Gr-eight show by rampant Niccy against Thurso

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Matthew Wright scored four as the Nicolson strolled into the semi-finals with an 8-1 victory.

Josh Smith scored two and the other goals came from Mikey Jones and Cammy Nicolson following a dominant display.

From kick off the Nicolson were on top, using the following wind to their advantage. After two minutes “the yellows” were rewarded when Matthew Wright headed the ball past the keeper following a good header over the defence from left back Calum Maclennan. Within a minute Matthew had another goal, this time curling the ball delightfully into the far corner after cutting in from the left hand side.

Thurso were shell shocked; the game had barely started and already they had a mountain to climb. To give the Highlanders credit though, they soon steadied the ship, the keeper saving well on a couple of occasions whilst the centre backs started to get to grips with Wright’s movement. They also had a strong, pacey winger who troubled the Nicolson on a number of occasions, only his final ball letting him down.

As the game headed towards half time, right back Joseph Stewart played the ball to Matthew who spun superbly on to his left foot before hammering the ball high into the net for the goal of the match. If the Nicolson thought that was game over, they had another thing coming however, as Thurso bit back straight away. A long ball led to confusion in the Nicolson defence which in turn allowed one of the Highlanders to nip in and bundle the ball home.

Into the second half and the game was fairly tight for the first ten minutes, both teams determined to score the all-important next goal. After 50 minutes Matthew notched his fourth when he hammered in a penalty after being barged over in the box. Thurso kept coming back though and one of their midfielders curled the ball into the corner of the goal from 20 yards to make things interesting once more. It was back to 4-2 for the Yellows.

The Nicolson coaches weren’t too happy with how the half was shaping so made a couple of adjustments, one of which was to move skilful winger Mikey Jones into centre midfield. The move paid off ten minutes later when Mikey chipped the ball delightfully over the keeper from 20 yards to restore the three goal lead.

As both teams fought for every ball, the Nicolson’s holding midfielder Ross Maciver was bundled over the touchline and onto the tarmac, leaving him with a bloody hand. Ross soldiered on, only revealing his battle wound at the end of the game.

Josh Smith was next on target as the Nicolson eased away in the closing stages. Josh had ventured up for a corner and as the ball broke kindly he hammered it high into the net. Minutes later he scored a similar goal and when Cammy Nicolson controlled and hammered in a fantastic cross from Ruairidh Maclennan the Nicolson could properly celebrate.

The boys reward is a home semi-final against Inverurie, on Thurs, March 30.