Dumbarton FC v Annan Athletic FC
At a sunny “YOUR Radio 103FM Stadium” both teams entered this Betfred Cup Group E match looking to gather their first points of the campaign and it was the visiting Black and Golds with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory which sees Annan move into 4th position.
Stevenson with an indirect free kick
Manager Peter Murphy made two changes to the starting line-up with Hooper and Krissian coming in for Brannan and Watson respectively, latest signing Ellis Pearson was a substitute.
There were few chances created in the first half with Dumbarton having more of the possession, the main talking point however was the sending off of ex Galabank trialist Christian Nade who was sent to the dressing room for foul and abusive language following what he believed to be a claim for a hand ball and penalty being turned down.
Dumbarton thought they had taken the lead in the 52nd minute when Stewart tapped in from close range following a save from Annan’s keeper Atkinson. The assistant referee had his flag up for offside to the disdain of the celebrating home fans. Minutes later Daniel Orsi beat Gallagher in the Dumbarton goal only to see his shot rebound of the inside of the post.
Orsi then had another shot saved by Gallagher before Annan were awarded a free kick six yards from goal following a pass back. Referee Charleston waved away the shouts for handball from the resulting free kick. The woodwork once again denied Annan taking the lead as Stevenson hit the post.
Moxon was red carded following a second yellow card, shortly after Annan were awarded another indirect free kick in the box, this time Gallagher saved well to deny Ryan Sinnamon opening the scoring.
Stevenson’s had another attempt but was wide of target as Annan had their best spell of the match. The new format sees drawn games go straight to penalties with the shoot-out victors gaining an extra point. The successful penalty takers for Annan were Smith, Sinnamon, Omar and Stevenson.
Annan boss Peter Murphy praised his players for their efforts,
“It was always going to be a tough match up against a Championship team, it obviously swung in our favour a bit in the first half with the sending off for Nade. One of our own players then showed a bit of naivety getting sent off with a second booking but I thought we were excellent throughout and I learned a lot from the players, especially with the penalty shoot out. It was written in the stars Ryan Stevenson was going to score the winner against his old club.”
Annan now face manager Peter Murphy’s previous club, group leaders and undefeated Ayr United on Saturday afternoon in the last round of fixtures, the visitors will be looking to secure at least the single point that will see them top Group E. Annan will be looking to make further progress in their preparations for next week’s Ladbrokes League 2 opener against favourites Peterhead FC.
Annan – Jim Atkinson, Scott Hooper, James Creaney, Ryan Sinnamon, Raffi Krissian, Steven Swinglehurst, Rabin Omar, Owen Moxon, Aiden Smith, Ryan Stevenson, Daniel Orsi. Subs not used Alistair Ferguson (GK), Ayrton Sonkur, Ellis Pearson, Jack Brannan, Peter Murphy. Peter Watson
Dumbarton: Scott Gallacher; David Smith, Chris McLaughlin, Andrew Dowie, David Wilson (Kyle Prior 85mins), Mark Stewart, Chris Johnston (Calum Gallagher 80mins), Kyle Hutton, Ally Roy, Christian Nade, Craig Barr. Substitutes not used Jamie Ewings (GK), Dougie Hill
Referee – Craig Charleston. Assistant Referees – Ivan Stankovic and Euan Birch