Cowdenbeath v Annan Athletic
Annan’s recent run of good form continued at Central Park Cowdenbeath on Saturday when Cowdenbeath became the latest team to taste defeat at the hands of Annan Athletic who have now stretched their unbeaten run to 8 games. There was some doubt about the pitch but this was given the go ahead after an early 9-30pm pitch inspection and although conditions were heavy the match was played under almost perfect conditions.
Annan got off to the perfect start when in the 7th minute Tony Wallace converted from the penalty spot after Lewis Hunter was fouled by a rash challenge by recent signing Andrew Barrowman on the edge of the box. It was not the start the hosts were looking for as they endeavour to get away from the foot of the table.
Minutes later Annan were unlucky not to double their lead after Tommy Goss headed narrowly pastfrom a Roan Steele cross. Liam Buchanan was introduced on to replace the injured Barrowman in the 14th minute.
Matty Douglas made a penetrating run down the right ending with a cross to Aidan Smith who picked up the cross to finish with a shot which went narrowly past the post. At the other end it took a fantastic save from Fleming from a low Gavin Morrison shot ending with Fleming conceding a corner kick. Craig Barr then headed narrowly over from the second corner as the home team started to impose pressure on the Annan defence.
Annan’s Tommy Goss futile claims for a penalty were correctly brushed aside by the referee . t was however the home team, Cowdenbeath who squared the match in the 31st minute, the Annan defence had to withstand a couple of corner kicks before Greig Fleming under pressure failed to hold a high ball and the ball fell invitingly for Liam Buchanan who had the simple task of slotting home from close range.
It was just the break the home team were looking for and Liam Buchanan tested Fleming again minutes later with a low shot but the Annan keeper pulled off another impressive save.
As the game approached half time it was Annan who were on the attack, Chris Johnston’s well placed cross from the right was headed by Tommy Goss but the header did not cause any problems to keeper Davd McGurn.
Annan went ahead right on the stroke of half time ,the goal was created in the middle by Moxonwho’s ball over the top of the Cowdenbeathdefence found Tony Wallace who cut the ball back from the bye line into the path of Tommy Goss who slipped the ball into the empty net to give Annan a 2-1 interval lead.
Cowdenbeath started the second half on the front foot and Annan were tested by efforts from Liam Buchanan and Bobby Barr. Then in a one minute spell in the 58th minute Craig Barr was given 2 yellow cards and Steven Swinglehurst received a yellow card for the same incident butCowdenbeath’s chances took a dive with Barr being sent off and from the resulting free kick Moxon’s free kick from 24 yards sailed high and wide.
Cowdenbeath introduced Ross Clark in the 63rd minute taking the place of Jacob Glass .Buchannan then went close in the 67th minute when his shot went agonisingly wide as the home team went all out to square the match.
Annan’s main threat was down the right where the dangerous Chris Johnston was constantly prodding the Blue Brazil’s defensive capabilities and in the 80th minute he cut in and finished with a glorious strike which was superbly tipped over the bar by David McGurn.
Annan made a triple substitution in the 83rd minute with Purdue, Fleming and McCartney replacing Wallace, Moxon and Goss and almost immediately Rob McCartney won Annan a penalty kick after a rash challenge by Jamie Todd who received a yellow card for the tackle. Keeper McGurn saved Aiden Smith’s initial effort only for the spot kick to be retaken after Craig Thomson entered the penalty area and Aiden Smith made no mistake from the re take to give Annan a 2 goal cushion.
The defeat leaves Cowdenbeath in a precarious position at the bottom of the league but there was enough evidence on Saturday to suggest Cowdenbeath will be no pushovers as they strive to avoid the bottom spot.
The victory maintained Annan pursuit of Forfar who defeated Stranraer 3-2 , so the scene is all set for next weeks league match at Galabank when Annan entertain second placed Forfar Athletic, it is a match Annan cannot afford to lose if they are to have hopes of challenging Forfar. Annan lost both of their previous encounters 2-0 with very little to choose between the teams. Kelty Hearts show no signs of slipping up at the top with a convincing 3-0 victory over Stirling Albion.