Annan Athletic v Cowdenbeath
Following their Scottish Cup exploits against Jeanfiled Swifts, Annan were more or less back to full strength. Greg Fleming and Steven Swingehurst were back in the starting line up along with loanee Morton player Michael Garrity. Cowdenbeath’s stand in manager Dave McGurn had a full strength side to chose from.
Garrity gets his first start for Annan
Annan Athletic started the match on the attack and for the opening 10 minutes they forced the visitors back forcing several corner kicks but although there were several close shaves Cowdenbeath survived this anxious spell.
After this opening spell Cowdenbeath never looked in any danger of conceding, Annan’s Michael Garitty carried the biggest threat down the left but Annan’s lack of penetration up front was a concern.
The nearest any team came to breaking the deadlock was in the 31st minute when Lewis Hunter’s effort was cleared off the goal line. Cowdenbeath continued to defend resolutely, almost on the 45 min mark Michael Garrity made a darting dangerous move down the left cutting in and setting the ball back for McCartney who failed to get in the end of the move.
Missed chance for McCartney
Annan started the second half on the front foot and they came close in the 50th minute when Matty Douglas connected with a Roan Steele throw in with the header striking the outside of the post. Annan continued to press forward looking for the opening. Moxon tried his luck with a low drive from 20 yards but the effort did not trouble Cameron Gill in the Cowdenbeath goal.
Smith skips past the defender
The decisive goal arrived in the 58th minute, it was a well worked goal made down the right flank which saw Aidan Smith combining with Roan Steele and Steele picked out Lewis Hunter who anticipated the cross at the back post to head the ball into the net from close range.
Cowdenbeath responded and Greig Fleming pulled off his first save of the day pushing Liam Buchanan’s low shot round the post for a corner. Cowdenbeath made a couple of changesin the 65th minute with Hutton and Coulson being introduced at the expense of Bobby Barr and Liam Buchanan.
They were positive changes from the visitors and they certainly made Cowdenbeath more of a threat with the visitors starting to get a foothold on the match and in the 70th minute Craig Barr set up Kris Renton who’s well struck effort went agonisingly wide of the target. It was a let off for Annan and minutes later Fleming pulled off a good save to deny Craig Barr.
Annan made changes with Johnston and Docherty being introduced at the expense of Wallace and Garrity in the 73rd minute, Kris Renton’s header went close as the visitors pressed for an opening but in the end Annan saw out the match to keep their push for a top four spot on track.
On this showing Cowdenbeath are in a false position propping up the and although Annan never looked like losing game they found Cowdenbeath difficult team to break down and the move that led to Annan’s goal was fitting to win the match.