Albion Rovers vs Annan
Annan Athletic’s league campaign kicked off at Coatbridge but disappointingly it was the home team who lifted the honours courtesy a 2 goal burst at the start of the second half which cancelled out Annan’s 26th minute spot kick by David Hopkirk.
Annan started brightly and with four minutes on the clock Albion had keeper Neil Parry to thank for denying Derek Carcary who was clean through on goal but the keeper pulled off an important save with his legs. Annan continued to take the game to Albion and following a free kick in the 11th minute Steven Logan’s shot was tipped over the bar. Hopkirk was next to try his luck with a snap shot in the 17th minute which was once again comfortably saved by Parry.
Albion never really threatened the Annan goal in the opening 20 minutes but midway through the half the Annan goal survived an anxious moment when Steven Swinglehurst cleared Josh Mullen’s effort off the goal line. A minute later and Hopkirk’s shot on the turn screamed over the bar.
Annan went ahead in the 26th minute after Ross Dunlop’s challenge on Steven Logan made enough contact to allow referee Alan Newlands to award Annan a penalty and David Hopkirk made no mistake from the spot kick striking the ball high and into the roof of the net. Albion rarely threatened the Annan goal in a disappointing first half for them, with only a 36th minute effort from Mark McGuigan who’s volleyed shot flashed past the post without testing Alex Mitchell. Annan for their part were unable to add to their goal advantage despite controlling the half.
If the first half had been disappointing for the home team they started the second half with a bang and inside a minute Albion were level when Gary Phillips ball from wide on the right found Steven Black and Alan Reid contesting the ball and the ball unfortunately was bundled into the back of the net by Steven Black. Within 3 minutes Albion struck again when Gary Phillips corner played in from the right found Michael Dunlop powering in at the back post and his header found the corner of the net from 4 yards. It was a disappointing goal for Annan to lose but all of a sudden the momentum of the game was back with the home team.
Annan gradually started to get back in the game and Hopkirk and Carcary both had tame efforts which were easily dealt with by Neil Parry. Flynn was introduced mid way through the half as Annan rearranged their defence to 3 at the back . Chances were few and far between , Black’s 80th minute effort struck the top of the cross bar.
And player/manager Young hailed his side’s spirit after they got off to a flying start. He said: “We’re delighted to get the three points and it was a great comeback. “It was a bit of a dubious penalty but sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t. “We were gutted to be behind at half-time but we got the heads up and felt that if we got one goal we’d get another. “We made a smashing start to the second half. The boys were fired up to do well.”
Annan boss Jim Chapman said: “We were in total control but for five minutes have let ourselves down. “We threw the game away. I don’t think Albion Rovers won the game – Annan lost it. “As much as I’m pleased with a lot of aspects, we’ve given away two cheap goals.”
ALBION ROVERS :Neil Parry, Alan Reid, Kyle Turnbull, Darren Young, Ross Dunlop, Michael Dunlop, Josh Mullin ( Ciaran Donnelly 85min) , Gary Fisher (Marc McKenzie 80min), John Gemmell, Mark McGuigan, Gary Phillips. SUBS NOT USED: Jamie Pollock, Ally Love, Kieran Hughes, Liam Cusack, Ross McNeill.
ANNAN ATHLETIC: Alex Mitchell, Steven Black, Peter Bradley ( Matthew Flynn 71 min), Peter Watson, Steven Swinglehurst; Steven Sloan , Ryan McStay, Steven Logan , Josh Todd , David Hopkirk; Derek Carcary. SUBS NOT USED: Craig Murray, Gregor Anderson, Kieran Brannon, Dan Wood, Zak Caldwell, . Connor Liddell.
D Hopkirk (26) 0-1; S Black og (46) 1-1; Michael Dunlop (49) 2-1:
REFEREE: Alan Newlands Attendance 530