East Stirlingshire vs Annan FC
Substitute Kevin Turner came off the bench to score a late goal to deny Annan victory who had taken the lead through a 50th minute Andrew Mitchell free kick. Annan boss Jim Chapman made a couple of changes to the starting line up which lost out to Clyde in the mid week fixture with Josh Todd and Matty Flynn given starting berths at the expense of Scott Davidson and Keiran Brannan.
Shire keeper Grant Hay was called into action in the opening minute tipping over the bar Steven Blacks well struck shot for a corner. Kenny Arthur pulled off good save when East Stirling were awarded a free kick in the 9th minute to deny Paul Quinn who’s low effort was heading for the corner of the net. Chances were few and far between with both defences on top. MacKay forced a corner in the 11th minute and Love’s corner was well defended. At the other end Arthur plucked Iain Thomson’s free kick out of the air to avert a potentially dangerous situation. Flynn tried his luck with a 25 yard shot which was confidently saved by Hay. As the game approached half time Annan forced a couple of corners which were well defended.
The weather turned nasty at the start of the second half but within minutes Annan went ahead. Ally Love was fouled on the edge of the box and Andrew Mitchell’s low shot took a slight deflection to end up in the corner of the net. Annan started to take the game to East Stirling and in the 60th minute Kenny MacKay finished a penetrating run by rolling the ball into the path of Ally Love who’s net bound effort was tipped over the bar by Hay. Peter Watson came close when he connected with Andrew Mitchell’s corner in the 66th minute. It was a good spell from Annan but the introduction of Turner in the 63rd minute gave the home team a new threat and within minutes of being introduced Turner had a good effort turned round the post by Arthur and the Annan defence had to be on their toes to defend a couple of ensuing corners. Annan breathed a sigh of relief when Paul Quinn latched on to a ball played over the top of the Annan defence with Quinn’s effort going narrowly over the bar.
Annan had a great chance to seal the game in the 80th minute when the best move of the match saw MacKay and Todd combining down the right ending with Todd picking out Matty Flynn at the back post but somehow Flynn blasted over the bar from close range. It was a defining moment in the game as Annan conceded a late goal when Kevin Turner’s mistimed shot struck the post and into the net. It was a fortunate goal but with only minutes remaining the home team pushed forward looking for another opening but in the end both teams had to be content with a share of the points.
John Coughlin the Shire boss commented “It was a struggle from start to finish I was expecting a better response from my team following our two recent defeats, we go a goal down and had to claw our way back into the game and fair play to Kevin Turner I left him out of the starting eleven and he has responded with a goal that earns us a point which might prove to be a good point . It was a very scrappy affair and I was disappointed with the standard. It looked like the one goal was going to win the game so I was just thank-full to get back in with a scrappy goal but we will take it any way it comes.
Annan boss Jim Chapman commented. ”We were definitely worthy of a draw and disappointed not to hold on to take all three points I can only blame ourselves for not having the ability to hold on, we must be cuter and smarter how to see games out and today we did not do that, we had a guilt end chance which would have taken the pressure off us but possibly we did not do enough to collect all three points”.
East Stirlingshire – G Hay, G McGregor ( M Wright 80 min), M McGowan, C Townsley, M Bolochoweckj, I Thomson, R O’Donaghue (K Turner 63 min), D Greenhill, P Quinn, J Glasgow ( M Herd 80 min), J McKechnie, l. Substitutes not used S Maxwell, J Tapping, D McCaughie, C Gordon
Annan – K Arthur, S Sloan, M McNiff, A Mitchell, P Watson, S Swinglehurst, M Flynn, S Black, K MacKay, J Todd, A Love. Substitutes not used G Anderson, K Brannon, P Bradley, S Davidson, D Graham, J Moffat, G Black
Referee – A Newlands Assistants – S Bee and C Graham