Annan Athletic FC v Queens Park
Annan Athletic managed to turn defeat into victory on Tuesday evening with a spirited second half revival at Galabank to earn back to back victories over Queens Park who despite losing contributed so much to a nail bighting encounter.
It was an enthralling match and Queens Park got off to a flier when Tony Wallace rifled in a low shot from 12 yards after a cut back from Burns, it was a well worked goal which cut open the Annan defence and the goal stunned the expectant home crowd. Annan responded with a rasping Andrew Mitchell shot which was tipped over the bar by Lucas Birnsting, further shots from Kenny MacKay and Dan Orsi went close as Annan pressed for an equaliser before Blair Spittal tested Kenny Arthur in the tenth minute. It was turning into a good match with Queens Park looking the more composed and when Flynn got a yellow in the 20th minute Annan’s frustration was all too evident. Ian Chisholm making his first start for over ten weeks had a great opportunity to mark his return with a goal when Andrew Mitchell picked him out but as Chisholm raced in to connect with the cross no contact was made and the opportunity was lost. Dan Orsi making his first start since his move from Queen of the South will look back at a missed opportunity in the 28th minute when he worked his way into a great position but indecision at the critical moment resulted in a poor effort. It looked curtains for Annan when they were dealt a real blow in 31 minutes when Steven Swinglehurst was red carded for being adjuged to be the last man with the spiders striker Liam Gormley bearing down on goal. It was a moment of hesitation by the Annan defender that left the referee with no option and as a result he’ll now miss the next two games. Man of the Match Andrew Mitchell then came close with another crisp shot. With half time approaching it was Queens Park who looked the more likely to score and they missed an opportunity when Blair Spittal delivered an inviting ball across the face of the goal with the Annan defence all at sea.
Annan boss Jim Chapman made a bold decIsion at the start of the second half introducing Steven Black and Scott Davidson at the expense of the booked Matty Flynn and Dan Orsi. Annan started the second half with more purpose and in the 50th minute they were level. Andrew Mitchell delivered an inviting free kick behind the Spiders defence and Martin McNiff powered in at the back post to connect low down with a brave header from 3 yards leaving, the Annan defender was left dazed but it gave Annan an important foothold back in the game. James Baty came close in the 57th minute but in a series of three corners Annan pressed hard with Watson coming close on two occasions. At the other end Tony Wallace connected with Bernard Coll’s cross to send in a dangerous header. Kenny Arthur then clawed over Andersons net bound effort in the 70th minute. Kenny MacKay then squandered a glorious opportunity when he went clean through on goal but Lucas Birnstingl pulled off an important save with his legs to deny the Annan striker. Martin McNiff then came close with a powerful header but the ten men were on top now and they made their superiority count when they went ahead in the 75th minute, it was a well worked goal that was created down the right. Mitchell released MacKay along the bye line and his low near post cross picked out Love who’s initial shot was blocked but half time sub Scott Davidson picked up the lose ball to slot the ball into the corner of the net from close range. Queens Park responded forcing a couple of corners but they were exposed once again as Annan broke down the right through Scott Davidson and his intelligent run was supplemented by a cut back into the penalty box before he finished with a glorious looping well placed shot over the despairing dive of keeper Birnstingl. It was a goal fitting to win any match and was just reward for the Annan striker who may have felt slightly aggrieved at being left out of the managers starting line up. The pulsating match had more to offer and with time running out the Spiders pulled a goal back in the 88th minute. Tony Wallace rose above a packed defence to head the ball into the net and an almighty melee followed in the goal mouth which resulted in 4 players being booked. It was the final action of an end to end match and the victory kept Annan’s play off hopes firmly on target. The race for the title and the play offs should become a lot clearer as Annan now have important matches coming up against Berwick on Saturday and then Peterhead away on Tuesday evening.
Annan Athletic: K Arthur, S Sloan, M McNiff, P Watson, S Swinglehurst, M Flynn (S Black ht), I Chisholm, A Mitchell, K MacKay, D Orsi (S Davidson ht), A Love (K Brannon 89 min). Subs not used P Bradley, C Jardine, A Mitchell, J Moffat
Queen’s Park: L Birnstingl, P Gallagher (L Davidson ht ), B Coll, R Fisher, J Brough, J Baty, S Burns, T Wallace( T Collins 90 min), L Gormley, D Anderson ( C McVey 63 min), B Spittal. Subs Not Used: T Quinn, S Gibson, J Vitoria, B Lockhead.
Referee: G Ross. Assistants A Mulvanney and A Hogg. Crowd: 345