Montrose vs Annan FC
STOPPAGE TIME DOUBLE EARNS ANNAN VICTORY
Annan’s Boxing Day clash at Links Park was by no means a Christmas cracker but two late goals earned Annan all three point and a Christmas present that keeps Jim Chapman’s depleted squad in the play off zone and sets them up for two important home matches against Elgin City on Saturday and Albion Rovers on 4th January.
The game looked to be heading for a goalless draw but the introduction of Jordan Moffat in the 87th minute had a positive effect on the outcome when he slipped the ball into the path of Kenny MacKay who guided the ball into the corner of the net past McKenzie in the Montrose goal. A fantastic result was then sealed when MacKay latched on to a Moffat through ball and fired a cross into the box which was acrobatically finished by Josh Todd to spark fantastic celebrations in the Annan dug out.
Annan started promisingly and shots from Love, MacKay and Davidson were all on target. Gary Wood tested Arthur in the 6th minute and in the 11th minute Arthur denied Woods with a brilliant save low down. Arthur then denied Watson in the 19th minute when he tipped over the net-bound effort as Montrose pressed for a goal. It was a purple patch for the home team and with 26 minutes on the clock Annan were exposed down the left by a good move culminating in Craig Bells effort being ruled out for offside. It was a let off for Annan who responded with a penetrating run by Love down the left who forced a corner kick. Annan finished the half on the attack but without being able to penetrate the resolute Montrose defence.
Montrose started the second half promisingly and Gary Woods 51st minute shot pulled out a good save form Arthur who tipped the ball over the bar for a corner. Jamie Reid then came close for the home side with a shot in the 51st minute. Annan won a corner in the 58th minute and from the ensuing corner the ball fell invitingly for Josh Todd with his low shot pulling out an instinctive save from McKenzie. It was a golden opportunity squandered and minutes later Scott Davison caused all sorts of problems finishing with a low cross which the keeper cut out. Annan forced a couple of corners and as the game entered the last ten minutes Bryan Deasley sent in a dangerous cross from the left and it took an important header from Martin McNiff to avert the danger. Graham Webster breathed a sigh of relief when Scott Davison’s shot cannoned off the defender for a corner. Annan were pressing hard as the game entered the final ten minutes and the introduction of Moffat for Scott Davidson who had put in a great shift up front was intended to give them a fresh pair of legs and in the 90th minute the move struck gold. Moffat picked the ball up out wide and finished with a superb ball into the path of MacKay who had taken up a good position to finish with a low shot past the despairing dive of Stuart McKenzie. It was a glorious time to score and a minute later Annan struck again when MacKay latched on to Moffat’s through ball and his run to the bye line stretched the home defence and the cross to the back post found Josh Todd powering in at the back post and somehow Todd managed to flick the ball from behind and over his shoulder and into the net to secure a victory which keeps Annan in touch with the top teams.
Annan boss Jim Chapman was delighted with the outcome, “We had eight players unavailable through injury today so we were down to a threadbare squad who kept going right to the end. We have scored a lot of goals late on which is testament to the players fitness levels and never say die attitude. I am really pleased for the players as they have had to sacrifice Boxing Day with their families and I’m delighted that they got the result they deserved”.
Montrose – S McKenzie, T Masson, C Bell, L Johnston, G Webster, S Johnston, P Watson, G Wood, B Deasley, J Reid (R McIntosh 69 min). Substitutes not used D Gray, L Bonar, K Sturrock, S Wood.
Annan Athletic – K Arthur, S Sloan, M McNiff, P Watson, S Swinglehurst, M Flynn, S Davidson (J Moffat 87 min), K Brannan, K MacKay, J Todd, A Love. Substitutes not used P Bradley, J Brown, D Graham, D Wood, G Black and C Murray
Referee:- George Salmond. Assistants:-W Cussiter and G McNeill