Annan Athletic v Cove Rangers
When was the last time Annan Athletic scored six goals in the SPFL? I don’t believe anyone saw this result coming as Annan run the league leaders ragged at Galabank with a brilliant performance especially after the big disappointment at going out of the Scottish cup the previous week.
It was a superb team performance against the league leaders who arrived at Galabank without two key players Fraser Fyvie and top goal scorer Mitch Megginson which must have given Annan a boost prior to the kick off but make no mistake this should not detract from what was an outstanding team performance from Annan against a team proudly sitting at the top of the league.
There was nothing to suggest that the match would turn heavily in favour of Annan as the match started superbly for the visitors who went ahead with an early goal scored after only 8 minutes after the visitors won a corner kick which Declan Glass took quickly to Jamie Mason who fired an from an acute angle to beat Chris Smith with a low 14 yard shot. The visitors took the initiative and started to pressurize the Annan defense playing some good football. Scott Ross was at the end of a good move and his shot from outside the box brought out a comfortable save from Chris Smith. Minutes later Cove were forced into making a substitution when Jamie Redman replaced Daniel Higgins.
Annan showed signs of recovery when Niyah Joseph finished a promising move with a good low shot Stuart McKenzie confidently saved. Annan got the goal which leveled the scoringand gave the home crowd a real lift in the 27th minute when Nathan Flanagan latched on to a Broque Watson pass to finish with a brilliant lob over the advancing keeper Stuart McKenzie and into the top right hand corner of the net.
It signaled a superb 8 minute revival from Annan when 2 minutes later, Annan went ahead through a fine attacking move ending up with a fine challenge and run by Tommy Muir who won the ball on the right before picking out Broque Watson who finished superbly with a well struck shot from outside the box into the top right hand corner of the net.
The normally confident Cove defence all of a sudden were rocking and Annan once again broke through 4 minutes later when they increased the lead to 3-1, it was the superb run from Nathan Flanagan who turned Scott Ross in the box resulting in Flanagan being fouled and Annan were awarded a penalty kick which Tommy Muir converted with a low shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
Minutes later Broque Watson was correctly shown a yellow card for a dive in the box which led to Blair Yule also being shown a yellow.
The second half started with Annan on the offensive and in the 55th minute Flanagan was fouled wide on the right which earned Harry Milne a yellow card and from the resulting free kick Swinglehurst was brought down by Scott Ross who was booked in the process and Annan were awarded a second penalty kick which was once again converted by Tommy Muir to push Annan into a comfortable 4-1 lead.
Fraser Aird was unlucky not to pull a goal back in the 76th minute when his shot was cleared off the goal line by MattyDouglas. It was all Annan and Scott McLean was unlucky to see his 77th minute free kick strike the cross bar but Annan piled on the pressure for the league leaders. A minute later anotherpenetrating move down the left ended with Tommy Muir sending Niyah Joseph in on goal and the on loan HamitonAccies player finished with a superb strike into the corner of the net.
Any chance of a late Cove revival were dealt a blow when Declan Glass was shown a straight red for a bad tackle on Douglas. Annan brought on all 3 substitutes McLear, Holt and Currie and in the last 10 minutes and in the 88th minute Cove’s misery was completed when Swinglehurst headed on McLeans corner kick to Tommy Muir who prodded the ball home from close range to round off a great afternoon for Annan Athletic.
It must have been a hard one for the well supported Cove Rangers team to take on board, on the day they came against an Annan team who were just different class and the way that Cove lost their composure in difficult situations must have left manager Paul Hartley frustrated. This has been a dent to the current league leaders relentless task to win the league. The challenge for Annan is to repeat this form away from Galabank in an effort for them to maintain their push for a top four slot Annan’s next four fixtures Stenhousemuir (a), Edinburgh City (h), Albion Rovers (a) and Queens Park (h) are all difficult matches in this competitive league.
ANNAN ATHLETIC – Chris Smith, Matty Douglas, Jamie Ballantyne, Kyle Bradley, Steven Swinglehurst , Niyah Joseph, Scott McLean, Kyle Wilkie ( Jordan Holt 86 min ), Tommy Muir, Broque Watson ( Lewis McLear 82 min ) Nathan Flanagan ( Russell Currie 88 min ). Subs not used – Lyle Avci , Christain Nade, Darren Barr, Ayrton Sonkur.
COVE RANGERS – Stuart McKenzie, Harry Milne ( Jordan Brown 64 min ), Connor Scully, Scott Ross , Blair Yule, Daniel Higgins ( Jamie Redman 14 min ), Connor Scully, Jamie Masson, Declan Glass , Fraser Aird , Martin Scott , John Robertson . Subs not used Baliant Demus.
Referee. Scott Lambie
The weather started to take effect with Albion Rovers home tie against Cowdenbeath falling victim . Queens Park defeated Edinburgh City 2-1 , Stirlings revival continued with an injury time winner against Elgin City, Brechin City’s bad run continued as they went down 2-1 at home to Stenhousemuir.
Next week Annan face Stenhousemuir at Ochilview.