Buckie Thislte FC vs Annan Athletic FC
WILLIAM HILL SCOTTISH CUP – BUCKIE THISTLE 0 ANNAN ATHLETIC 0
The second round of the Scottish Cup nearly always throws up shocks and with Buckie disposing Annan at the same stage last season this was lined up to be one of those ties , the result was always in doubt right up till the end of the six minutes of additional time that was added to normal time. Annan deservedly live to fight another day and will no doubt look back on this match as a game they should have won based on the number of chances that they created and squandered due in some part to an inspired goalkeeping performance from Kevin Main who pulled off some important saves to earn his team a replay.
Annan will also look back and feel aggrieved at an astonishing decision to send off Steven Sloan in the 70th minute for violent conduct for what appeared to be a rash quick decision by the referee who adjudged Sloan to have directed a deliberate elbow at the head of the Buckie player. As a consequence Sloan will now automatically be ruled out of the next weeks Ramsdens Cup tie against Raith Rovers.
Annan were forced into reshuffling the starting eleven form the team that won so convincingly at Hampden the previous week with the injured Kenny MacKay being ruled out with a shoulder injury and being replaced up front by Peter Weatherson with Martin McNiff slipping in at the centre of defence.
Annan straight from the kick off almost struck gold when Andy Mitchell’s effort went narrowly past the post. Buckie then came close when a surging run from Neil Davidson was finished with a good strike from 16 yards which keeper Kenny Arthur was pleased to see flash past the upright. It was a rare moment of promise for the home team in a half which Annan started to control. Strikes from Andy Mitchell and Steven Logan went close before keeper Kevin Main pulled off a superb finger tip save to deny David Hopkirk’s net-bound 14th minute strike. Main then pulled off another important save to deny Weatherson who latched on to a Josh Todd through ball with the keeper turning the ball past the post for a corner. From the resulting Love corner Martin McNiff scored only for the goal to be chalked off by the linesman for an infringement. Annan continued to take the game to Buckie and Weatherson set up Love in the 34th minute but the dismal effort from a promising position sailed over the bar.
Buckie after a disappointing first half were presented with their best chance of the match in the 50th minute. Martin McNiff’s short pass back to Arthur was intercepted by Donald Munro and with only the keeper to beat the shot clipped the top of the cross bar. It was a real let off for Annan and an opportunity Buckie may come to regret. Buckie had claims for a penalty brushed aside by the referee in the 60th minute. Main then pulled off a stunning save to deny Weatherson who connected beautifully with a throw in to send in a thunderous low shot which was heading for the bottom corner of the net. Annan boss Jim Chapman had only just introduced Kieran Brannan for Josh Todd when came the controversial sending off of Sloan, this resulted in Weatherson being replaced with Flynn.
David Hopkirk had a glorious opportunity to seal the match in the 80th minute when Flynn’s defence splitting pass released Hopkirk in on goal but keeper Main once again saved the day for Buckie leaving Hopkirk to reflect on a missed opportunity to seal the match. Andy Mitchell’s 83rd minute free kick from a promising position never tested Main. The final minutes of the game produced opportunities at both ends Annan forced a couple of corners and with the game deep into injury time Jamie Shewan headed straight into the arms of Arthur.
Like last year both teams will have it all to do over again at Annan in the replay on the 19th October.
Annan boss Jim Chapman commented “ We expected a tough cup tie and got it , it was difficult enough task for us with eleven against eleven let alone having to contend with the sending off which I thought was an error of misjudgement by the referee. The players deserve another crack to stay in the competition. I feel that out-with the clear chance that Buckie had at the start of the second half we looked comfortable despite being below the standards expected . Our passing today was at times disappointing but despite that we did create several scoring opportunities, that is only the second time we have failed to find the back of the net in competitive matches this season. It was no surprise that Kevin Main got the man of the match he produced some stunning saves. Buckie deserve credit for making it difficult for us, there are areas of our play that need addressing before the replay . Galabank will hold no fears for Buckie following their victory at Annan in the replay last year so we will need to be at our best if we are to progress in the competition.
Buckie Thistle– K Main, C Angus ( J Shewan 77min) , H Noble, G Stewart,L MacKinnon, I MacRae, A Conway, D Munro, C macMillan, N Smith (J Sutherland 90 min), N Davidson Substitutes not used F Forbes, S Carrol, B Duncan, S Wood, D Bell .
Annan Athletic –K Arthur, I Chisholm, M McNiff, A Mitchell, P Watson, S Logan, S Sloan, J Todd ( K Brannan 68 min), P Weatherson (m Flynn 77 min), D Hopkirk, A Love ( S Davidson 85 min). Substitutes not used G Anderson, P Bradley, S Swinglehurst, A Mitchell.
Referee – Graeme Beaton. Assistants – D Watt and Steven Ross.