Annan Atheltic v Stenhousemuir
This match turned into a super tussell between 2 evenly matched teams who provided superb entertainment under difficult windy conditions for the healthy Galabank crowd with the result in doubt until the final whistle.
In the end both teams had to be content with a share of the points. The match ebbed and flowed from the first whistle to the final whistle. Both teams had efforts which cannoned off the cross bar and the post and both teams scored a goal each, within a couple of minutes of each other what more could the fans of either team expect.
Stenhousemuir fielded recent signing Willie Gibson in their starting line up, Annan boss Peter Murphy tweaked his team slightly from the previous weeks defeat at the hands of Cowdenbeath.
You almost got the feeling from the early minutes that this was going to be a close game with both teams going for broke and the first 15 minutes saw the match stretch from end to end but without either keeper being seriously tested. Then within the space of a couple of minutes opportunities were created at both end of the park when Darren Barr headed a Scott McLean effort which the keeper did well to save. At the other end Mark McGuigan’s well placed effort was well saved by Taylor.
Jamie McKernon came close in the 26th minute to breaking the deadlock but his well struck shot from the edge of the box failed to hit the target. The opening goal arrived in the 29th minute when a cross ball to the back post found the head of who’s header found the feet of Mark McGuigan who easily slotted the ball home from 6 yards to give Stenhousemuir the lead.
Annan responded within 2 minutes when Christain Nade connected with a Lewis McLear cross to score from close range, it was just the reply Annan needed from a good move down the right. Ex Annan player David Hopkirk came close in the 35th minute when his well placed effort just missed the target after a promising build up from the visitors. At the other end Nade’s header went close with Smith confidently saving the effort. As the match approached half time Annan pressed forward and won a free kick on the edge of the box when Nade was fouled but Scott McLeans effort was way wide and high of the target.
Kyle Wylkie came close to breaking the deadlock in the 44thminute when his excellent effort from the edge of the box beat Smith but the ball cannoned off the crossbar.
The second half saw Annan force the early pressure with the woodwork once again coming to the rescue of Stenhousemuir when Matty Douglas’s effort hit the base of the post. Brouque Watson was introduced in the 57th minute with Lewis McLear making way. Jamie McKernon came close in the 65th minute when his effort went narrowly past the post. Annan had a real let off 2 minutes later when they got caught down the right flank and the cross ball found Mark McGuigan at the back post but the normally confident striker’s effort went high and wide.
As the match entered the final 10 minutes with the game in the balance David Hopkirk came close when his 81st minute shot from the edge of the box beat keeper Taylor only for the well struck shot to strike the upright.
Annan made a couple of late substitutions with Bradley and Muir being replaced by Sonkur and Currie but there was no more scoring with both teams sharing the spoils.
Peter Murphy’s after match comments pretty well summed up the start to the season that Annan have made .“A draw was probably a fair result, but I think we dominated a lot in the first half. Looking at my new team with their passing and movement I thought it was quite good from us. I’m happy with how the team is coming together but there are maybe some results which have went against us that maybe shouldn’t have. That’s football though and there are fine margins but for the team I’ve put together and the points tally we have I’am happy with that”
ANNAN ATHLETIC – Aaran Taylor, Matty Douglas, Jamie Ballantyne, Kyle Bradley (Ayrton Sonkur 90 min ), Darren Barr, Steven Swinglehurst, Scott McLean, Tommy Muir(Russell Currie 88 min), Kyle Wilkie, Lewis McLear ( BroqueWatson 59 min ) Christain Nade, Subs not used Lyle Avic, EuanGriffiths, Jordan Holt, Jamie Walker .
STENHOUSEMUIR – Graeme Smith, Chris O’Neil, Jamie McKernon, David Marsh, Scott McLaughlin, Andy Munro, Thomas Halleran (Kieran Anderson 74 min), Allan Cook, William Gibson, Mark McQuigan, David Hopkirk. Subs not used .Kyle Marley, Dylan Dykes, kieron Gibbons, Ryan Watters, Mark Munro, Liam Scullion,
Referee. Duncan Williams Assistants – Graham Chambers and Blair Comerford
Cove Rangers continue to set the pace at the top of the league with a convincing 3-0 home victory over the in form Queens Park, Stirlling are still pointless following their 2-1 defeat at Albion Rovers a game where 3 players were sent off.Cowdenbeath followed up their victory over Annan last week with a 2-1 home victory over Brechin City, finally Edinburgh City and Elgin City fought of a 6 goal thriller in a 3-3 draw at Edinburgh.
Next week Annan are without a game due to the International break , the following week Annan travel to Edinburgh to take on Edinburgh City