Annan Athletic FC vs Peterhead
TODD SETS ANNAN ON VICTORY TRAIL
Annan took full advantage of a depleted Peterhead squad having to contend with the long mid week journey to win this game. Annan boss Jim Chapman played the same starting eleven as deployed in the previous match at Stenhousemuir. The only change saw Jordan Moffat take Matty Flynn’s position on the bench as he was suffering from a virus.
It was Guy Fawks night but in a disappointing first half there was very little to light up the night on the pitch with both teams displaying very little quality and the ball more often than not being hung up in the air. It was a half lacking excitement, goalmouth incidents and neither keeper being seriously tested. The nearest any team came to scoring was when Peter Watson’s header from a corner in the 20th minute was cleared off the goal line by a timely McGeever Header. The Blue Toon’s best opportunity came when Rory McAllister’s 32nd minute snap shot went wide of the upright and the only other incident worth a mention was when Peter Weatherson tried a speculative 55 yard shot which was confidently saved by Graeme Smith.
Annan were forced into making a half time substitution with Kenny MacKay who was also suffering from a virus being replaced by Josh Todd and within minutes Todd made a penetrating run to the edge of the box finishing with a disappointing shot wide of the target, he followed this up with an overhead kick which went narrowly over the bar. Moments later McAllister came close with a header as the game took on a new dimension in comparison to the mundane first half. David Hopkirk was at the heart of the move that eventually broke the deadlock when he picked the ball up wide on the left and his darting run along the bye line was finished with and inviting low ball to the near post and keeper Smith could only parry the ball to the feet of the advancing Josh Todd who made no mistake from 2 yards. Peterhead responded with a period of sustained pressure but without really testing Kenny Arthur. Martin McNiff connected with a Hopkirk cross but his powerful header was well saved by Smith. At the other end Kenny Arthur denied McAllister with a brave save which flattened the Peterhead striker. Annan increased their lead in the 72nd minute when a dangerous inviting Andrew Mitchell cross saw McNiff, Weatherson and the Peterhead centre back Ryan McGeever all rising to make contact with the ball and it was the unfortunate McGeever who got the final touch to put the game out of Peterhead’s reach.
Annan boss Jim Chapman commented.”It wasn’t so much about the performance tonight, it was about winning. The first half you saw two teams with a mutual respect for each other and as a consequence the game reached stalemate. We started our second quarter matches tonight so it was important to get off to a winning start as we are targeting 15 points from each quarter fixtures to keep us in with a chance for a play off place. I think we done enough to win the match particularly in the second half and the team handled a good experienced side. We got the fundamentals right tonight and never conceded which was pleasing. The games are coming fast and furious and it’s important we keep focussed on picking up results”.
Annan Athletic – K Arthur, S Sloan, M McNiff, A Mitchell, P Watson, S Swinglehurst, K MacKay (J Todd h/t), C Jardine, P Weatherson, D Hopkirk (S Davidson 85 min), A Love. Substitutes not used g Anderson, K Brannon, P Bradley, A Mitchell, J Moffat.
Peterhead – G Smith, G Sharp, D Richardson (C McGlkinchey 78 min), S Noble, R McGeever (K Buchan 72 min), D Cowie, R McCann, J Redman, R McAllister, J Brown, B Gilfillan. Substitutes not used Fitzgerarald, G Alexander, P Jarvey
Referee A Dallas Assistants B Templeton and D MacFarlane.