Cowdenbeath FC vs Annan Athletic FC
Annan Athletic concluded their SPFL League programme with a victory over bottom club Cowdenbeath who now face the winners of the Cove Rangers and Spartans non league 2 leg play off match after Cove won the first leg 4-0 on Saturday.
It was a game Annan in truth never looked like losing after the swept to a 2 goal lead in the opening 4 minutes with Blair Henderson’s rich seam of goals continuing after the Annan striker pounced twice in the opening 4 minutes to bring his combined talley for the season to 16 goals 4 ahead of Aidan Smith a superb contribution to Annan’s season by both the Annan strikers.
Cowdenbeath boss Gary Bollan already with one eye on the play off matches made several changes to his line up deciding to rest several of his key personnel. However the Blue Brazil boss could not have envisaged the whirlwind start that Annan made to the game.
Annan’s first attack inside a minute produced a goal, it was a well constructed move which cut open the Cowdenbeathdefence with Scott Roberts and Connor O’Keefe combining to set up Blair Henderson who put the final touch to guide the ball into the net from close range to give Annan an early advantage.
Jordyn Sheerin responded for the Blue Brasil testing Alex Mitchell in an attack on the Annan goal. It was however Annan who doubled their lead in the fourth minute. Blair Henderson once again was in the right place at the right time when he headed home Jack Brannan’s cross from 4 yards. It was a bitter blow for the home team to swallow and one from which they never really recovered.
There were very few other incidents in the remainder of the first half which deserved a mention apart from Blair Penman’s save in the 44th minute when he pulled off a fine save to deny Aidan Smith. This was followed shortly after by a Connor O’Keefe effort which rifled past the upright.
The second period produced few moments worthy of note as both teams went through the motions, Harvey Swann finished a penetrating run in the 61st minute with a shot as the Annan team retreated back. Owen Moxon received a yellow for encroachment in the 67th minute and 10 minutes later the Annan midfielder was sent off for a second yellow which will mean the player will automatically miss the opening game at the beginning of the season for the feisty midfielder.
Jordyn Sheerin came close as the match went into extra time forcing keeper Alex Mitchell to produce an excellent save to ensure Annan retained a clean sheet.
Annan have finished the season in seventh position on 47 points which may would have accepted at the start if the season following all the upheaval that the club faced following the change of manager. Next season the expectations from the fans will be more demanding but in manager Peter Murphy and assistant Kevin Rutchiewicz Annan would appear to be on a sound footing to make progress into the play off zones a distinct possiblilty.
COWDENBEATH – Blair Penman, Matthew McInally ( Kyle Millar 54 min), Jordan Hornby, Jamie Pyper, Scott Rumsby, Brandon Luke , David Cox ( Sean McManus 78 min) , Harvey Swann, Jordyn Sheerin, Bradley Smith, Cameron Muirhead. Substitutes not used: David McGurn GK, Bryan Gilfillan, Robbie Buchanan, Blair Malcolm, Ben Reilly.
ANNAN ATHLETIC – Alex Mitchell, Jack Brannan , Evan Horne, Owen Moxon, Ayrton Sonka, Steven Swinglehurst (James Creaney 90 min), Ryan Sinnamon, Connor O’Keefe ( Zac Hannay 90 min), Aiden Smith, Blair Henderson , Scott Roberts ( Scott Hooper 22 min). Substitutes not used Jim Atkinson (GK), Peter Murphy, Peter Watson , Rabin Omar.
Referee – Graham Beaton. Assistants – Graham McNellie and Chris McTiernan
Congratulations go out to Montrose who secured the title by securing a 1-1 draw at home to Elgin City who went ahead in injury tiem at the end of first half but Jamie Redman grabbed a 51st minute eqauliser to secure the title. Peterhead secured the necessary victory with a last minute winner against Edinburgh City but the victory only secures a play off place for Peterhead who face Stirling Albion who drew 1-1 with Stenhousemuir, who will now play Queens Park in the other play off match after the Spiders lifted themselves from the foot of the table with a convincing 3 goal victory over Arbroath. Albion Rovers are relegated after they were defeated 2-0 by Champions Ayr United . In the final league match Berwick finished the season on a high with a 2-1 victory at Clyde.