Annan Athletic v Queens Park
Annan Athletic ran out 3-2 winners in a festive cracker at Galabank as Queens Park went down in a five goal thriller.
The result was a welcome one for Peter Murphy’s side as they got back to winning ways in a fortnight where they experienced back to back defeats along with losing their year long unbeaten record at Galabank.
In front of a healthy crowd of 449 it was Annan who started the better of the two sides and they found themselves ahead within nine minutes. Matty Douglas’s long throw was collected by Nathan Flanagan and the diminutive striker laid the ball into the path of Tommy Muir who controlled the ball well to fire home from 16 yards. This goal sparked the visitors into life and within a couple of minutes they’d caused panic in the Annan box. An in swinging corner was eventually cleared after this had caused panic and then goalkeeper Smith fumbled away a David Galt effort. Immediately Annan went close at the other end when Matty Douglas seen his header cleared off line. Annan had a great chance to extend their lead when Broque Watson ran clean through on goal, the youngster shot straight at keeper Muir and then picked up the rebound before going down under a challenge in the box. Unfortunately for Watson the referee felt their was no contact and he subsequently shown a yellow card.
Finnie then went close for Queens Park but the former Annan player’s strike went just over the bar. The warning signs were there for Annan and they paid the price on 33 minutes when they conceded an equaliser. David Galt’s pass split open the home defence and Kieran Moore ran through on goal to coolly slot home.
With the game evenly balanced it was Annan who stepped up and it was inform frontman Tommy Muir who grabbed his 6th goal of the season in the 39th minute. Scot McLean was fouled at the edge of the box and the midfielder took the free kick that was deflected and looped towards the back post where Muir was on hand to head home.
Annan started the second half much like they finished the first and Niyah Joseph went close on 48 minutes when his overhead kick from a Matty Douglas throw went the wrong side of the post. Joseph was then instrumental as Annan grabbed a third after a great move. The on loan Hamilton midfielder picked the ball up on the half way line in the 53rd minute and drove forward before passing to Scott McLean. Mclean then played in Nathan Flanagan down the right hand side and the winger jinxed in before curling a cracking shot past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Muir. It was no more than Annan deserved and a goal that delighted the healthy home crowd.
Manager Peter Murphy then made a couple of substitutions as Nade and McLear replaced Muir and Watson as Annan looked to consolidate their lead. Queens Park then found a way back into the game as a well worked move down the Annan right carved open the defence and Kouider Aissa coolly slotted home. This goal swung the game in favour of the visitors and who then started to pin Annan back in their own half. As Annan hung on they were thrown a lifeline when Cammy Foy somehow managed to hit the woodwork with the goal gaping. Smith had saved the initial shot well but it landed at the feet of Foy who somehow managed to miss.
This was the end of the action to a highly entertaining game and the result meant Annan ended the year on a high. Peter Murphy;s side now sit fourth in Ladbrokes League Two with 27 points and are five points clear of nearest challengers Elgin City.
Anan are on the road next week at Cowdenbeath then Elgin City are out first footers in a fortnight as we return to Galabank.
Annan Athletic: Smith, Douglas, Ballantyne, Bradley, Joseph, Barr, McLean, Wilkie, Muir (Nade 76),Watson (McLear 67), Flanagan (Currie 89). Subs not used: Avci, Griffiths, Walker, Holt
Queens Park: Muir, Finnie, Summers, Little (Purdue 72), Jamieson, Foy, Lidouren, McGrory, Kouider Aissa, Galt, Moore. Subs not used: Main, Clark, Agyeman, Mortimer, Grant, Hegarty.
Referee: Grant Irvine.