Annan FC vs Clyde
Following their encouraging performance against Stirling Albion the previous week it was back down to earth with a bang for Annan Athletic when they went flat in front of their own supporters against a well organised Clyde team at Galabank on Saurday. Annan were dealt a blow prior to the kick off with Peter Watson declared unfit and he was replaced at the centre of defence with Martin McNiff, otherwise manager Jim Chapman showed faith with the team who lifted the points at Stirling. Clyde boss Jim Duffy included recent signing Giuseppe Capuano in midfield and Stefan McCluskey made a return to his starting line up.
Annan started well and it took a breathtaking save from Jamie Barclay in the 8th minute to deny Kenny MacKay who brushed aside Brian McQueen to home in on goal and the shot from 8 yards was turned round the post by Barclay. Minutes later Stuart McClolm tested Kenny Arthur with a low shot as the player cut in from the right but the Annan keeper was equal to the effort with a confident save. Ally Love squandered an opportunity in the 20th minute when Kenny MacKay split the Clyde defence but Love’s effort from the edge of the box sailed over the bar.
The opening goal in the 26th minute was a fortunate affair for Clyde who were awarded a free kick after Peter Bradley fouled Scott Ferguson on the edge of the 18 yard box, from the resulting far post cross the ball was bundled into the net off the shoulder of Ryan Francis. It was a blow to Annan but when Annan were awarded a free kick after Francis upended Hopkirk they squandered another clear opening when Love’s shot from 8 yards was blocked. The equaliser in the 39th minute was coming and it was a simple goal in the making when Peter Weatherson connected with an Andy Mitchell free kick to head the ball past Barclay.
After the break Annan were dealt an early blow when Clyde were correctly awarded a penalty kick. It was ex Annan player Michael Daly who won the penalty after his first touch took him beyond Peter Weatherson and the late challenge from Weatherson resulted in Daly being fouled and John Sweeney converted from the spot. Stuart McColm had an opportunity in the 60th minute but his effort was deflected for a corner kick. Kenny MacKay made a good run to the bye line in the 63rd minute and his low cross appeared to take Love by surprise and another golden opportunity went a begging for the home team. Patrick Scullion was only on the park for a matter of minutes when he connected with a corner kick but his effort struck the top of the cross bar. Annan pressed hard for the equaliser as the game entered the last ten minutes but the Clyde defence stood firm to ensure their first way victory of the season.
It was a disappointing result for Annan and manager Jim Chapman pulled no punches, today there were too many players who performed below the standard expected, the same team performed admirably last week at Stirling and the expectations were that they would continue in the same vein today but it did not happen. I made second half changes in an effort to turn around our fortunes but unfortunately we could not find a way past the resolute Clyde defence. We must give Clyde some credit they played well and caused us a few problems but we cannot dwell too much on the negative aspect of today’s game as we have a lot of quality in the squad and the task is to find the consistency in our play to ensure that we are pushing for a top place in the league. We will prepare positively for next weeks match at Hampden firstly with the reserve match at Annan on Tuesday evening against Ayr United in an effort to put this performance behind us.