Edinburgh City v Annan Athletic
Annan Athletic were comprehensively defeated in this match against a competent Edinburgh City side. It was a performance which lacked luster particularly in the second half where Annan lost their shape and were outplayed for large periods with the strong wind playing havock.
Annan played with the elements in their favour in the first half but it turned out to be a disappointing half from Annan who never got to grips with the conditions and it was difficult to recall when they managed to test ex Annan keeper Aidan McAdams in the City goal.
It was Edinburgh City who made the crucial breakthrough in the 26th minute but the goal was due to an error by on loan St Mirren youngster Jamie Walker who was dispossessed under pressure by Robbie McIntyre who in turn laid the ball off to Alex Harris who made no mistake of slipping the ball past Aaran Taylor from close range.
Annan’s chances then suffered a further blow 4 minutes later when Steven Swinglehurst had to leave the field injured after going over on his ankle, Darren Barr slipped into the centre of defence with youngster Euan Griffiths taking over in midfield.
Neither keeper had a serious save to make until the 36th minute when McAdam’s pulled off a fine save to tip Darren Barr’s net bound header over the bar, it was however the only bright spot for Annan in a half where they failed to take advantage of the wind.
Edinburgh City started the second half taking the game to Annan and almost immediately Annan were fortunate when Scott Shepherd headed over from an inviting Harris cross a minute. City then exploited Annan down the same route a minute later with another a swift move down the right culminating in Alex Harris once again sending in a good cross picking out Mark Laird who shot home from 8 yards.
Annan’s hopes were then further dashed in the 55th minute after City were awarded a free kick wide on the right and from Craig Thomson’s free kick Chris Kane headed into the net from 6 yards to give City a comfortable 3 goal lead.
Annan looked all at sea against the confident City who were denied by the woodwork in the 84th minute when Jonny Courts right footed shot from the edge of the box looked to be heading for the net until it hit the upright.
The home team completed the misery for the disjointed Annan team in the 89th minute when Allan Smith slipped the ball into the corner of the net from 12 yards.
This was not a good performance from Annan who were outplayed all over the park and the only players who could take any credit out of the match were Matty Douglas and Darren Barr. Annans chances were not helped by the injuries to Kyle Bradley during the warm up and the injured Ayrton Sonkur but on this showing Annan have a lot to do to have any chance of securing a play off slot. Edinburgh City looked a decent team against a disjointed Annan side.
Annan must respond and learn from this performance, the injuries to the squad are a worry for the time being but the manager will no doubt be looking for a reaction in the next match against Stirling Albion.
EDINBURGH CITY – Aiden McCadams, Craig Thomson, Robbie McIntyre, Conrad Balatoni, Marc Laird, Liam Brown ( Jordan Sinclair 65 min), Danny Handling (Jonny Court 71 min), Callum Crane, Chris Kane, Scott Shepherd ( Allan Smith 76 min), Alex Harris Subs not used . Dean Beveridge, John Dunn, Adam Watson and Liam Henderson.
ANNAN ATHLETIC – Aaran Taylor, Matty Douglas, Jamie Ballantyne, Jamie Walker, Darren Barr, Steven Swinglehurst ( Euan Griffiths 30 min), Scott McLean, Kyle Wilkie, Jordan Holt( Broque Watson 70 min ), Lewis McLear ( Tommy Muir 58min) Christain Nade. Subs not used Harry Emerson, Russell Currie.
Referee. David Dickenson, Assistants – Ross Macleod and Gordon McCabe
Cove Rangers continue to set the pace at the top of the league with a 4-2 victory over Brechin City all the goals coming in the opening 36 minutes. Cowdenbeath moved into a top 4 position with a convincing 3-0 victory at Stenhousemuir. Queens Park scored a last minute equaliser to cancel out Albion Rovers 23rdminute opener. Stirling Albion finally got off the mark with a single goal victory over Elgin City.
Annan entertain Stirling Albion next week at Galabank.