Albion Rovers v Annan Athletic
Annan fought back from losing an 80th minute goal to score what could prove to be a defining equalizer 3 minutes later and the Galabankies would have won the match had it not been for an incredible save from on loan Motherwell keeper Peter Morrison to deny Ryan Sinnamon in the closing minutes. In truth it was not the best of matches with the heavy pitch making it almost impossible for both sets of players.
The first half was poor with goal scoring opportunities very few and far between. Mitchell turned the trialist centre forwards effort round the post for an early corner for the home side in the 7th minute. Annan forced their first corner in the 11th minute which Aidan Smith headed over the bar.
The match was going nowhere with both defences giving very little away. Annan forced a series of corner kicks around the half hour mark all of which came to nothing. Chis Johnston tested keeper Peter Morrison in the 41st minute but the effort was easily saved by the keeper.
Annan started the second half with more determination, taking the game to Albion Rovers and the promising start saw David Wilson’s 25 yarder going over bar. In the 50th minute Chis Johnston’s cross was headed narrowly past the post by Smith as Annan turned the screw on the Albion defence. Tony Wallace’s 58th minute effort went close as Annan continued to pile on the pressure.
It was all one way traffic and it only seemed a matter of time before Annan made the break through. Albion defended a series of corner kicks and in the 65th minute the Albion keeper denied Chris Johnston with a superb save low down.
Annan’s Lewis Strapp conceded a corner in the 80th minute and from the melee in the box Scott Forrester low right footed shot found the corner of the net to give Albion the lead totally against the run of play. Annan appeared rattled, Albion then were denied a second goal after Mitchell saved the trialist Centre forwards right footed shot.
These however were rare scoring opportunities in a second half dominated by Annan and for the final 10 minutes Annan had Albion under real pressure and in the 86th minute finally got the breakthrough they deserved when David Wilson’s low right footed shot found the corner of the net from 12 yards.
The final 4 minutes of the match plus the four minutes of added time saw the home team under intense pressure as Annan went all out to secure the winner. Albion Rovers had keeper Peter Morrison to thank for a share of the points as twice he denied Ryan Sinnamon who’s close range effort looked net bound until the keeper pulled off an instinctive save, this was followed by another important save when the keeper denied Chris Johnston.
The point however may prove to be definitive at the end of the season as Annan cling to the hope of making the play off position as all the teams around Annan were defeated.
Albion Rovers – Peter Morrison, Trialist, Lewis Wilson (Ronan Kearney 64 min), Sean Fagan, Scott Forrester, Brian Wharton, Jamie Watson ( Lawrence McMahon 76 min ), Jamie Gallagher, Trialist, Mark Green ( Ryan Watters 78 min), Paul McGeogh. Subs not used – Graham Gracie, Barry Eley, Christopher Wylie, Alan Murdoch.
Annan Athletic – Alex Mitchell, Scott Hooper, Lewis Strapp , David Wilson, Kyle Bradley , Steven Swinglehurst, Owen Moxon (Ross Ferguson 70 min ), Ryan Sinnamon, Aidan Smith, Chris Johnston, Tony Wallace ( Max Wright 84 min) . Subs not used Robbie Minto,Scott Roberts, Ayrton Sonkur , Tommy Muir, James Creaney .
Referee – Chris Fordyce Assistants – Ivan Stankovic and Ross Hardie. Crowd 145
In the other SPFL2 matches Edinburgh City were denied victory at Shielfield as Berwick scored 2 late goals to wipe out City’s 2 goal advantage. Peterhead closed the gap at the top with a convincing 3 goal victory over Elgin City and Clyde defeated Queens Park by 2 goals to nil. Stirling Albion lifted the points with a 2-1 victory over Cowdenbeath. The league is now at the half way stage and there is still a lot if football to be played with all the promotional places still up for grabs.