Annan Athletic v Edinburgh City
Annan will quickly want to put this match quickly behind them as City romped to a 4 goal victory to give Annan one of their largest defeats in SPFL2 . It was a match where Edinburgh City will look back on and thank keeper Callum Antell for 2 brilliant saves in the opening 20 minutes when Annan were asking all the questions before Edinburgh City took control of the match with Annan’s ex player, Blair Henderson having a big impact in the game scoring a double and setting up City’s opening goal in the 36th minute.
Annan started the match well and in the 6th minute Max Wrights header was heading for the corner of the net until Antell pulled off a superb full length save to turn the ball around the post for a corner kick. It was all Annan at this stage and in the 13th minute Max Wright was once again at the end of a good Annan move when an inviting through ball once again was averted by the alert Callum Antell.
City then replied with an excellent Gabriel McGill effort in the 15th minute when his low shot from 15 yards went narrowly past the post. Liam Brown followed McGill’s effort up with a dangerous inviting ball across the face of the goal but nobody was alert to the capitalise on the well created opening .
Antell the City keeper then pulled off a brilliant save to deny Owen Moxon who hit the ball well from close range with Antell tipping over Moxon’s close range shot over the bar. Annan continued to attack the City goal forcing a couple of corners which were well defended by the visitors , Andrew Black received the first yellow card of the afternoon in the 27th minute for a poor challenge on Max Wright.
City then struck in the 32nd minute and arguably against the run of play with a simple through ball which caught Annan out when Blair Henderson’s flick header into the path of Liam Henderson left the City attacker with a lot to do but he grabbed the opportunity well scoring from an acute angle with a low shot into the corner of the net. It was a well worked goal and finished superbly by Liam Henderson.
Annan were then rocked again 4 minutes later when Balatoni’s free kick found the head of Blair Henderson who came back to haunt Annan when he guided the ball on to Josh Campbell who was left in acres of space and he finished the move off side footing the ball into the corner of the net from 12 yards.
These goals certainly changed the flow of the match and left Annan with a mountain to climb , Blair Henderson became the second City player to go in the referees book in the 42nd minute but City took a comfortable 2 goal lead into the interval.
Annan boss Peter Murphy made a couple of substitutions at half time in an effort to get Annan back into the match replacing the ineffective Aaron Splain and Kyle Fleming with Nathan Flanagan and Iain Anderson . The changes however did little to stem the flow of the match with city taking control of the match and forcing a couple of early corners before Blair Henderson headed Mark Laird’s cross ball into the net from 4 yards in the 56th minute. It was a disappointing goal for Annan to lose which left question marks against Annan keeper Jordan Pettigrew .
Edinburgh City continued to pile the agony on to Annan and 6 minutes later it was Blair Henderson who latched on to Josh Campbell’s pass to score a simple goal from 2 yards after keeper Pettigrew once again failed to cut out the cross ball and Henderson trundled the ball over the line to give City a 4 goal advantage.
Minutes later Gabriel McGill became the third city player to go into the book. Annan made further changes in the 74th minute with Aidan Smith and Mark Docherty being replaced with Russell Currie and Tyler Fulton but with a mountain to climb Annan continued to play second fiddle to the slick Edinburgh City team who stopped their previous 2 defeats with an impressive victory at Galabank .
Annan’s frustrations boiled over with Swinglehurst and Clark receiving yellow cards before the game ended with a convincing victory for City.
It was another disappointing home performance from Annan who started brightly enough but they soon lost control against City who on this performance were worthy winners which has left the Annan boss with more questions than answers . It was however a welcome return to the bench following long term injuries to defenders Tyler Fulton and Jordan Lowden.
ANNAN ATHLETIC – Jordan Pettigrew, Lewis Hunter, Cameron Clark, Aaron Splain( Iain Anderson 45min ), Matthew Douglas, Steven Swinglehurst, Kyle Fleming ( Nathan Flanagan 45 min ), Mark Docherty ( Tyler Fulton 75 min ), Max Wright, Aidan Smith (Russell Currie 74 min) , Owen Moxon . Subs not used Jordan Lowden , Harry Emerson , Ross Love.
EDINBURGH CITY – Callum Antell , Craig Thomson, Lee Hamilton, Liam Henderson , Andrew Black ( Callum Crane 80 min ), Mark Laird ( Ozy See 84 min ), Conrad Balatoni , Liam Brown ( Samuel Numan 90 min ), Josh Campbell, Gabriel McGill ( Rafa DeVita 84 min ), Blair Henderson ( Daniel Jardine 90 min ) Subs not used Cameron Quate, Michael Cunningham, Harrison Sharp, Alex Harris.
Referee – Callum Scott Assistants Gary Hilland and Euan Birch
Queens Park continued their quest for the title with a 3-1 victory over Stenhousemuir who went ahead early on but the home team secured victory at the National Stadium who have now opened up a 4 point gap at the top of the table. Elgin City recorded a convincing 5-2 home victory over Cowdenbeath with Kane Hester grabbing a hat trick for the home team. Stirling Albion lifted the points at Albion Rovers through an early Andy Ryan goal. Finally Brechin City were defeated 4-1 at home by Stranraer.
Annan will be looking to pick up their performance next Saturday at Elgin City