Annan vs Elgin
Annan’s dismal start to 2015 continued at Galabank on Saturday when bottom of the table Elgin C ity recorded a slender but deserved victory over an Annan side who twice went in front but the basement boys displayed great character to come back and secure the victory when on loan St Johnstone defender Ally Gilchrist headed home the 73rd minute winner to give recently appointed Elgin manager Jim Weir a perfect start to the new year and real hope that they can climb away from the bottom of the table.
Annan got off to a flier when Peter Weatherson forced keeper Stewart Black to push his 4th minute effort round the post for a corner and from the resulting corner David Hopkirk headed Kieran Brannan’s cross into the corner of the net. It was the perfect start for Annan but disappointingly for the home support they failed to build on this early success.
Elgin started to impose their play on the game and the warning signs were evident when Ally Gilchrist ghosted in to head narrowly past from Duffy’s cross in the 16th minute. Elgin continued to take the game to Annan, McPhee came close in the 26th minute and moments later Craig Gunn blasted over as Elgin went all out to square the game. The eqauliser eventually came on the half hour when Craig Gunn headed home Moore’s corner kick from 4 yards. It was a disappointing goal for Annan to concede from a set play.
Steven Logan in rare foray almost gave Annan an unexpected lead when his well struck volley from the edge of the box beat keeper Stewart Black but went narrowly over the bar. Brannan created a good opening in the 36th minute when his well struck shot was blocked and as the game edged towards half time it was the home team who were starting to look the most dangerous with Black pulling off a good save to deny Todd and then repeating the act with an acrobatic save from Hopkirk’s well struck shot.
Dennis Wyness started the second half when he worked his way into a promising position but nobody was present to take advantage of his well placed clipped ball to the back post. Annan responded when Todd’s promising run was ended by a rash Gilchrist challenge which saw the on loan St Johnstone striker being booked. It was costly challenge and from the resulting free kick Peter Weatherson’s well directed shot cannoned off the upright into the path of the Ryan McStay who converted the rebound to give Annan the lead for the second time.
It was another setback for Elgin but McPhee gave the visitors hope minutes later when he tried to chip Alex Mitchell from the edge of the box but it was at the other end where most of the action was and it took a brave save from Black to deal with Hopkirk’s low cross and minutes later Hopkirk came close again when his well struck shot went narrowly past the post.
It was a good period from Annan and when McColm was upended 25 yards out it presented Weatherson with another opportunity but this time his free kick went narrowly past the keepers right hand post.
Annan forced another corner in the 61st minute but Elgin broke immediately to the other end and it took a good save form Mitchell to deny Daniel Moore. Minutes later the same player squared the game after he had made space in the crowded box to finish with a low shot past the outstretched arm of keeper Alex Mitchell.
The game had taken another twist and in the 73rd minute the game for the first time swung in Elgin’s favour after they won a corner on the right and Daniel Moore’s corner was headed powerfully into the net by Ally Gilchrist who somehow managed to elude his markers to give Elgin the lead for the first time in the match.
Annan boss Jim Chapman immediately made the changes as his team chased the match for the first time. Annan piled on some late pressure in an effort to salvage a point and they came close on a couple of occasions with Black pulling off a good save to deny Dickinson in the 82nd minute.
It was a frantic end to the game played in difficult conditions and the points secured by Elgin should provide a platform for them. Annan on the other hand will look back on a game that they could just not put to bed and no doubt they are aware that they are just not consistent enough to be considered serious contenders for one of the play off places and their battle will be finding the form to ensure that they stay clear of the bottom reaches of the league.
ANNAN ATHLETIC: Alex Mitchell, Kieran Brannan (Matty Flynn ), Iain Chisholm, Peter Watson, Martin McNiff, Ryan McStay ( S Davidson 87 min) , Josh Todd , Steven Logan (Chris Dickinson 75 min),Peter Weatherson ,David Hopkirk, Stuart McClolm . SUBS NOT USED: Rabin Omar, Jordan Hart GK, Steven Swinglehurst, Michael McAnespie.
ELGIN CITY :Stewart Black, Mathew Cooper, Darryl McHardy, Ally Gilchrist, , Jamie Duffy, Ceiran McLean, Craig Thomson, Daniel Moore, Dennis Wyness (Ally McKenzie 87 min), Craig Gunn (Graham Beveridge 78min) , Archie McPhee. SUBS NOT USED: Gordon nFinlayson, Rory McEwan, Euan Storrier.
REFEREE: N Walsh ASSISTANTS Michael Banks and Colin McDonald