Annan Athletic v Queen of the South
Match report by David Hastie
Annan made a good account of themselves but ultimately ended up beaten by local rivals Queen of the South on a beautiful Tuesday night at Galabank.
Annan star man Owen Moxon
The hosts made two changes from their extra point win again Airdrieonians on Saturday, with keeper Greg Fleming replacing Ryan Adamson for his debut, whilst Lewis Hunter got his first start, taking over from Kyle Fleming.
Both teams set out to get the early advantage, and Annan could have had a penalty barely two minutes in, with the ball striking the hand of the Queen of the South defender, however the referee waved play on.
Gibson had a strike from just outside the box for the visitors two minutes later, but his effort was wild and flew over the bar.
Greg Fleming was called into action on eight minutes, with Ally Roy working himself into space with some great link up play, but his shot was saved comfortably. Ruben Junior tested similarly, however Fleming made a smart save for a corner.
Charlie Birch makes his home debut
Annan would get a shot on target just after a quarter of the hour, with a long throw from Matty Douglas eventually falling to the feet of Docherty on the edge of the box, but his shot lacked pace and was claimed easily by Queens’ keeper Joshua Rae.
Barely a minute later and the visitors must have thought they had taken the lead, with Scott Dunn’s effort at the front post from a Willie Gibson corner crashed off the woodwork before being cleared by the Annan defence.
As both sides pressed for the first goal, there was a flashpoint between Connelly and Douglas, with an off the ball incident resulting in yellow cards for both, after consultation between the referee and the assistant.
A minute later and the deadlock was broken. Connelly, who was proving to be a nuisance for the Annan defence received the ball on the left and floated a wonderful cross to the back post where Ruari Paton was waiting to head home.
It could have been two 10 minutes before half time, with Euan East’s volley needing headered over the bar by Docherty. It would be the last action that Docherty would see, with Annan manager Peter Murphy deciding to replace him with Iain Anderson.
Anderson introduced as a first half substitute
Annan did have the ball in the back of the net on the stroke of half time, with the ball coming to Owen Moxon from a corner on the edge of the box. His beautifully weighted ball over the top fell to Chris Johnston who headed home, however, was adjudged to be offside.
Half time Annan Athletic 0-1 Queen of the South
Annan came out for the second half firing on all cylinders and could have levelled the scores barely a minute after the restart, with Iain Anderson and Aidan Smith linking up well. The ball fell to Johnston in the middle of the box; however, he was forced wide left, and his cross was not met by anyone in Black and Gold.
The Galabankies would rue their missed chance as they found themselves two goals down just three minutes later. Connelly attacked from the left-hand side and fired his cross hard intothe box, finding Ally Roy, whose glancing header found the back post before nestling in the goal.
Peter Murphy decided to roll the dice and go for the match, replacing Chris Johnston with Tommy Goss for his debut, and it was an inspired change, with the 6ft 7 striker linking up well with Iain Anderson and causing mayhem at the Queens defence.
Tommy Goss battles against his old team
As the visitors sat back on their lead, Annan roared back into the game, with multiple chances to pull one back, and Queen of the South failing to secure any meaningful possession. Brilliant play from Tony Wallace played in Aidan Smith on the by-line, but his cross was stopped from reaching Goss with a great stop from both the Queens defender and keeper. Goss did get a chance just minutes later, managing to shrug off two defenders and turning smartly in the box, but his effort was wide.
The hosts were piling the pressure on, and this time it was Wallace’s chance to attack the goal. A clever one two between Moxon and Goss gave the latter space on the edge of the box, and his low pass across the box to Wallace was perfectly weighted, but his first time shot fizzed over the bar.
Multiple chances finally paid off for Annan, who would get their reward with 15 minutes left on the clock. Owen Moxon found Aidan Smith on the left again, and his cross was cleared out the box only as far as Kyle Fleming, who smashed the ball from the edge of the box past the helpless Rae in the Queens goal.
Annan could taste blood and were ravenous for more goals. They almost scored a minute later, with Goss and Anderson linking up again, with Andersons fierce shot well saved by Rae for a corner.
Queens dealt the killer blow six minutes from time. Willie Gibson, who was filling in at the back for the visitors, drove forward into the Annan half before sending a perfectly weighted through ball to Ally Roy, who made no mistake in doubling his tally and restoring Queen of the South’s two goal advantage.
Determined not to concede again, Queens played keep away possession, and bar a tame Anderson shot late on, were comfortable as the final whistle blew, sending the travelling Queen of the South fans back along the A75 happy with the result.