Cowdenbeath v Annan Athletic
Annan Athletic lifted the points in this close encounter courtesy of a Steven Swinglehurst header from a Chris Johnston corner in the 51st minute. It was the only goal that separated the two teams after both teams went in at half time with the score 1-1. It was a fitting reward for Swinglehurst who was without doubt Annan’s man of the match with a powerful all round performance.
Cowdenbeath were dealt a blow during the warm up when Jamie Piper had to be replaced by ex Annan player Bryan Gllfillan. Annan started with the same team which drew with Elgin City the previous week. The opening 20 minutes was fairly even with both teams looking for the all important opening. The closest any team came to scoring arrived in the 18th minute when Tommy Muir found himself one on one with keeper David McGurn but the Cowdenbeath keeper came to his teams rescue to save Muirs effort.
The home team went ahead in the 26th minute and it was a super goal created wide on the left after Bradley Smith eluded the challenge of Scott Hooper and picked out Jodan Sheerin with a delightful ball and Sheerin finished clinically from 6 yards to slam the ball into the roof of the net.
Cowdenbeath’s joy however was short lived when 3 minutes later Annan equalised when Scott Roberts poor shot was only half defended by Bryan Gilfillan who laid the ball on a plate for Tommy Muir who could barely believe his luck and Muir took full advantage to slot the ball into the net from close range to score his first league goal of the season.
Annan started the second half well and within 6 minutes their pressure paid off after Annan won a corner on the right and Steven Swinglehurst rose at the back post to powerfully head Chris Johnston’s corner into the net past MgGurn. It proved to be the decisive goal of the game.
Opportunities were few and far between until the 70th minute when Scott Roberts was presented with an excellent chance 8 yards from goal but the striker failed to seriously test keeper McGurn. Both teams made substitutions which appeared to disrupt the flow of the game and neither team seriously tested either keeper and although Cowdenbeath carried the most threat up front they could not penetrate the resolute Annan defence.
Manager Peter Murphy commented, “It was a hard fought three points, to see through that last ten minutes of pressure I thought my team stood up and managed it very well. Cowdenbeath maybe felt they should’ve got something from the game.”
“I’m also delighted for my centre forward Tommy Muir, coming from lower league to get his first SPFL league goal today. There’s still lots of things to improve on but I’m very pleased with the three points.”