Forfar Athletic v Annan Athletic
Annan Athletic crashed out of the play offs after a master first half performance by Forfar left them with an uphill task of turning the game back in their favour. The home team swept to a three goal lead in the opening half before Annan staged a spirited comeback to pull 2 goals back before Jamie Bain secured the game for Forfar in the 73rd minute.
Forfar started the match on the front foot forcing several early corner kicks which pinned Annan back, Fotheringham’s low raking shot in the 4th minute had Currie at full stretch to turn the ball round the post. Thomas O’Brien then came close when his shot crashed off the top of the cross bar in the 8th minute. Annan’s first clear chance in the 11th minute fell to Aidan Smith when he latched on to Swankies short pass back but an important tackle form O’Brien denied the Annan striker.
Forfar opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Fotheringham split the Annan defence with a ball down the right into the path of Swankie who homed in on Currie to finish with low shot from the corner of the 6 yard box into the net. Annan had a good opportunity to square the match in the 26th minute when Stewarts long ball forward was mistimed by O’Brien and it left Aiden Smith one on one with the keeper who took the sting out of the chip over the head of the Forfar keeper and the ball was cleared by Malone as it headed towards the empty net.
Forfar doubled their lead on the half hour mark, once again Annan were stretched down the right flank when Fotheringham played a telling ball into the path of Jamie Swain who squared the ball to Jim Lister who slotted the ball under the body of Blair Currie and into the net off the base of the post.
Any chances Annan had of turning the game around were dealt a severe blow in the 36th minute when ex Annan favourite David Cox slipped in a low ball across the face of the Annan goal and Gavin Swankie showed good composure with a low shot past Currie from the corner of the 6 yard box to give Forfar a very comfortable 3 goal advantage.
Annan pushed forward in the second half and they were dealt a life line in the 49th minute when they were awarded a penalty kick after Blair Currie’s kick from the back was headed on by Weatherson into the path of Aiden Smith who was stopped in his tracks on the edge of the box by keeper Grant Adam. Smith dispatched the penalty to give Annan a lifeline.
Annan were enjoying their best spell in the match and Smith dispossessed Malone to thread the ball into the path of Nathan Flanagan who went one on one with keeper Grant Adam who smothered Flanagan’s shot. It was a real opportunity but in the 65th minute Annan were right back in contention when they pulled another goal back. The goal was created and scored by substitute Darren Ramsay who picked the ball up on the right ending with a quick one two with Weatherson and Ramsay’s run took him right through the centre of the Forfar defence finishing with a low shot from inside the 6 yard box under keeper Grant Adam.
Annan’s spirited fight back was then thwarted in the 73rd minute when Swankie was sent clear down the right and he made for the bye line cutting the ball back into the path of Jamie Bain who picked his spot from 12 yards. It was a real blow for Annan who had worked their way back into the match and although there were chances created at both ends of the park it was Forfar who won their way through to the final play off match where they will face Peterhead who defeated Montrose with a 4-1 aggregate victory.
FORFAR ATHLETIC – Grant Adam, Jamie Bain,Christopher McLauchlin, Martin Fotheringham (Lewis Milne 87 min), Thomas O’Brien, Michael Travis, David Cox, Eddie Malone, James Lister ( Aiden Malone 83 min ), Gavin Swankie, Daniel Denholm ( Marc Scott 83 min), Unused Substitutes Andy Munro, Josh Peters, , Joseph McGovern GK.
Forfar Goals- Swankie (12, 37) Lister (32) Bain (73)
ANNAN ATHLETIC –Blair Currie, Callum Home, Jordan Stewart ( David McKenna 73 min) , Raffi Krissian, Stephen Swinglehurst, Gavin Skelton (Max Wright 83 min), Rabin Omar, Barry Cuddihy, Peter Weatherson, Aiden Smith, Nathan Flanagan ( Darren Ramsay 55 min), Unused Substitutes – Alex Mitchell, Jean Guy Lucas , Smart Osadolor, Peter Watson.
Annan Goals- Smith (50) Ramsay (67)
Referee – John McKendrick, Assistants Kylie McMullan and Ivan Stankovic.