Clyde FC vs Annan Athletic FC
Annan Athletic salvaged what could prove a precious league point from this, the first fixture of the new year in a match which swung heavily in favour of the hosts in the 7th minute after Annan were reduced to 10 men when Jack Brannan was given a straight red for serious foul play on ex Annan player Darren Ramsay on the half way line.
It resulted in Annan having to reorganise with Dan Orsi having to take one for the team and being replaced by Scott Hooper in the 10th minute. Peter Murphy reorganised his team sitting deep and being prepared to hit Clyde on the break a tactic which frustrated Clyde who for the fourth successive match failed to hit the net much to the dismay of the vocal home support .
Clyde included in their line up recent signings Tom Lang from Stranraer and Ally Love from Brechin ,The Annan team showed one change from the team which defeated Edinburgh City with Peter Watson replacing Scott Hooper at the centre of defence.
It was a classic match with Annan prepared to defend deep and break swiftly from defence and had Rabin Omar taken the chance of the match right on half time it could have turned out to be a 3 pointer for the Galabankies after Ross Ferguson broke down the right to set Omar up 6 yards out and with Blair Currie left stranded Omar missed the golden opportunity with his shot striking the base of the post.
It was a real let off for Clyde who had another lucky escape after James Creaney 13th minute free kick appeared to get a deflection and into the net only for the goal to be chalked offside. Ally Love making his debut for his new club blasted wide of goal in the 11th minute and over the bar in the 24th minute but it was Annan who had the clearer scoring opportunities with Rabin Omar heading over from a free kick in the 23rd minute and as Annan forced a couple of corner kicks it took a superb save from Blair Currie in the 40th minute who somehow managed to claw Swinglehurst’s header Moxon’s corner from under the cross bar.
The second half started promisingly for the home team with Darren Ramsay finishing a promising run down the right ending with a dangerous ball across the face if the goal but nobody was at hand to take advantage of the opening. Minutes later at the other end Blair Henderson headed the ball into the bath of Ross Ferguson but the final effort went into the side netting. Swinglehurst deservidly received a yellow in the 60th minute as Clyde broke from an Annan corner.
Minutes later Clyde came close to scoring following Darren Ramsay’s corner but twice Annan managed to clear the ball off the goal line to deny Nicol and Goodwillie . It was one of the few anxious moments that the Annan defence had to endure against a Clyde attack which were increasingly running out of ideas on how to break down the well drilled Annan defence.
Rabin Omar set up Aidan Smith in the 75th minute after Annan broke swiftly down the right but Smiths effort went wide of the target. Ross Ferguson blasted over minutes later and at the other end Goodwillie’s overhead kick sailed over the bar.
Alex Mitchell was forced to make a rare save in the 83rd minute tipping over Scott Ferguson’s 25 yard free kick. Minutes later Kevin Nicoll received a red card for a challenge on Peter Watson as both players contested a loose ball.
Annan forced a corner kick in the final minute as the game came to a close with both teams having to be content with a share of the points.
Clyde – Blair Currie, Callum Home, Tom Lang ( Smart Osadolor 77 min) , Martin McNiff, Andrew Munro, Darren Ramsay (Scott Ferguson 67 min), Keiran Duffie, Kevin Nicoll ( SO 85 min ), Max Wright ( Mark Lamont 12 min), David Goodwillie, Ally Love. Subs not used , Peter Morrison GK ,Jack Breslin, Barry Cuddihy, Jordan Lowdon.
Annan Athletic – Alex Mitchell, Jack Brannon SO 7min, James Creaney, Owen Moxon, Peter Watson, Steven Swinglehurst, , Dan Orsi (10 min Scott Hooper), Rabin Omar, Aiden Smith, Blair Henderson , Ross Ferguson . Substitutes not used Alistair Ferguson (gk), Ayrton Sonkar, Brandon Luke, Shaun Bell, Robbie Hogg, Kevin Rutkiewicz .
Referee – Scott MillerAssistants – Andrew McWilliam and Ryan Kennedy.
Crowd – 477
Annan boss Peter Murphy said under the circumstances it was a point well earned we have drilled into the squad the need to retain their shape but the way they did this for the entire match was very rewarding, forcing Clyde to play numerous diagonal balls in areas of the park which did not hurt us . In the end we could have knicked it had Rabin stuck away the opportunity at the end of the first half. Commenting on Jack Brannan’s sending off the manager said he had no complaints , Brannan has been different class for us, we have a small squad and the introduction of Scott Hooper made us less potent up front but we still created opportunities , I am relatively happy with today’s outcome. The point pushes Annan into 4th place for the first time this season although they have played more games than the teams around them.
Peterhead picked up the points to move within a point of top of the table Montrose with a 7 goal demolishing of Highland neighbours Elgin City with Peterhead scoring six times in the second half. Stenhousemuir kept up their challenge at the top with a 2-1 victory over Stirling Albion who’s form has slumped recently. Montrose lost a late goal to bottom club Cowdenbeath who shared the points in a 1-1 draw at Links Park, a result which leaves the Fifers rooted to the bottom of the table after Berwick Rangers were defeated 3-0 at Ainslie Park against Edinburgh City.
Annan play top of the table Montrose next at Galabank on Saturday kick off 3-00pm.