Annan Athletic v Brechin City
Annan Athletic picked up their first home league win of the season in classy style at sun soaked Galabank. The Black and Golds made a host of changes in an attempt to keep the squad fresh with games coming thick and fast, with Alex Mitchell, Tony Wallace and Nathan Flanagan replacing Brian Kinnear, Iain Anderson and Darren Christie.
Brechin started brightly, latching on to a Lewis Hunter mistake at the edge of his box, with veteran Bobby Barr whipping in a ferocious cross from the left, meeting Chris McKee, however his header was straight at Alex Mitchell who held comfortably.
The hosts wouldn’t have to wait long to open the scoring, though. Tony Wallace picked up the ball in the midfield, playing the ball to Aidan Smith. Jordon Lowden received the ball on the overlap down the left, and with his initial cross dealt with, it fell to Moxon, who passed the ball back out wide for Lowden to swing in. This time, the cross was mishit and crashed off the crossbar and landed right at the feet of Aidan Smith, who knocked it in for 1-0, and leaving keeper David Hutton red faced.
And Annan were claiming for a penalty just 5 minutes later. Owen Moxon went on one of his trademark runs, driving to the edge of the box. His shot was blocked but it fell at the feet of Nathan Flanagan, who drove into the box before appearing to be barged off the ball. The referee disagreed with this, and booked the winger for diving.
The Angus side were pushing for an equaliser, with a Chris McKee cross finding Adam Devine at the back post. His header looked destined for the net, but Alex Mitchell got down to save wonderfully, the ball going out for a corner to Brechin, which came to nothing. They still kept the pressure up, with McKee and Barr linking well down the left, but couldn’t find the finishing touch they have been craving all season.
Aidan Smith thought he had doubled his and Annan’s tally on 20 minutes; Flanagan finding him on the edge of the box, and his drive from the right of the goal pulling off a wonderful save from David Hutton. The resultant corner had Hutton working too, with Tony Wallace’s cross needing tipped over the bar.
The Galabankies were ramping up the pressure as they looked to end their home hoodoo. With Flanagan finding Wallace with a wonderful cross field pass. The latter took the ball past the Brechin defender who fouled the big number 7, although the resultant free kick saw Owen Moxon’s shot easily held by Hutton.
Annan were forced into an early change on the half mark, with Ryan Sinnamon going down and unable to continue being replaced by Tyler Fulton.
And 5 minutes later, the home side were 2-0 up, courtesy of a wonderful individual effort from Nathan Flanagan. Picking up the ball on the half way line, he played a quick one two with Aidan Smith, who released him down the right. He cut inside the box and smashed the ball into the top left corner.
The game was out of sight a minute before half time, with wonderful link up play between Flanagan, Fleming and Smith, with Smith firing the ball across goal to Wallace for a tap in at the back post, and 3-0 to Annan.
Half Time Annan Athletic 3-0 Brechin City
The second half saw the hosts relax and take the foot off the gas, perhaps with one eye on Tuesday night against Stenhousemuir, and this allowed Brechin to put pressure on Annan, leading to a rare mistake from Alex Mitchell. The keeper threw the ball out, however it went straight to the feet of Sean Slaven. He played a lovely ball through to Bobby Barr, who’s powerful shot rattled the crossbar, landing at the feet of Adam Devine, who couldn’t get his feet together to get a shot away.
Mass substitutions from both sides really affected the flow of the game, however things went from bad to worse for the visitors 6 minutes from time, when Abdul Osman picked up a second yellow card for putting his hand across sub Christie’s face, after fouling Flanagan from behind at the start of the second half.
The hosts tried to make it 4 two minutes from time, with a ball floated over the top falling to Darren Christie who powered into the box, however his shot was well saved by David Hutton. It didn’t affect the result, however, and Annan will be looking to use that momentum going to Tuesday night against Stenhousemuir.