Peterhead v Annan Athletic
Peterhead lifted the points in this clash between the two in form teams in an even match with the outcome in the balance until the final whistle. The match was played in glorious sunshine but the brisk wind made it difficult for both sets of players.
Annan boss Peter Murphy made two changes from his previous line up with Owen Moxon replacing Kyle Bradley and Tommy Muir replacing Christian Nade who was relegated to the bench. Peterhead boss Jim McInally was forced to make changes following their mid week victory over Cowdenbeath with both Ryan Dow and Jamie Stevenson picking up knocks in that match and being declared unfit.
Annan made a promising start to the match and inside 3 minutes Greg Fleming made a good save turning Chris Johnston’s low thirty yard effort round the post for a corner kick. Hooper followed this up with a dangerous cross aimed at Tommy Muir. Annan continued to dominate the opening 10 minutes with Peterhead looking uneasy as Annan took the game to the home team.
Chris Johnstons 10 minute free kick was easily read by Fleming. Peterhead had their first real effort on the Annan goal when Browns low shot from the edge of the box tested Aidan McAdams in the 15th minute.
Annan went ahead in the 24th minute when a swift break from the middle by Moxon saw the ball played wide to Tony Wallace who’s first effort was blocked but the ball came straight back into the path of Wallace who dispatched the ball into the net from 8 yards. It was just reward for Annan after a promising start.
Annan’s joy however was short lived as Peterhead squared the match within 3 minutes. It was a well worked goal when Dunlop’s long ball played over the head of Hooper found Shane Sutherland who cut the ball back into the path of Jack Leitch who drilled the ball low and hard from the edge of the box into the corner of net past the outstretched arms of McAdam.
The game flowed from end to end without either team creating any real scoring opportunities until the final minute when Strapp’s cross to the back post was headed wide by Tommy Muir.
Peterhead started the second half more promisingly and McAllister’s effort flashed past the post in the 53rd minute, this was followed a minute later from a shot by Sutherland from the edge of the box which again failed to hit the target.
Aidan Smith and Chris Johnston forced a corner down the right which was defended by the home team, Johnston continued to cause alarm and his 60th minute cross was headed narrowly over the bar by Tommy Muir. Annan were enjoying a good spell and Aidan Smith’s 65th minute header from Johnston’s cross went narrowly past the post. At the other end Scott Brown went close with a shot which failed to hit the target.
The defining moment in the match arrived in the 71st minute following a corner kick when Ex Queens striker Derek Lyle was at hand to slam the ball high into the net after McAdams tipped the initial effort on to the cross bar but Lyle reacted quickest to score from close range.
It was a blow to Annan who brought on Christain Nade to replace Tommy Muir, Aidan Smith was then unlucky when he connected with a Lewis Strapp cross with his header going narrowly past the post.
Peterhead forced a series of corner kicks all of which were defended by Annan, as the match entered the closing stages McAllister become the first player to be booked and he was replaced by ex Berwick player Paul Willis in the 89th minute.
The victory maintained Peterhead’s position in Pole position four points ahead of nearest rivals Edinburgh City who are due to visit Annan next Saturday.
Peterhead – Greg Fleming, Derek Lyle ( Cameron Eadie 76 min), Patrick Boyle Jason Brown, Michael Dunlop, Simon Ferrie, Shane Sutherland (Callum Home 70 min), Scott Brown, Rory McAllister ( Paul Willlis 89 min), Jack Leitch, Willie Gibson. Subs not used – Sam Henderson GK, Ross Wilcox, Liam McDonald.
Annan Athletic – Aidan McCadams, Scott Hooper, Lewis Strapp, David Wilson, Peter Watson, Steven Swinglehurst ,Tony Wallace ( Ross Ferguson 67 min ) , Owen Moxon, Aidan Smith, Tommy Muir ( Christian Nade 75 min), Chris Johnston . Subs not used Alex Mitchell GK, James Creaney, Ayrton Sonkur
Referee – Duncan Williams Assistants – Douglas Ross and Barry Reid
The big story coming out of the SPFL on Friday was Clyde being docked 4 points for playing an ineligible player in matches against Queens Park which ended in a draw with Queens Park and the victory over Albion Rovers in both these cases Albion and Queens Park were awarded 3 points each.
In the other matches played in the SPFL , Edinburgh City maintained the pressure on Peterhead with a two nil victory over Queens Park. Albion Rovers scored the surprise result of the day with a 1-0 victory over Stirling Albion. Berwick and Cowdenbeath shared the points in a 1-1 draw. Elgin City recorded a 2-1 victory over Clyde