Annan vs Queens Park
Queens Park got their season up and running with a victory over Annan at Galabank courtesy of a goal from Sean Fraser in the 41st minute. Conditions were blustery and cold which made it difficult for both teams but it was the spiders who lifted the points with the only goal of the game in a match where Annan never really threatened keeper William Muir until the latter stages of the game.
Queens park started brightly and in the 3rd minute Sean Fraser had a good opportunity when he picked the ball up and drove forward only to finish with a disappointing shot which slipped past the post. Annan responded with a penetrating Carcary run followed by a Flynn effort . Mitchell pulled off a confident save from Gavin Mitchell’s long range effort in the 16th minute.
Annan were forced to make a substitution in the 30th minute when Swinglehurst landed awkwardly to be replaced by Ian Chisholm. Carcary’s 35th minute effort from a Flynn pass went wide of the target.
The defining moment in the match came in the 41st minute and it was a moment in the game Annan will look back on with some regret after Hokirk lost control in the last third of the play and the ball broke kindly for Shaun Fraser who’s perfectly placed lob found the top corner of the net. Carcary ended the half with a superb effort which went narrowly over the bar.
Playing with the wind in their favour Queens pressed forward at the start of the second half and Quinn’s header went narrowly over the bar in the 51st minute. Annan’s Peter Watson was then booked in the 56th minute , a booking which was to prove costly as the player was sent off in the 61st minute for a rash challenge on the centre line for a tackle on the same player Ross Gallagher. In between it took a brilliant save from Mitchell to turn the ball round the post for a corner kick, several corner kicks ensued which were all defended well by the resolute Annan defence.
The sending off did not deter Annan who pushed forward in numbers and in the 72nd minute Marin McNiffs header was cleared off the goal line by Anthony Quinn. Carcary then blasted over the bar as Annan pushed for an eqauliser. Referee Gavin Ross then dismissed real claims for a penalty as Carcary in full flight fell under what looked like a blatant push in the back from Ross Gallagher.
Mitchell then pulled off saves from Woods and Miller as Queens Park broke up field , a deft Josh Todd header went close as Annan finished the game on top but it was all to no avail as the Queens Park defence stood firm withstanding a couple of goalmouth scrambles .
Annan boss Jim Chapman was bitterly disappointed with the defeat but defended the character of his team, “we have got enough quality within this squad to get back on the rails, it was a disappointing goal to lose and we must defend better but we will keep working away to try and eliminate the mistakes in our play.”
Queens Park boss Gus Macpherson was delighted to get the 3 points from what is a difficult place to come to and win, “the game should have been out of site all before the final 5 minutes when Annan come into the game and were pressing for an equaliser. The spell at the start of the second half where we dominated but never capitalised on the chances we created it felt like we should have won the game more comfortably.”
ANNAN ATHLETIC: Alex Mitchill, Steven Sloan, Steven Black, Martin McNiff, Peter Watson, Steven Swinglehurst ( Ian Chisholm 30min ), Ryan McStay ( Connor Liddell 87 min), Mathew Flynn ( Steven Logan 70 min), Josh Todd , David Hopkirk, Derek Carcary. SUBS NOT USED: Peter Bradley, Keiron Brannon, Zac Caldwell, Craig Murray.
QUEENS PARK :William Muir, Gavin Mitchell, Ross Gallagher, Vincent Berry, Anthony Quinn, David McGregor,Paul Woods, Darren Miller, Ross McPherson, Shaun Fraser, Kevin Fotherington (Ciaran McElroy 85 min). SUBS NOT USED: John Carter, James Batey, Scott Gibson, Bryan Watson, Blair Lockhead, Lee Davidson.
Shaun Fraser 41min [0-1]
REFEREE: Gavin Ross Attendance 401