Queens Park v Annan Athletic
Annan travelled to the National Stadium and with both teams failing to secure a victory in their last five matches there was eager anticipation of the outcome of this match against two teams eager to stop the rot . Annan were still without the injured Steven Swinglehurst, Queens Park boss Mark Roberts made three changes from the side defeated the previous week by Cowdenbeath with Mortimer, Clark and Gibson all being dropped to the bench.
Queens Park’s home record has been dismal with the Spiders still looking for a home victory but they certainly started this match on the front foot taking the game to Annan and forcing Annan to defend deep in their own half and for the opening 10 minutes the home team pinned Annan back and providing some anxious moments for Annan .
In the opening minute Jack Purdue had worked his way to the bye line on the left and his cut it back to Summers resulted in his powerful shot being blocked by some desperate defending. Annan had Matty Douglas to thank in the 12th minute when the Annan defender somehow managed to head Kieran Moore’s net bound shot off the goal line . It was one of those defining moments in the match that went against the spiders and provided Annan with the foundations to take them forward.
Annan recovered and started to play some neat controlled football taking the game to the spiders . Annan went ahead following a corner in the 18th minute after Jamieson conceded the corner kick and from the resulting corner the ball was played back out to Scott McLean who sent in a dangerous shot which had the Queens defence in all sorts of bother and keeper William Muir could not make full contact with the ball and he ended up assisting the ball into the net.
Annan built in this moment and Tommy Muir should have added to Annan’s lead a minute later when his header centre of the goal from Holt’s cross was directed straight at the keeper. It was a good period in the game from Annan and they increased their lead in the 22nd minute , when Douglas’s long throw in was headed on by Christian Nade to the unmarked Tommy Muir who was left in acres of space and from close range Muir made no mistake.
David Gault tested Annan’s trialist keeper in the 30th minute and minutes later Scott McLean was booked for a late tackle on Gault. Annan looked comfortable to defend any attacking moves that Queens Park could mount and Annan went into the break 2 goals to the good.
Queens started the second half once again taking the game to Annan who appeared to be happy to defend, Darren Barr became the second Annan player to receive a yellow card for an attempted challenge on Purdue. Moments later Salim Kouider Aissa headed over the bar as the home team went all out to reduce Annan’s advantage. Alfredo Aygeman was introduced in the 62nd minute and the substitute gave Queens an added threat down the right.
Annan’s trialist keeper pulled off a super save to deny David Galt in the 67th minute as the home team tried hard to break down Annan’s resolute defence . The Annan keeper then denied Kieran Moore who headed straight at the Annan keeper.
Christian Nade was replaced in the 83rd minute by Lewis McLear and almost immediately Creag Little headed over and a good opportunity was lost but minutes later Queens eventually made the breakthrough when Aygeman’s well directed shot was parried by the Annan keeper straight into the path of David Gault who scored from close range . It was a tense end to the match for Annan and when James Grant’s well struck effort was headed on to the cross bar by Douglas and Annan could breath again. Annan defended the subsequent corner and almost immediately Annan substitute Lewis McLear almost made an immediate impact when his well struck effort from the edge of the box cannoned off the cross bar .
QUEENS PARK – William Muir, James Grant (Calvin McGrory 77 min ), Ciaran Summers, Creag Little, Nicholas Jamieson, Thomas Block, Jack Purdue ( Alfredo Aygeman 63 Min ), Joffrey Lidouren, Salim Kouider Aissa, David Gault , Kieran Moore. Subs not used Scott Gibson, William Mortimer, Cameron Clark, Luke Main, Jacques Heraghaty.
ANNAN ATHLETIC – Trialist, Matty Douglas, Jamie Ballantyne , Kyle Bradley, Darren Barr ( Euan Griffiths 55 min ), Ayrton Sonkur, Scott McLean, Kyle Wilkie, Tommy Muir , Christain Nade (Lewis Mclear 83 min ), Jordan Holt Subs not used – Kelty Mason, Broque Watson, Harry Emmerson, Russell Currie, Niyah Joseph.
Referee. David Lowe, Assistants – Gary Hilland and Steven MacDonald.
There was very little between the two teams and Annan’s 12 points total for the first quarter fixtures keeps Annan in the middle of the table but with only 6 points separating 7 teams it is evident that there is no clear evidence that there is a situation developing like last year where Berwick and Albion Rovers were cut adrift from the pack. The top of the league is close with only 3 points now separating the top 3 teams.
Cove Rangers suffered their first defeat of the season at Stenhousemuir where the home team recorded a narrow 3-2 victory. Cowdenbeath maintained their impressive start to the season moving up to within a point of Cove Rangers with the result of the day a 1-0 home victory against Edinburgh City. Elgin City defeated Albion Rovers 3-1 at Coatbridge and Stirling Albion and Brechin City had to be content with a share of the points in a 1-1 draw.
There are no scheduled fixtures next week end due to the International break and the following week is Scottish Cup week end with Annan facing a home tie against Brechin City on the 19th October.