Cove Rangers vs Annan Athletic
Annan Athletic progressed to the Third Round of the Scottish Cup with an impressive workman like performance against a very competent Cove Rangers team at Allen Park on Saturday.
The battle was won in the first half where Cove Rangers went all out in the opening 20 minutes and they were rewarded with a Daryl Nicol goal in the 18th minute but a Peter Weatherson penalty in the 38th minute squared the game before Stuart McColm scored the decisive winner in the 43rd minute.
Annan played the same team which started against Clyde with Peter Weatherson leading the attack . It was the home team who came out of the blocks with all guns blazing and in the opening minutes Daniel Park made his intentions known with 2 dangerous low crosses. Following a corner in the 8th minute Alex Mitchell had to deal with a Roy McBain shot and minutes later Michael Sefridge blasted over the bar. Annan survived the opening barrage and a dangerous Stuart McColm cross went across the face of the goal. Black then conceded a free kick on the edge of the box which was well defended. Watson headed past from a Hopkirk corner in the 16th minute.
The opening goal in the 18th minute was the result of a move down the left which ended with Jonathan Smith cutting the ball back into the path of Daryl Nicol who swept the ball low and hard into the net form 6 yards into the net to give Mitchell no chance. It was just the start that Cove needed but minutes later they were dealt a blow when Rory McBain had to leave the field injured. Martin McNiff was then fortunate to deflect Chris Clark’s effort over the bar in the 27th minute.
Annan finished the half strong and for the last 15 minutes they started to exert real pressure on the home team with Hopkirk at the heart of Annan’s threat down the right and in the 32nd minute Cove had a real let off when Hopkirk finished a great run with a fine strike which went narrowly past the post. The impressive Chisholm then sent in a dangerous cross aimed at the feet of McClom . Hopkirk always an outlet for Annan then squandered a real opportunity in the 35th minute before he was brought down for a penalty by substitute Dean Lawrie in the 38th minute. Peter Weatherson made no mistake from the spot to square the match . It was just reward for a period of sustained pressure from Annan and it continued towards the end of the half and they were rewarded once again in the 42nd minute when Steven Black sent in a dangerous free kick to the back post and Stuart McColm ghosted in at post to bring the ball down and slip the ball into the net from 2 yards to give Annan a slender half time lead.
The second half started promisingly for the home team who immediately forced a corner from which Kelly headed past the post. Watson then headed past from a Hopkirk corner and with 52 minutes played to keep his team in the match. Annan then breathed a huge sigh of relief when the impressive Nichols header crashed off the cross bar. Annan continued to pose a threat and in the 58th minute Hopkirk was once again denied by an important Wood save. Cove then squandered an opportunity in the 67th minute when Nicol’s effort went over the bar. Annan had a scare when Logan had to leave the field injured but he resumed before Mitchell pulled off a good save low down to deny Smith. This was followed by a Nicol shot which zipped past the post.
Annan were then denied by 2 top class saves in the space of 2 minutes by Wood who pulled off a superb 80th minute save to scoop Hopkirk’s net bound shot the ball over the bar followed minutes later by another stunning save to deny Stuart McColm.
Cove made a final push in the closing minutes and Annan had to thank keeper Alex Mitchell who pulled off a superb save in the dying minutes to deprive Smith tipping his effort round the post for a corner which the resolute Annan defence stood firm.
Cove Rangers – S Wood, B Yule, C Clark, S Webster, D Kelly, A Redford, D Park (J McAllister 81 min),R McBain ,(D Lawrie 25 min), J Smith, D Nicol , M Selfridge (J Watt 69 min) Substitutes not used C Scully, E Watson, , J Lennox, M Kinnaird.
Cove goalscorer- D Nicol 18 min
Annan goalscorer– P Weatherson 38 min, S McClolm 43 min
Annan Athletic – A Mitchell, S Black, I Chisholm, M McNiff, P Watson, R McStay, J Todd, S Logan, P Weatherson, D Hopkirk, S McClolm (R Omar 90 min). Substitutes unused K Brannan, S Davidson, J Gillan, J Brown, M Flynn, C Murray
Referee C Napier Assistants C Simm and B Inkster.