Annan Athletic v Elgin City
Annan Athletic and Elgin City had to be content with a share of the points in this keenly contested match.
Annan will look back on the match as yet another game when a controversial refereeing decision could have cost them dearly after Elgin went ahead in the 75th minute. Annan won a free kick in the Elgin half of the field but the ball was blocked by an Elgin defender who was only a few yards from where the spot kick was awarded and from the blocked ball Elgin broke up the left wing ending with the unmarked Shane Sutherland scoring from close range from Kane Hester’s cross to give City the lead.
The dreadfull weather leading up to the match and the flooding of the surrounding roads and areas resulted in the Elgin Team Bus arriving later than scheduled but the match kicked off right on time.
Annan elected to play with the wind in their favour in the first half and it was the home side who were the dominant team throughout the half with Elgin defending resolutely to thwart Annan’s attacking play, the second half saw Elgin become more of an attacking force before the controversial goal before Annan eqaulised from a Matty Douglas header following a Scott McLean corner kick to earn Annan a share of the points in a keenly contested match.
The opening 15 minutes saw Annan take the game to Elgin City with Scott McLean efforts in the 23rd and 24th minutes going close. Elgin were being forced back and in the 35th minute Scott McLean went close with a low free kick went narrowly past the post.
As the half approached the final 5 minutes Annan had claims for a penalty kick brushed aside as Swinglehurst fell to the groundand from the resulting McLean corner the ball flashed across the face of the goal begging for a touch. For all their pressure Annan could not break down the well organized Elgin defence.
The second half was more evenly contested Annan Lewis McLear’s 48th minute effort from the edge of the box never really tested the Elgin keeper. Hester tried his luck in the 57thminute but the effort went wide of the target. Then came the talking point of the match as Annan were awarded a free kick which was blocked only yards from the free kick with the ball breaking to Hester who picked out the unmarked Shane Sutherland to slot into the net from close range.
The introduction of Currie in the 78th minute gave Annan new options up front and Annan squared the match in the 80h minute from a set piece corner when Mattie Douglas rose above everyone at the back post to square the game.
The last ten minutes were end to end with both teams looking to secure the winner Annan keeper Aaran Taylor pulled off a fine save at full stretch to deny Daniel McKay. Elgin made a couple of late substitutions as they looked to run the clock down and in the end both teams had to be content with a share of the points.
ANNAN ATHLETIC – Aaran Taylor, Matty Douglas, Jamie Ballantyne, Darren Barr , Ayrton Sonkur , Steven Swinglehurst, Scott McLean, Tommy Muir, Kyle Wilkie, Lewis McLear ( Russell Currie 78 min ), Christain Nade, Subs not used Lyle Avci, Harry Emerson, Euan Griffiths , Jordan Holt , Tom Emerson.
ELGIN CITY – Thomas McHale, Euan Spark (James McGowan 72 min), Andrew McDonald, Steven Bronsky, Russell Dingwell, MattewCooper, Rory MacEwan, Kane Hester (Aiden Sopel 90 min ), Shane Sutherland, Daniel McKay ( Kyle Willis 85 min ). Subs not used Daniel Hoban GK, James McGowan, Lee Scott, Trialist, Ashley Ballam.
Referee Chris Graham . Assistants – Graeme Leslie and Gary Hanvidge
Albion Rovers and Cove Rangers were involved in an 8 goal thriller with Albion trailing 3-1 at half time before storming back to go in front 4-3 but Mitch Megguson squared the match late on to earn Cove a share of the points. Kris Rentons goal was the only goal as Cowdenbeath defeated Stirling Albion 1-0 .Brechin City lost an injury time winner as Scott Shepherd won the points for Edinburgh City 2-1 at City Park. Queens Park also grabbed an injury time eqauliser to cancel out StenhousemuirsDavid Hopkirk goal.
Next Saturday Annan kick off their home fixtures with a second round tie against the Lowland Leagues favourites for the title Kelty Hearts on Tuesday evening ko 7-45pm this is then followed up with a game against Albion Rovers at Galabank on Saturday .