Clyde FC v Annan Athletic FC
Clyde lifted the points to assist their SPFL survival in a match many will argue that Annan did not deserve to lose. Annan boss Jim Chapman brought in Stephen Bronsky for a rare start at the centre of defence to deputise for the suspended Steven Swinglehurst otherwise it was the same Annan team who were heavily defeated the previous week against Arbroath.
Clyde got off to the best possible start when they won a corner in the opening minute and Chris Smith in acres of space picked his spot with a powerful header from 8 yards which gave Blair Currie no chance. It was a similar situation that faced Annan when they lost an opening goal against Arbroath the previous week.
Annan put the disappointment behind them and they started to impose problems on the Clyde defence and it came as no surprise when Aidan Smith squared the game in the 14th minute. It was a well taken goal by Smith who collected a Weatherson pass to turn Phil Johnstone and finish with a clinical shot which gave Kyle Gourley no chance.
Annan suffered a further setback in the 20th minute when Jordan Stewart had to leave the field injured to be replaced by Callum Home with Jean Guy Lucas moving over to the left back berth and Home filling the right back berth. Clyde’s David Goodwillie was presented with a glorious opportunity when Homes attempted pass back in the 26th minute was intercepted by the Clyde striker who failed to hit the target.
Annan looked the team most likely to score with Ramsay and Weatherson coming close and Krissian heading over a corner on the half hour mark. Minutes later Flynn and Gormley blasted over the bar as Clyde threatened the Annan goal.
Clyde were fortunate to survive in the 41st minute when a well constructed Annan move finished with Flanagan picking out Aiden Smith who’s well directed header struck the upright. It was real let off for the Bully Wee and as the game approached half time Clyde had another narrow escape when Krissian only just failed to connect with Ramsay’s cross ball at the back post.
Annan continued to look the team most likely to break the deadlock and it took a super save from Gourley to deny Weatherson when the low shot appeared to be heading towards the goal before the keeper saved the shot. Annan then had a double penalty shout in the same attack brushed aside when Smith and Flanagan both had appeals brushed aside in the 78th minute.
The winning goal came in the 81st minute and there looked to be a rear suspicion of offside associated with the goal when David Gormley latched on to a through ball and the striker homed in on Blair Currie to finish with an unstoppable shot into the net.
It was an important win for Clyde and it gives them an advantage at the bottom of the league, the defeat however leaves Annan with work to do if they are to secure a play off spot. Elgin City leapfrogged Annan into 3rd position when they drew 1-1 with Montrose who also reduced the margin on Annan. Stirling Albion kept the play off hopes alive with a 1-0 victory Berwick Rangers at Sheilfield. Cowdenbeath had to be content with a share of the points with a 1-1 draw at Edinburgh City. In the top of the table clash Arbroath and Forfar drew 1-1 which keeps the title wide open with only 4 games remaining.
CLYDE : Kyle Gourley, Kerr Waddell, Ewan McNell, Chris Smith, Phil Johnston,Jon Paul McGovern,Martin McNiff, Scott McLaughlin, Mattew Flynn (Scott Lochhead 75 min), David Goodwillie (Sean Higgins 89 min),David Gormley. Substitutes not used John Gibson, Peter McDonald, Marc McKenzie, Ryan Finnie, Scott Ferguson.
Clyde Goals- Smith (4), Gormley (81)
Annan Athletic : Blair Currie, Jean Guy Lucas, Jordan Stewart (Callum Home 24 min), Raffi Krissian, Stephen Bronsky, Gavin Skelton, Max Wright, Darren Ramsay (Barry Cuddihy 63 min), Peter Weatherson, Aiden Smith, Nathan Flannigan (Rabin Omar 82 min), Substitutes not used – Alex Mitchell, David McKenna, Smart Osadolor, Tom Fry.
Annan Goals- Smith (16)
Referee David Lowe. Assistants Sean Carr, Jordan Patterson .