Peterhead v Annan Athletic
A late goal denied Annan what would have been a deserved share of the points in a game where we were left chasing the match after conceding a goal in the second minute but stuck well to the task and outplayed Peterhead for large portions of the match before they squared the game in the 80th minute only to be denied by a late stunninstrike from Russell McLean in the 84th minute.
Annan boss Peter Murphy following the mid week cup defeat at the hands of Montrose picked an attack minded team for the task with Aidan Smith, Tommy Muir and Tony Wallace leading a three pronged attack against the title contenders.
Peterhead got off to the best possible start in the second minute when Paddy Boyle created an opening down the left picking out the unmarked Derek Lyle who slipped the ball past Alex Mitchell to give the home team an early advantage.
It was a blow to Annan but they started to cause the Blue Toon issues and in the 20th minute Tommy Muir had a great chance to square the game when he was one on one with keeper Greig Fleming after the Annan striker latched on to a bad pass back but he failed to take the opportunity.
Annan lost the services of injured full back James Creaney with a dead leg in the 36th minute with Lewis Strapp taking over. Chances at both ends were at a premium with neither keeper being seriously tested in the first half.
Annan started the second half on the front foot, David Wilson fired a shot which sailed over the bar in the 51st minute, shortly after Russell McLean was not alert to a through ball. Annan were asking questions of the Peterhead defence forcing several corner kicks but without really forcing Fleming to a save.
Peterhead made a triple substitution in the 66th minute but it was Annan who continued to take the game to Peterhead, Sonkur went close with a header in the 74th minute and this was followed minutes later by an important Fleming save who managed to turn Wallace’s low shot round the post for a corner kick.
Russell McLean was then presented with an opportunity in the 78th minute but the striker scooped the ball over the bar and the chance was lost. The game switched to the other end and within a couple of minutes Annan were awarded a penalty kick when the linesman picked up Jason Brown pulling back Annan substitute Max Wright and Tony Wallace converted from the spot to square the match.
The goal however appeared to inspire the home team who then started to take the game to Annan and in the 84th minute Russel McLean picked the ball up on the edge of the box and for whatever reason the Annan defenders forced McLean to go inside before finishing with a well directed strike from just inside the box.
Substitute Ross Kavanagh had a chance to seal the game in the final minute but his effort failed to test Mitchell.
Peterhead boss Jim McInally said that his team showed character coming back after conceding the late penalty and the goal scored by McLean was top notch. Annan boss Peter Murphy indicated that he was a frustrated manager, we played very well against a strong Peterhead team and my young team are learning the hard way we need to score first to start putting pressure on the opposition.
Peterhead – Greig Fleming, Jason Brown, Patrick Boyle, Ryan Dow ( Ross Kavanagh 66 min), Michael Dunlop, Simon Ferrie, Jamie Stevenson, Scott Brown ( Rory McCallister 66 min), Derek Lyle ,Jack Leitch ( Jack Leitch 66 min), Russell McLean,William Gibson. Subs not used Ryan Gibson GK, Cameron Eadie, Callum Home.
Annan Athletic – Alex Mitchell, Scott Hooper, James Creaney(Lewis Strapp 36 min) , David Wilson, Kyle Bradley, AyrtonSonkur ,Owen Moxon ( Scott Roberts 70 min), Ryan Sinnamon, Aidan Smith, Tommy Muir , Tony Wallace . Subs not used John Jamieson GK, Peter Watson, Chris Johnston , Ruaridh Langan.
Referee – David Dickenson Assistants – CalumSpence and Michael McCart
It was 3 valuable points for Peterhead who appear to be the only side going head to head with Edinburgh City for the title who continue to set the pace after lifting all 3 points with a 2-0 home victory over Queens Park. Clyde came back form a 3 goal deficit to secure a draw against Berwick Rangers. Stirling Albion’s revival continued with a 5-2 home victory over Elgin City despite going 2 goals down. Albion Rovers picked up a valuable point against Cowdenbeath after the teams finished all square following a 1-1 draw.
Next Saturday Annan entertain Edinburgh City kick off 3-00pm.