his team made a 700-mile round-trip thoroughly worthwhile.

He said: “I am delighted that we knocked out a good side. In the end, they lost their discipline, while our boys stuck to their task.

“They ended up with nine men. They were chasing the game and got frustrated. Take nothing away from us though, we were the better side.

“This was a tough place to come and we had a long journey to get here. The club put in a lot of effort to get us here, so I am delighted that the players did everyone proud.”

Wick broke the deadlock in the 21st minute when James Pickles showed good composure to score having received a pass from Richard Macadie.

Academy doubled their advantage late in the first half when a penalty was awarded after Dalbeattie keeper Vinnie Parker fouled Pickles.

Macadie took the spot-kick and sent the goalie the wrong way to put the visitors well in control at the interval.

Dalbeattie were reduced to 10 men in the 48th minute when Sloan was sent off following an aerial challenge on Academy keeper Sean McCarthy.

Star reduced the deficit through a penalty from Tommy Muir, but Wick then made sure of the win thanks to a powerful finish from Anderson.

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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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