Annan Athletic v Forfar Athletic
Match Report by David Hastie
Annan’s first league game of the campaign ended in defeat, with Galabank visitors Forfar comfortably beating the Black and Golds by two goals to nought.
It was a fast start by both teams, with Forfar getting the first real opportunity of the half, with Mark Gallagher driving intothe box, but his shot was blocked out for a corner which came to nothing.
Tommy Goss was causing problems for Forfar, winning headers to flick on to the Annan front two, however there not a lot of productivity from there.
Loons captain Ross Meechan had a run through the middle mid-way through the half, and his deflected shot looked destined for the bottom right-hand corner, but Greg Fleming got down well to poke the ball out for a corner.
As the corner was cleared Annan broke away, with Aidan Smith opting to go himself, but his left footed shot flashed across goal and well wide.
The deadlock would be broken just before the half hour mark;however, it would be for the Angus side. Good play down the right again by Ross Meechan saw him send a powerful cross into the box, which was met by Stefan McCluskey, who’s glanced touch directed the ball into the bottom left-handcorner, with Greg Fleming looking helplessly on.
Forfar would be forced into an early change minutes before half time, with goal scorer McCluskey picking up a knock that he was unable to shake off. He was replaced by Scott Shepherd, whose impact was instant. Mark Gallagher, who moments earlier had a shot saved by Fleming, managed to poke the ball past the defenders into the path of Shepherd, who made no mistake in placing the ball low to the right of Fleming, doubling the visitors lead with his first touch of the game.
Half Time Annan Athletic 0-2 Forfar Athletic
The Loons had the bit between their teeth and started the second half strongly again, looking to put the sword to the hosts. It was Annan, however who got the first chance of the second, with Chris Johnston pulling off some remarkable skills to lose a couple of players, before sending a reverse pass through to Dominic Docherty. Docherty was one on one with the keeper, but his shot was dragged wide of the far post.
From there, it was all the Black and Golds, with Forfar happy to rest on their laurels. Chris Johnston was the main threat again, trying to link up with Tommy Goss upfront, however luck was not to be on the side of the hosts, as chance after chance could not find the net.
With just twenty minutes remaining, Annan had arguably their best chance of the match. Roan Steele played a beautiful ball over the top for Johnston to run on to. His magic feet moved him inside, where he set up Tony Wallace, however his shot fizzed past the top right corner.
Forfar had a golden chance to put the game to bed minutes, with a free kick floated into the box. It fell to the feet of defender Andy Munro, whose shot from about 6 yards was saved well by Fleming.
Sub Iain Anderson staked a claim to a place in the starting 11 six minutes from time. Collecting the ball on the edge of the box, he managed to nutmeg one defender, before completing a beautiful Cruyff turn, putting him through on goal, however his shot was saved very well by Forfar keeper Marc McCallum.
This proved to be the last real chance of the match and the recently relegated Forfar side started their attempt to bounce straight back in the strongest way, taking the three points back up to Angus.