Peterhead v Annan Athletic FC
Peterhead lifted the points with a deserved victory over Annan at Balmoor on Tuesday evening. Both teams went into the match on form but it was the home team who lifted the honours and now look clear favourites to lift the title.
Peterhead straight from the kick off made their intentions known with an early onslaught on the Annan goal forcing numerous corners in the opening minutes. It was from one of the corners that they took the lead when Ryan Strachan collected the ball and with time to spare his shot from 20 yards went through a mass of players and found the corner of the net. It was just the start that the home team were looking for and backed on by a large home crowd. Annan looked all at sea as Peterhead pressed hard for another goal.
Annan had an opportunity in the 24th minute when Ally Love brought the ball down but the shot carried no conviction. It was a rare moment of rest bite for Annan and they found themselves with a mountain to climb in the 29th minute when Rory McCallister latched on to a long hopefull ball which caught McNiff in no mans land and the prolific goal scorer made no mistake with a shot into the corner of the net.
Annan who rarely threatened the Peterhead defence were thrown a lifeline in the 40th minute when a well worked corner kick involving Andrew Mitchell and Scott Davidson ended with Davidson’s inviting cross being headed into his own goal by Scott Ross.
Peterhead started the second half once again on the attack, Gilfillan sent in a fierce shot which sailed over the bar but within 3 minutes Peterhead struck gold again. McCallister once again was the inspiration causing havock in the Annan defence when he picked the ball up wide on the right brushing aside the challenge of Watson to finish with a cut back from the bye line into the path of Steven Noble who side footed the ball into the net from 2 yards.
Annan rarely threatened and McCallister squandered a great opportunity when he headed over from 3 yards. As the game entered the last quarter Annan became more of a threat and in the 86th minute Kenny MacKay was unlucky to see his shot bounce off the inside of the post and in the final minues Steven Black had a half chance.
On the night Peterhead fully deserved their victory and the home side are now in with a great opportunity of lifting the title, it looks like they can only throw it away. For Annan they have still a bit of work to do to secure one of the play off spots but they are well positioned and must now dust themselves down and get prepared for the final quarter fixtures which will determine their fate in the battle for the play offs
Peterhead – Strachan 5min, McCallister 29 min Noble 48 min.
Annan – Rose og 40 min
Peterhead – G Smith, G Sharp, S Noble , R Smith, S Ross, D Cowie, A Rodgers ( R McCann 86 min) J Redman, R McAllister (F McClaren 82 min), B Gilfillan (J Brown 84 min), R Strachan . Substitutes not used, P Jarvie, , D Richardson, C McGlinchey, A Low,
Annan Athletic – K Arthur, S Sloan, M McNiff, P Watson, S Black, C Jardine ( K Brannan 76 min), I Chisholm , A Mitchell, K MacKay , S Davidson ( D Orsi 76 min), A Love ( B Henderson 69 min) . Substitutes not used A Mitchell, P Bradley, M Flynn, J Moffat,
Referee M Norcroft Assistants D Watt and G Fraser Crowd 607.