Berwick Rangers FC v Annan Athletic FC
Annan were brought back down to earth at Shielfield Park on Saturday when Berwick deservedly lifted the points in this Ladbrokes League Match against a disjointed Annan team lacking in ideas and team work who never imposed their play on the Berwick team who played the majority of the second half with 10 men having defender Jonny Fairburn sent off in the 55th minute.
There were few positives that the Annan team and manager could take out of the match in a game that was never allowed to flow due in no small part by the referee, who was the star attraction booking seven players, sending off a player and also the Annan Assistant manager in a performance that was well below the level expected. It was not only the bookings but the continual stoppages throughout the game for minor offences that frustrated the players of both teams and the supporters which was the major cause for the game failing to flow into any rhythm. Having said that Berwick were worthy winners against an Annan side who will want to put this match firmly behind them with few if any positives that they could take out of the game.
The match was only 5 minutes old when Annan conceded the opening goal, it was disappointing goal for Annan to concede when a miss kick from a Berwick player started the move off which ended up with the ball being played into the path of Steven Thomson who brushed aside the challenge of Raffi Krissian and managed to get a shot under the challenge of Watson and keeper Blair Currie from 6 yards.
There were very few incidents which caught the eye until the 35th minute when Annan assistant John Joyce became the centre of attraction when he was sent to the stand for contesting an incident directly in front of him after the referee failed to award Annan a free kick for an elbow challenge on William Robertson.
The second half started badly for the home team with Jonny Fairburn being sent packing in the 53rd minute when Fairburn’s rash challenge on Robertson in an area of the park which posed no danger to the home team. It did hand Annan a man advantage but they failed to take advantage and were made to pay in the 66th minute when Berwick doubled their lead. Robertson was brushed aside by Michael McKenna and the Berwick front man was left with a clear run at goal and although Robertson managed to get near McKenna who stumbled and the Berwick striker managed to tuck the ball low and into the corner of the net.
Annan never looked like pulling the match back and apart form a well hit free kick in the 70th minute when Kevin Walker saved Aiden Smiths 20 yard effort there were no other moments when Annan managed to penetrate the Berwick defence or get near to testing the Berwick Keeper.
This was a game Annan will want to put behind them very quickly and there is no doubt that they will have to improve dramatically if they hope to get anything out of their next match against title favourites Clyde at Galabank on Saturday.
This is a young squad that Annan boss Jim Chapman has put together for this campaign and possibly this will be the way their season will progress where consistency will be difficult to achieve but if this young team are to achieve success they will need to work hard and improve on these type of performances.
BERWICK RANGERS : Kevin Walker,Lee Hamilton, Kevin McKinlay, Steven Notman, Brian Martin, Jonny Fairburn, Steven Thomson (Jordan Orru 78 min), Ben Sterling, Allan Walker (Robert Wilson 55 min), Michael McKenna , Jordyn Sheering ( Darren Lavery 85 min) SUBS NOT USED: Sean Brennan GK, Barry Hogg, Graham Beveridge
ANNAN ATHLETIC : Blair Currie, 366Syeven Black, Jean Guy Lucas ( Scott Norman 78 min), Raffi Krissian, Peter Watson, Ryan Finnie, William Robertson, Darren Ramsay, David McKenna ( Aaron Bradbury 67 min), Max Wright, Aiden Smith ( Premyslaw Dachnwicz).Subtitutes not used Alex Mitchell, Adam Asghar, Tony Riberio.
REFEREE: Colin Steven.