Annan Athletic FC v Arbroath FC
What comes round goes around, well Arbroath did to Annan what we’d done to East Stirlingshire last week scoring a dramatic injury time winner to scupper Annan’s chances of lifting a point in match where Annan stole the first half with a goal right on the stroke of half time but in a very evenly contested second half Arbroath scored right after the break to square the match to set up a highly entertaining second half with the result being in doubt until substitute Josh Skelly broke Annan’s resolve with an injury time winner to keep Arbroath’s challenge for a top four place firmly on schedule.
Annan welcomed the return of Aiden Smith to the attack as Annan boss Jim Chapman set out an attack minded team but it was the visitors who had Annan on the back foot for almost the entire first half but despite their territorial advantage in a half where Arbroath forced 8 corners it was Annan who opened the scoring totally against the run of play in the 45th minute when Steven Swinglehurst headed Annan ahead following Annan’s only corner of the half.
Arbroath took the game to Annan from the opening whistle and were denied a goal in the 10th minute when following a free kick Jean Guy Lucas cleared off the line with Watson blocking Prunty’s resulting shot. Colin Hamilton was presented with an opportunity in the 15th minute after Smith conceded a free kick 30 yards out but the free kick was poor being blocked by the wall. Annan were riding their luck and a David Gold shot following a penetrating run down the right tested Currie. Currie then denied the visitors with a fine save from a Scott header. Annan’s first real opportunity came in the 30th minute when McKenna weaved his way into a promising position but the final shot never really tested Ricky Gomes in the Arbroath goal.
The referee brushed aside Arbroath claims for a penalty in the 35th minute as the half approached half time Watson headed narrowly past when he connected with a Ramsay free kick. The teams looked to be going in all square until won a corner and Steven Swinglehurst won the cross to head the ball into the corner of the net.
Annan’s joy however was short lived as immediately at the start of the second half Arbroath won a corner and from the cross the Annan defence failed to clear the ball which fell invitingly for Mark Whatley who slammed the loose ball into the net from 7 yards.
David McKenna was then presented with a scoring opportunity when Max Wright set him up in front of goal. Annan were playing with more authority and minutes later Ryan Finnie blasted over the bar following a promising build up opened up the Arbroath rearguard.
Blair Currie was then Annan’s saviour pulling off an important save on the edge of the box when he denied Linn who looked to have the edge to win the through ball but Currie timed the challenge perfectly to deny the striker.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes the match swung from end to end. Aiden Smith blasted over the bar after working into a good position and then substitute Prezmyslaw Dachnowiwicz was presented with a golden opportunity to seal the match but his shot was straight at keeper Gomes.
Then came the dramatic winner and frustratingly for Annan it came from one of their attacks when substitute Rabin Omar was dispossessed and Whatley’s penetrating through ball caught the Annan defence square and substitute Josh Skelly who looked marginally offside latched on to the through ball to round keeper Currie to send the visiting fans into dreamland.
ANNAN ATHLETIC: Blair Currie, Jean Guy Lucas, Steven Swinglehurst, Ryan Sinnamon, Peter Watson, Barry Cuddihy (Prezmyslaw Dachnowiwicz 85 min), Max Wright, Ryan Finnie (Adam Ashgar 71 min), David McKenna, Aiden Smith, Darren Ramsay (Rabin Omar 71 min).Substitute’s not used Alex Mitchell, Raffi Krissian, Stephen Bronsky, Callum Home,
ARBROATH: Ricky Gomes,David Gold, Jassem Sukar, Ricky Little, Colin Hamilton, Jason Brown, Mark Whatley, Omar Kader (Liam Callaghan ht), Ryan McCord (Steven Dorris 69 min), Bryan Prunty (Josh Skelly 69min), Martin Scott, Bobby Linn. Subs not used Robby Mulch, Gary Phillips, Gavin Malin, Josh Thompson.
REFEREE : David Lowe Assistants Joseph Lawson and Connor Ashwood. Attendance 326