Peterhead vs Annan FC
Peterhead fought back from adversity with ex Annan players Bryan Gilfillan and David Cox coming back to haunt Annan to ensure the home side shared the points in a match Annan looked to be edging towards victory courtesy of a David Hopkirk double. Bryan Gilfillan cancelled out David Hopkirks 24th minute opener at the start of the second half before Annan responded immediately when Hopkirk struck to restore Annan’s lead but David Cox had the final say with a crisp low shot from the edge of the box in the 85th minute which ensured Annan had to endure an anxious 5 minutes to see the game out.
Annan suffered a blow prior to the game with Steven Swinglehurst being ruled out injured his place at the centre of defence was plugged by Peter Watson with Steven Black slipping into the right back role otherwise the team was unchanged from that which started against Queen of the South the previous week.
McAllister was first on target in the 9th minute when his effort flashed over the bar. Annan forced the first corner in the 13th minute after Watson’s penetrating ball from defence stretched the home defence and from the ensuing corner Matty Flyn’s low shot was blocked. The home side came close in the 23rd minute when Gilfillan, header went narrowly past the post. The deadlock was broken in the 24th minute, Flynn was at the heart of the move releasing a defence splitting ball into the path of David Hopkirk who’s movement stretched the Peterhead defence and the striker finished the move superbly displaying good awareness to draw the keeper Graeme Smith and roll the ball into the corner of the net. McAllister did well to set up the Sponsors man of the match Gilfillan in the 34th minute but the effort went agonisingly wide. Almost immediately Annan replied when Hopkirk’s pace once again looked to have taken him beyond the defence but Noble saved the day with a last ditch challenge. Peterhead pressed hard as the game edged towards half time and following a cox corner in the 40th minute Noble’s header came off the top of the cross bar.
The threat of McAllister at the start of the second half was evident as he scooped the ball over the bar in the 49th minute and moments later he left Black in his wake as he cut in along bye line ending with a low cross to the heart of the Annan defence. It was promising start to the half by the home team and in the 55th minute Gilfillan chested the ball into the path of Jordan Brown but the shot rifled past the post. A minute later and Peterhead’s persistence paid off. It was a simple goal in the making when Gilfillan rose above his markers to connect with Cox’s corner at the back post to head into the net. The home support had barely time to savour the moment with Annan replying immediately from the kick off after Peter Watson’s ball over the top of the top of the Peterhead defence once again released the alert Hopkirk who repeated his earlier success with a clinical lob over the top of the advancing keeper and into the empty net. It was a set back for Peterhead who had worked so hard to get back into the match. The Annan goal survived a scare in the 63rd minute when a mistimed Watson clearance left Mitchell in 2 minds but the Annan keeper did well to rescue the situation scooping the ball off the goal line. Annan had a golden opportunity to put the game beyond the reach of their hosts in the 72nd minute when Hopkirk slipped his markers down the left finishing with a ball into the path of Kenny McKay but the shot was not cleanly hit and Smith managed to pull off an important save for a corner kick. It was a defining moment in the match and minutes later Annan were very fortunate when Cox once again found the head of Gilfillan with a back post corner which mirrored the earlier success but this time the ball glanced off the outside of the post. Peterhead boss Jim McInally went for broke introducing all his substitutes and as the game entered the final ten minutes Annan were under increasing pressure and in the 85th minute their resistance was broke but the goal was more down to the skill of David Cox who skipped challenges across the 18 yard line to finish with a low shot past the outstretched arm of Alex Mitchell. Peterhead piled on the pressure for the final few minutes but Annan defended resolutely, substitute Andy Rogers had an effort but Rory McAllister squandered the best opportunity as the match entered injury time shooting past from close range.
Annan boss Jim Chapman was delighted with the teams performance and feels disappointed for his players that they did not manage to see out the game. The game plan was almost complete in taking the two one lead but we must give credit to Peterhead for the way they kept going till the end of the game. We will take the many positives out of this performance and work hard on the areas of concern but it is a good positive start to our league campaign against a team who will be in contention and we will look to take this forward into next weeks home game against Montrose.
Jim McInally was pleased at the result , when we got the eqauliser and to conceed a goal like that was criminal and a lot of teams could have got their heads down and conceded it was not their day but that did not happen they kept at it, we had loads of possession but our decision making was really poor at the end of it all, their effort was terrific and we got caught with two sucker punches . If Rory scores at the death it would have been a brilliant result for us.
Jim Chapman gives his post match reaction. http://peterheadfc.com/blue-toon-media/694-20130810-jc