Holmes wonder strike seals Wick win for Cumbernauld Colts

Craig Holmes was on target for Colts against Wick Academy
Craig Holmes was on target for Colts against Wick Academy

Cumbernauld Colts completed their pre-season programme with a home win over Highland League side Wick Academy.

Goals from new signing Fraser Team, Sean Brown and Craig Holmes were enough to seal a victory for a Colts side who had just 11 of their first team squad available for selection, due to injuries and holidays.

As a result their bench was made up of several under 20 players eager to show manager James Orr they were up for the challenge.

The game started at a reasonable pace and the home side made the breakthrough after 10 minutes when Fraser Team latched onto a pass from strike partner Brown and slotted home, much to the disappointment of Wick’s travelling support.

Wick responded with some increased pressure but Colts added to their lead on the 28th minute when Brown continued where he left off in the League Cup final by despatching the ball beyond the reach of the Wick keeper Sean McCarthy.

Things went from bad to worse for Wick in the 34th minute when Holmes produced a wonder strike from 35 yards which soared into the roof of the net.

However the visitors immediately brought themselves back into the game when a lack of concentration in the Colts defence allowed Davie Allan to be one on one with keeper Jordan Pettigrew and duly slot home.

The second half started with the Colts making three changes, giving youngsters Matty Kerr, Connor Whitehead and Craig Henderson their first starts for the club.

This seemed to provide Wick with some impetus as they pulled another one back within five minutes of the restart, Craig Gunn netting.

Colts continued to ring the changes with further substitutions and the remaining minutes proved to be a bit of a nervous occasion for the Colts with Wick spurning a couple of decent opportunities, but try as they might the away side could not find the elusive equaliser.

The match proved to be a decent run out for Colts and set them up nicely for the opening SLFL game away to Gala Fairydean Rovers on Saturday.

Co-manager Orr admitted that pre-season has been tough with a significant number of players unavailable.

He said: “It’s been tough, we’ve been very unfortunate that we’ve had a few injuries going into pre-season, boys already with long-term injuries.

“And because we’re part-time we’ve had holidays so we’ve not managed to play our first 11 through the pre-season until Saturday there, the very last game of pre-season.

“We changed the shape to a 3-5-2 and we went 3-0 up and looked very solid at the back. I thought we looked really good, apart from bits of sloppiness.

“In the second half I put six of our new under-20s side on and they took a bit of adjustment to get into it because they’d never played at that level before.

“Wick Academy are a top Highland League team, they’re a good team and it was more convincing than it looked in terms of 3-2.

“All the young guys have got a really good attitude and I was really proud of them. They’ve come in and had a taste of it and seemed to have liked it so hopefully we’ll have more under-20s coming through this year because last year we didn’t have one step up.”