Queens Park v Annan Athletic
Annan consolidated their top 4 position with an emphatic 3 goal victory over Queens Park in a match played at the National Stadium last Saturday. Hampden looked splendid on the sun baked surface as both teams set out to entertain the fans.
Annan boss Peter Murphy once again made changes from the team which grabbed the draw against Stirling Albion with Swinglehurst demoted to the bench and Kyle Bradley taking up his position at the centre of defence. Ryan Sinnamon made a welcome return from injury to take his place on the bench. Queens Park boss Mark Roberts made just one change to the Queens Park starting XI, bringing in the fit again Lewis Magee for Luke Main, who dropped to the bench, with James Grant and Josh Black dropping out.
Queens interest in the play-offs has been merely academic for a wee while, but they have still shown the desire to go six games unbeaten, winning four and drawing two and securing four successive clean sheets but in Saturday they found Annan a different proposition.
Queen’s Park started brightly enough and created the first opening in five minutes, when Summers fired over a great cross from the left and Michael Ruth’s header going narrowly wide. The Spiders followed this up with a Summers effort which had Mitchell at full stretch to brilliantly turn the effort round the post to win a corner for the home team.
Annan’s first shot on target arrived in 18 minutes, and it had Jordan Hart scrambling to turn a deft chip from top scorer Tony Wallace round a post. It was a fairly even game and as we approached the half-hour mark Queens created an opportunity when McLaren’s driven pass down the right was picked up by Mortimer who whipped over an inviting cross directed towards Kieran Moore but from eight yards Moore completely miskicked.
Eary in the second half Queens Park were forced to make a change with Summers having to go off with a knock in 52nd minute, to be replaced by midfielder Calvin McGrory.
Annan took the lead in 59 minutes, and it was a goal that keeper Jordan Hart could have done better, David Wilson was given time and space to turn and shoot, and Hart spilled what should have been a simple save at the feet of Aidan Smith, who made no mistake scoring from six yards.
Annan doubled their advantage as they went 2-0 up in the 70th minute Aidan Smith once again was at the heart of the move as he picked the ball up from a throw in to finish with a run along the 18 yard line and finishing with a left foot shot that beat the diving Hart at his left hand post.
Creaney was booked for a foul in the 74th minute, and a minute later it was 3-0 as Chris Johnston weaved his way past a couple of challenges down the right to finish with across to the far to Tommy Muir who’s powerful header gave Jordan Hart no chance.
It was an important victory for Annan which keeps them on song for the play off positions where it looks highly likely that Annan will face either Stenhousemuir or Brechin City.
Queen’s Park: Jordan Hart, William Mortimer (Euan East 62 min ), Ciaran Summers ( Calvin McGrory 52 min ), Dominic McLaren, Gerry McLauchlan, Scott Gibson, Scott McLean, Lewis Magee ( Lewis Hawke 82 min ), Michael Ruth, David Galt, Kieran Moore. Subs: Alan Gow, Stephen Bradley, Luke Main, Kieran McDougall.
Annan Athletic: Alex Mitchell, Scott Hooper, James Creaney, David Wilson ( Ryan Sinnamon 82 min), Ayrton Sonkur, Kyle Bradley, Tony Wallace ( Christain Nade 78 mn ), Aidan Smith, Chris Johnston, Owen Moxon, Tommy Muir. Subs: Lewis Strapp, Peter Murphy (manager), Aidan McAdams, Steven Swinglehurst, Pete Watson.
Referee – Chris GrahamAssistants – Anthony Cooper and Michael MacDermid.
Peterhead lifted the points with a narrow 2-1 victory over Elgin City and Edinburgh City’s faltering end to the season continued as Albion Rovers recorded a 3-2 victory to end any hopes of City Lifting the title. David Cox scored the only goal as Cowdenbeath defeated Stirling Albion at Forthbank and Clyde’s 5-0 victory over Berwick Rangers leaves the Borderers with only a slim chance of avoiding the play off position.