Annan FC vs Carlisle United FC
Annan Athletic concluded their pre season build up on Friday evening against near neighbours Carlisle United and both teams entertained an appreciative crowd to a competitive match ahead of the official kick off to the season.
Annan boss Jim Chapman who was still searching for a victory from the pre season schedule was able to field possibly his strongest starting eleven to date but he was still without Chris Jardine, Matthew Flynn, Iain Chisholm and Keiran Brannan who had all featured in earlier matches.
Carlisle boss Greig Abbott fielded a mixed squad of up and coming youngsters and some experienced squad players. It was Annan who started the game positively and inside 3 minutes Peter Weatherstone tried his luck with a good effort which was turned round the post by Lewis Brass. United defended the 2 ensuing corners but in the 6th minute the Carlisle defence was exposed when Steven Black’s pin point ball over the top of the Carlise defence released Kenny Mackay who scored at the second attempt after Lewis Brass saved the first effort. Annan continued to take the game to Carlisle and they were rewarded for their attacking formation in the 9th minute. Kenny Mackay once again was at the heart of the move when he managed to head home a deflected Love cross for the edge of the 6 yard box.
United were finding it difficult to deal with the pace of the Annan attack and they had a real let off in the 11th minute when the trialist No 11 was denied a goal by the upright. Annan keeper Kenny Arthur was called into action in the 13th minute when he confidently dealt with a David Symington shot. The Carlisle goal survived another anxious period in the 23rd minute when following a corner a series of 3 shots all from close range were defended superbly.
United’s first corner in the 24th minute tested the Annan defence and within a minute United pulled a goal back after the Annan defence failed to deal with a cross swung in from the right and Mike Edwards had the simplest of chances to side foot the ball into the empty net from 8 yards. It was just the tonic United needed and minutes later Kenny Arthur pulled off a good save low down to deny Lewis Guy an equaliser as the visitors looked to capitalise on their best spell in the match.
Peter Bradley delivered a dangerous cross to the heart of the Carlisle defence which was defended for a corner and Ally Love’s corner was defended superbly by the United defence. David Symington once again tested Arthur in the 37th minute. With half time approaching Kenny Mackay who’s pace was a constant threat squandered an excellent opportunity to score a first half hat trick when his penalty spot kick was saved by Lewis Brass after Ally Love had been pulled back when homing in on goal.
Carlisle made a series of substitutes at the start of the second half and although there were no more goals the game was evenly contested with both defences minimising the scoring opportunities.