Albion Rovers v Annan Athletic
Annan Athletic extended their run to three victories at Coatbridge on Saturday with a single goal victory courtesy of a well taken Iain Anderson goal scored in injury time at the end of the first half.
This was a closely contested match between two teams who were evenly matched with the outcome in the balance until the final whistle. The Galabankies not surprisingly started with the same starting eleven for the third consecutive match . The game was played in a damp wet afternoon but the quality of football played by both teams was at times exceptional .
Albion Rovers started the match on the front foot and Jamie Wilson became the first man to be booked in the 4th minute for a rash challenge on Tony Wallace. Declan Byrne tested Greig Fleming with a low shot . Albion were pressing for an opening but the Annan defence stood firm giving very little away.
Annan’s Chris Johnston orchestrated a promising move from Annan ending with a cross to the back post in the 28th minute and Aiden Smith headed narrowly over the bar. This was followed by an excellent Annan move with sme neat interpassing ending with the final ball just catching Chris Johnston offside.
The game was on a knife edge until the stalemate was broken at the end of the first half when Aidan Smith released Iain Anderson and the of fire striker beat the advancing Cammy Binnie to slip the ball into the corner of the net to give Annan a slender lead going into the break.
Albion started the second half on the front foot , former Annan player David Wilson was presented with an opportunity in the 51st minute but the normally reliable midfielder blasted the free kick over the bar.
The Annan goal survived a real anxious moment in the 54th minute concluding with Albion being awarded a penalty kick when Grieg Fleming fouled Callum Wilson but Declan Byrnes spot kick was blasted wide of the target. It was a let off for Annan but it did not deter the home team who were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box but once again Davis Wilson’s effort failed hit the target.
Annan survived this period and started to take the game to Albion Rovers , Iain Anderson then worked his way into a dangerous position releasing Aidan Smith in the 61st minute but Cameron Binnie averted the danger. Minutes later the Albion keeper denied saving Chris Johnston’s effort form the edge of the box. At the other end Grieg Fleming pulled off an important save to deny Jamie Leslie.
As the game entered the final 15 minutes it was Annan who looked the team most likely to score with threats down both flanks. Albion introduced ex Annan players Scott Roberts and Max Wright in an effort to grab the equaliser but Annan looked comfortable and the victory for the time being keeps Annan in the top half of the table.